Expertise can be described as: “We build our strength on functional knowledge and being recognized as the authority in what we do.” A similar value is “Knowledge”:
“Our business depends on the skills and knowledge of our staff and we are committed to developing the skills and capabilities of all our people.”
An interesting example is this one:
“Global expertise – local knowledge” (1) this is very suitable for a research company.
This statement is very interesting for more reasons, but most of all because it directly supports this and another value on the side (client driven). It communicates first of all the learned lessons that global expertise (what you sell) can’t go without local knowledge (what you buy), because of cultural differences that operate on a local level. It this knowledge is directly communicated to the visitor (potential clients) of the site which makes it very exemplary. An excellent example where values are credible and make sense!
Expertise is a corporate value that can be used without problems. The advantage of this value is that is applies both to people as to a whole organization which makes is very useable in the value statement.
When to use it: the above research company is a good example. Knowledge-based companies value knowledge and expertise which is a success-factor for their business.
It is also a very straightforward value. You can almost measure it. Knowledge is hard to measure but the related issues like: learning, studying and open for new ideas and information are tangible elements to concentrate on in the recruitment process.
Not all companies will equally value the element of expertise and knowledge. It must fit a purpose.
Values need a balance. Expertise is only one of the values in the statement and its focus is on products and services, whereas the business of a company is successful when these can be sold to clients. Client focus is therefore suitable complement, although it is not a very precise value. More suitable would be to combine it with: “practical” or similar values where you stress the importance that knowledge or expertise is useless without a clear purpose. Otherwise you will stack it in a silo and nobody will really benefit from it.
Another complementary value is required to foster teamwork, because knowledge-based companies have an implicit dilemma to get stuck because of too much individual intelligence, but a lack of organizational smartness. Think about this when using or recreating your values statement.