I read a Seth Godin blog recently called The River Guide and the Rapids. It’s a post that could relate to a lot of things, but I immediately connected it to the professional associations we do business with.

The gist of the post is that domain expertise provides the knowledge and flexibility that allows a river guide to effectively pilot the boat (or raft) by responding to and handling whatever arises along the way. This is important, because rivers are anything but static. Neither is the world that professionals like doctors, lawyers, CPAs, or engineers, perform in. So, domain expertise becomes critical for those professionals, but it’s also critical for the people who help educate them.  This brings me to to why professional associations are so good at providing continuing education. They have the domain expertise. And they are also connected to all kinds of people who have even more domain expertise.

To quote Mr. Godin, “Yes, the reckless pilot might get lucky, but the experienced pilot brings domain knowledge to her job. It takes guts to go onto the river, but once you’re there, the one who can see–see what’s coming and see what matters–is the one you want piloting your boat.”