The Speed of Skill

Insights Into What Professionalism Looks Like

My body was, for a brief period of time, a guinea pig the other day. I don’t mean in a literal fashion; no rodents were harmed in the experience forming this narrative, to my knowledge.

Recently suffering an injury playing elite level football[1] during a heroic, song-material move[2], my body was the case study for our company integration development. This is an interesting process. There isn’t much better for cutting down your ego than having a team of professionals scrutinise every possible flaw in your movement for a good hour.[3]

The function of the exercise was to get someone with an injury and, using a description of treatment from our Physios, build a program for movement correction and rehabilitation around that. Integrating skills within our facility is a big selling point of our service; we pride ourselves on not letting ego or billables get in the way of the fastest, most effective method of treatment for the client.

I had actually been treated for the injury by one of our practitioners earlier that day. He had run me through the program that everyone was now debating on how best to construct . It was very simple in its execution; someone could be forgiven for thinking that I was paying money for playing with some bands and throwing industrial quantities of banter.

Apart from a measure of burning shame, what I had after my hour-long test subject experience was clarity on how much complexity was bound in that very simple execution. I had peered behind the veil, as it were, and was startled by what I saw.[4]

The reality is that to effect a simple 30 minute program rehabilitating this particular injury takes years of expertise and education. It’s not even just a question of adding value — poor management, by very small margins, could result in significant pain and a worsened condition.

This is a disconnect found frequently in the business world, where it seems ludicrous to pay a high fee for a service that can seem simple and straightforward[5]. The price is in the huge investment of time to put yourself in a position to deliver a result in a timely, simple fashion though. If you go and see Dorothy, you’re not paying for 45 minutes of her time, you’re paying for the 30 years over which she broke stereotypes and defined the industry in Australia. When looked at in that light, suddenly it seems awfully reasonable.

That disconnect is one that nervous and wet-behind-the-ears practitioners attempt to fill by reciting their university degree in a space of mere moments.

It was fascinating to be both a part of the result and the process; the heated discussions about movement, the complex analysis, the indecipherably long words, and the precise but simple program at that tortured journey’s end.

Postscript: Did you laugh? Exhale slightly harder through your nose? Or did you actually get something from this? Hit that big old clap button on the left hand side. Or don’t — I’m a postscript, not a cop.


[1] B Grade Social Touch

[2] Took a spill trying to touch someone

[3] Except that time my brothers girlfriend called me ‘petite’ in front of everyone #neverforget

[4] It was not, as expected, Zac riding a unicycle

[5] Unless what you’re paying for legitimately has no value, in which case it is ludicrous indeed

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