“The Expert’s Insight”. (Episode 138)

“The Expert’s Insight”. (Episode 138)

Interview with Børre Opsahl, CFO, Insula.


There are things that only an expert in a field would know but that non-experts could benefit from knowing. This is called “The Expert’s Insight”.

Let me give you an example of “The Expert’s Insight”:


People who are not professional speakers might think that professional speaking is all about speaking to the audience, but expert speakers know that great speaking is actually about the ability to feel the audience and read the room to be able to create a connection.

“Speaking is not about speaking, it’s about listening.” That is the Expert’s Insight about speaking.

I learnt about “The Expert’s Insight” from interviewing Børre Opsahl, CFO, Insula, a Nordic seafood group working on development, processing and sale of fish and seafood products.

Børre is an expert CFO, an expert in the fish industry and an expert in corporate turn-arounds (as he has worked on many of them.)

I asked him what the Expert’s Insights are for a CFO, for a fish industry expert and for a person working in turn-arounds.

For a CFO he said: “People underestimate the importance of correct historical data and ensuring that they are structured and categorised in the right way if you want to be able to create valuable predictions of the future. Børre did an analogy of how fishermen need to have a lot of correct data and information about where fish are hiding in order to be able to catch them. Same with financial data.

The Expert’s Insight for a CFO is: “What’s measured, gets done!” in the sense that attention will always be centered towards the KPIs you decide to measure and trigger change if mentioned KPIs do not trend in a positive direction.

For the fish industry he said: “People do not understand how expensive the raw material is when you work with developing sea food products.  “The Expert’s Insight” for someone in the fish industry is “Using the whole fish” – as in “We cannot afford to let anything go to waste.” (Fish companies really do use every single part of the fish. The fish bones are made into a powder, the fish skin is used in facial creams, the head is sold for cat food etc.)

And for corporate turn-arounds he said: “People do not understand that when you come in to a company that is performing extremely badly there are just so many different warning bells going off, but “The Expert’s Insight” is that “You have to focus on what to focus on.” In other words, you need to learn to ignore most of the overwhelming negative signals you are getting and focus on the most serious ones. The more significant the losses, the less risk adverse one should be about which corrective measures to take to save the company. Just like a doctor coming to a dying patient needs to quickly triage the injuries to find where to focus to save the patient’s life.

No matter what you are an expert in, there is an “Expert’s Insight” for that expertise. Many times there are more than one, of course. By identifying these “Expert’s Insights” and reflecting on what they mean and what message they hold, you will gain valuable knowledge about what you do.

What is “The Expert’s Insight” for what you do? What can you learn by reflecting on it?

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