‘Memory is the mother of all wisdom’ – Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
With the rise of the internet, professionals in huge numbers have moved away from maintaining excellent factual knowledge of their area of expertise because the information is all available online, a few clicks away. A few seconds on Google and you will have your answer.
When we examine people that are excellent at what they do, they have no need for Google to inform them of what they are supposed to be specialised in. For example, a good stockbroker will know the price of every stock that he/she can sell to a client. The information is openly available and would only take a few seconds to look up but when you have an important client on the phone asking about the price of some shares saying ‘give me a second, I’ll just check the price’ isn’t going to cut it! They expect you have that information in your head, after all, you are the one selling to them.
This applies to almost all jobs in all industries. Doing the job that you do means that you are a specialist for your particular area and not having the facts in your head will make you look distinctly amateur.
Some people are better at holding facts in their mind than others but no one is beyond training their brain and developing the discipline to improve their memory.
Although it is important to recognise that there are other aspects of developing your mind to work most effectively, namely the ability to strategise, the ability to think quickly etc, knowledge is by far the most important. Knowledge is what clients will pay for and you can’t find the knowledge of a specialist who has memory of numerous different scenarios and knows the details of all the factors involved after a couple of minutes of Google searching.