Services

We help talented employees become great Subject Matter Experts and Solution Engineers. Companies who work with us can put their engineers and technicians in front of customers with confidence.  Making your SMEs your greatest assets in sales, retention, and profitability.

Section #1

The Primary Objectives

Trust

If an SME does not have the trust of her audience then she has nothing. Establishing trust is the first and most important objective. How do SMEs obtain and retain trust?

Vision

Trust is the first objective, and vision is the second. What does your audience hope will happen in the future? Is it realistic? Can you deliver? Clear vision provides direction, protection, unity, and confidence. Great SMEs are instruments of vision.

Delivery

Experts are expected to deliver results when other people cannot. The key ingredients of delivery are repeatable and predictable. What? When? Where? Cost? Quality? Maintenance? etc.

The Foundation Principles

Getting Started

Don’t reinvent the wheel! Every subject matter expert should be trained in the art and science of expertise and expert performance.

Motive

Becoming an expert is hard, very hard. So, why do it? Why aspire to expertise? There are a few key motivators for becoming a subject matter expert. Motive matters. 

History

Expertise has a long an sorted history. For good and ill, the experts of the past have shaped our present. The experts of today define the tomorrows.

Definitions

Precise definitions are essential to mastery. Definitions about SMEs, and definitions by SMEs. What all SMEs should know about definitions.

Scope

What is the scope of your expertise? Who decided? Why? Elements of scope that all SMEs should incorporate.

Introductions

How every subject matter expert should be introduced and why it’s important.

Communication

Communication normally fails, especially between experts and lay-people. The essential ingredients of effective connections.  

Maxims

The 100 maxims for subject matter experts.

Section #2

Attributes

Performance

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.​

Knowledge

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Professionalism

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

32 Other Important Attributes of Great SMEs

Accountable  –  Adaptable  –  Analytical  –  Authentic  –  Automatic

Clear  –  Communicative  –  Compliant  –  Complimentary  –  Confident  –  Conscientious  –  Consistent  –  Creative

 Diligent  –  Discerning  –  Dispassionate  –  Engaging  –  Flexible  –  Focused  –  Harmonious  –  Humble  –  Kind  –  Multi-Lingual

Optimistic  –  Passionate  –  Patient  –  Peculiar  –  Perceptive  –  Prophetic  –  Prudent  –  Relaxed  –  Simple

Section #3

Research and Literature

Expertise and expert performance have been studied by academics and researchers for centuries. Of late, however, there is heightened interest and scrutiny into the cross-disciplinary subject. Here are just a few of the the many research resources we include in our training of subject matter experts:

Galton

“Hereditary Genius” was published in 1869. In it, Galton proposed that genius and expertise are genetic. A select few people are endowed. Of the book Charles Darwin wrote, ” I do not think I ever in all of my life read anything more interesting and original.”

de Groot

Chess is the ideal laboratory for the research of expertise. Started by de Groot in the 1940s, chess provides a foundation for all forms of expertise. Much can be learned by all experts from the research performed in chess. (Contributions also examined from Chase & Simon.)

Boak & Thomson

Any study of expertise should include the 2×2 matrix of Boak and Thomson. Their framework s simple and instructive. Something all SMEs should internalize and consider.

Ericsson

Ericsson was a leader in memory expertise and the creator of the model of deliberate practice. Quoted by thousands of authors and researchers, before his passing in 2020, Ericsson believed that everyone can become an expert.

Dreyfus

The stages of developing expertise are consistent across disciplines. According to Dreyfus and Dreyfus, there are five stages of development and five metrics of measurement. You are not truly ‘expert’ until you satisfy the Dreyfus model.

Shanteau

There are many ways to identify and measure experts. Shanteau introduces the attributes through which experts are measured and tested.

Collins

Not all expertise is unique or rare. Expertise is a multi-dimensional concept. It is best represented with the period table of expertise.

Dunning & Kruger

Mount Stupid was discovered by David Dunning and Justin Kruger. Experts who understand the Dunning & Kruger models will be more effective interacting with their lay audiences.

Mieg & Evetts

Expertise is organized into centers of professional power. Expertise seeks influence and control. It is All domains of expertise 

Hambrick

There are many ways to identify and measure experts. Shanteau introduces the attributes through which experts are measured and tested.

Eyal

Not all expertise is unique or rare. Expertise is a multi-dimensional concept. It is best represented with the period table of expertise.

Section #4

The Demand for Expertise

Risk Management

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.​

Power

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Answers

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Truth

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.​

Solutions

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Persuasion

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Laws that Influence SMEs

Contract

Business relationships hang on the written contracts. SMEs should understand the fundamentals of contract law.

Non-Disclosure

What is protected information? When and how can protected information be disclosed? What are the SME's duties?

IP

"Free consulting" is the same as giving away intellectual property. SMEs must protect their own IP, and the IP of others

Miranda

Anything you say can and will be used against you. SME's have the right to remain silent. Not enough SME exercise Miranda.

Negligence

Can SMEs be criminally negligence? If so, under what circumstances? What risk do SMEs bring to their companies and what risk do they bring upon themselves?

Tort

A tort is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another person and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.

Discrimination

For centuries discrimination has been perpetuated by experts. One form of discrimination is essential, another form is horrific. How and when should SMEs discriminate?

Disability

A disability is any physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities. SMEs must accommodate the disabled.

Fry v US

Superior performance is the surest measure of an expert. SMEs must a skill that other people cannot easily replicate. There is a proven path to peak performance.

Daubert v Dow

Expert testimony does not need to be "scientific." A flexible reliability standard is sufficient. This decision sets up the "Daubert standard."

GE v Joiner

A closer look at the Daubert standard. Expert testimony can be rejected if there are gaps between evidence and conclusions.

Kumho v Carmichel

The courts make no distinction between "scientific" and "technical" knowledge. What this means for SMEs.