Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 12, 2010

Certifiably Successful: The New Subject Matter Expert


Say what you will about the military (on second thought…don’t say
THAT…), they got one thing right over the millennia…”tagging”, or
“badging.” That is, they identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) by
observed achievement not by hearsay or simple exposure to the knowledge
of others as noted on a piece of paper.

Whether by blood marks, feathers, medallions, patches, or pins, over the
ages those professionals entrusted to keeping the lives of the masses
peaceful through ending the lives of enemies showed their achieved
expertise literally on their persons.
And “everything old is new again” as civilians have, through social
media, discovered virtual tagging or badging works the same way. They
mark those chieftains of content, those leaders of learning, not based
on exposure to schooling but on actual expertise that was proven useful
to the person doing the “grading.” These are the diplomas of the doers,
the certifiably successful who have proven to actually have said or done
something that made an impact on the life of another.

Because of the filtering phenomenon I mentioned earlier (“Filtering, the
Other ‘F’ Word”) it is impossible to adapt any other method. We must
find a way to make connections to those who have demonstrated what we
need, who have achieved what is wanting in a specific situation and time
that impacts our situation. We do not have the time or means to do
anything else. And the best method to do that is through “badging” or
“tagging” one another not based in position or paperwork, but on done
deeds (or spoken/written words) of impact.

Like confirmed kills on the sides of bombers during World War II, we
must identify those who have achieved what needs to be done, or is
reasonably similar to what needs to be done in a way easily identifiable
to us so that we can expose them to a whole new set of connections and

But we must do more. Having identified those people we must connect them to what neither they nor we may realize could be helpful. We must ensure they have access to new methods and information and those people with them to spark innovation.

The result is a constellation, learning networks made up of those
certified to have been successful in a similar endeavor in the inner
solar system whose gravitational pull forms connections with each other
and with new knowledge (workers) outside their ken.

The battle cry of these new Warriors of Wisdom is “This worked for me!”,
brandishing their badges of a lesson learned, an action completed, a
mind sewn, a heart stirred, a life changed…not a seat warmed.
Because of the connections between those who know through doing and
those who may if exposed to new experiences, the possibilities will be
open to no longer allow the answer “We can’t”, but rather ask “How could

Checks and balances must be in place to prevent the kind of ratings we
sometimes see on Ebay and the App Store where folks give themselves (or
have their friends give them) high rankings. But that is for a posting
of another day when we can discuss how to most safely, clearly,
correctly and fairly say “Tag! You’re It!” in identifying Subject Matter Experts.

The end result, however, is that the Subject Matter Expert must be
identified by the medallion won in the hearts and minds of others. The
new SME badge must be having made an improvement in another human life.


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