By Trond Undheim, Ph.D.
Expert networks address a market failure. On the supply side, the world is full of dispersed, skilled individuals who previously did not have a market or who were underutilized. On the demand side, companies face a challenging business reality of constant industry disruption that cannot be resolved by a company’s own employees.
What is an expert?
An expert, as needed by an expert network, is an individual who can bring valuable ideas or process skills to the table to solve business challenges. Being an expert sounds nice but also a bit threatening and exclusive, even elitist. You specialize in something. You know something others don’t. Some expert networks seed their experts by narrowly defined criteria of where you went to school or where you learned your ropes. However, in reality, an expert is not just a specialist, and is not necessarily a PhD on a unique topic. An expert is simply someone who has professional experience in a certain domain.
Why become an expert?
Most expert networks pay some compensation, which is nice. However, the compensation might not be sufficient to consider quitting your day job. You can, of course, register at multiple networks and try your luck that way. In reality, it is better to invest energy in one place. Why? Because being an expert is not just about having a job. It is about identity.
There are often also other tangible but non-monetary benefits. For example, Yegii Experts have access to: Ranked knowledge assets in their field, Mentorship by world leading management practitioners, Annual Seminars to share and learn with other Top Ranked Experts ,Yegii’s standardized slide deck templates, as well as Yegii ‘s Research Guide and various Conceptual Framework Toolkits.
What is an insight network?
Facebook is a social network. LinkedIn is a professional network. GLG is an Expert Network. Yegii, on the other hand, is an insight network, because we are building a community of professionals who crave the knowledge that matters to them. They are already using intranets, search engines, and are subscribing to dozens of newsletters. They might even have access to specialized databases or top five consulting. They come to Yegii because they were missing something. They want to be part of the process that generates knowledge. They want to have an impact. They also want to identify as a professional.
Yegii’s peer reviewed, man/machine ranked expert profiles is the next iteration of your professional profile online. At Yegii, your education is a start but really does not matter. Having worked for brand name employers is nice, but is no requirement. What matters is your motivation, your dedication, and your real world skills, ideas, and delivery.
The practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community is usually called crowdsourcing. It is a misnomer, because there is no crowd. Experts are dispersed around the globe. Secondly, a crowd, in Gustave Le Bon’s initial formulation implied a dangerous, unconscious force tending towards panic, generated by certain types of human gatherings. In contrast, Yegii supplies globally sourced, peer reviewed insight on disruption. That disruption stems from three things: emerging technology, policy implications, and business models. Our products include ranked industry and topic specific knowledge assets (by subscription) and in-depth analysis of business challenges by multidisciplinary, global teams (on demand). Clients and experts get insight in 3D-printing, distributed energy generation, new nuclear, personalized healthcare and more. Both clients and experts are participants. They share the desire to shape changes rather than be shaped by them.
The real reason to engage with Yegii is to be part of an exciting knowledge community. Indeed, the best expert networks provide plenty of opportunities to learn from peers and from exciting assignments that challenge your comfort zone and bring you out of the day-to-day grind. Working on the next hot technology or trend together with other experts can be both challenging and rewarding. If you want to have the deepest knowledge about industry disruption, why not work with networks that focus on that aspect?
Francois de la Rochefoucauld has said the only thing constant is change. True, but the speed of change varies. Figuring that out is where the insight lies.
For more info about becoming a Yegii expert, see http://yegii.com/expert/intro
Trond Undheim, Ph.D., Founder, Yegii, Inc.Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management