How To Find The Experts You Had No Idea You Needed
In part one of this post, I explained some tips that have worked for me when I needed to find the great people I like to, and need to work with on the various projects I’m involved in. This post will focus on how to find the great people I need to work with…but here’s the catch – I had no idea I’d needed to work with them.
Am I Looking For X-Man?
What I mean by this is, I’ll be working on a project and come across the need for someone who knows about “x”. Up until that point in time, I had not heard of “x” or known that there were people who specialized in “x”. Adding to the complexity, the “x” (call it x-ish) I’m looking for … I may not have it totally defined, as it is a combination of a few different skill sets, and I am not sure what to call it. How do you find what you know you need but aren’t sure what it’s called?
This refers to skill sets, expertise, areas that I wasn’t sure existed (as I had never heard of it before…I don’t know what I don’t know). Who does this stuff? What is it called?
Recently, one of the experts I needed to find was a person who understood online analytics, design, business, presentation skills, and could teach someone how to bring these four areas together. I needed someone who could teach marketers how to take their analytical data, select which aspects were most important to the business (not the marketing department), display that data in a visually compelling way (ie: not just pie charts, but not just a cut and past of a screen of numbers either – surly there is something better?) on a professional-looking slide deck, and then wrap it into a live presentation appropriate to be delivered to senior management.
Where on earth would I find such a person – and do they exist – and what exactly do I type into Google or ask people I know who they know so I find what I am looking for? What is this called?
Where to start
So I started with the end in mind. What was the result I wanted?
Based on those three points, I starting typing various phrases into Google such as “teaching data visualization”, “how to present to sr. management”, “how to not bore your non-technical audience”. I then switched over to SlideShare to see if anyone had done a presentation on this problem. I found three people that had. Three!
I’m currently in the middle of the project with one of the three people I found on SlideShare. So far, it has been a good experience.
The Three Tips To Finding Experts
To sum up, here are some steps to follow when searching for those experts you just realized you needed:
Hopefully these tips will help you when next you need to find an expert you didn’t know you needed. Do you have any tips to share? What’s been the best way you’ve found experts you didn’t know you needed?