Your Guide to Becoming the Authority in your Domain

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Course Schedule

We'll meet every other Wednesday from 6:30-9:30 pm throughout the fall semester except for a break of two weeks between the final two classes.

1, Introduction

2, Possibilities (divergent thinking)

3, Establishing Spheres of Interest Social Media, Blogging

4, Making Choices (convergent thinking)

5, Carving Out a Niche Strategic Plan

6, Concrete Targeted Steps (publishing, a seminar, reaching out to client, etc...)

In intervening weeks I teach research writing workshops to provide more direct assistance with assignments. (All six course meetings are Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:30 pm; research writing sessions are typically 6:45 – 8:45 pm)

Session Structure

Typically one 85 minute session of each meeting will involve traditional classroom activities – readings, lectures, guests, cases and exercises designed to illuminate key insights on the course themes.

A second 85 minute session of each course meeting will be largely a practicum, exercises in actually doing knowledge work and the tasks involved in becoming the expert in your domain.

Class Sessions

Session 1: Introduction

Student Introductions: Why you're taking this course, and what you hope to get out of it. About me and why I created this course.

Overview of course themes: several technical aspects of developing expertise and several strategic aspects of developing expertise. General questions.

About knowledge work -- history and trends: First and foremost, experts are pre-eminent knowledge workers. Discussion points about knowledge work.

Session 2: Identifying Possibilities of Expertise

Knowledge markets and "products" | Personal strategic advantages

Before one settles on any important choice, such as choosing a niche in which you will devote the greater part of the rest of your life, it's essential to know that you haven't overlooked or excluded some critical possibilities or critical data with which to make that choice. So a first step, before one begins to narrow any options, let alone make choices, is to expand options and expand your thinking. Divergent thinking is a generally important, but uncommon skill of the pre-eminent knowledge worker. We'll use these techniques of divergent thinking, as well as some techniques of innovation and creativity (especially creating a career) to expand options of both ends and means as we consider our skills, knowledge base, motivators, interests, experience, connections and other considerations.

Session 3: Establishing Spheres of Interest

Blogging, Maintaining a Website, Social Media: Overview and Examples of How to Leverage Knowledge and Expertise

Blogging, becoming the node of a social network, establishing a website - these are ways of optimizing your niche and expanding your influence.  Think about examples of bloggers you follow - do you perceive them as credible experts? How do they provide value to readers?  Can one earn a living as a blogger? How does one develop and maintain a website, choose a theme, optimize keywords, enhance circulation, earn a living? What about  how social media has changed the ways in which we connect with one another? Facebook, Twitter and Linked In continue to evolve and impact our ability to leverage ourselves as authorities in our chosen areas of interest. 

Guest speakers Quang Ly and Jon Deutsch will share their experience on how to use blogs, a website and social media as part of an overall strategy to capitalize on expertise and/or make an impact.

Hillary Wittich will share how mind mapping enables her to capture a thought, and then uncover potential common threads, or themes as she begins to link thoughts together through associations and by cross linking through multiple maps.

Session 4: Making Choices, Realizing Opportunities

At some point -- soon -- you need to stop exploring and make choices. To do so, you need to change frames and move from divergent to convergent thinking.

Where can convergent thinking be applied?
Convergent Thinking to find market niche
Convergent Thinking to identify areas of expertise
Convergent Thinking to assess market demand
Convergent Thinking to message potential clients

Session 5: Carving Out a Niche: Case Studies with Professional Expert Witnesses

1. Identifying Areas of Expertise

Early Career: Matching Proficiencies to Market Demand
Early Career: Marketing and Building Momentum
Early Career: Building a Sustainable Business
Career Progression: Adapting to Market Changes
Career Progression: Establishing Alliances
Career Progression: Diversifying Expertise
Career Progression: Staffing and Building Infrastructure


2. Career Opportunities as an Expert Witness

Court Qualification as an Expert Witness
Establishing Reputation and Working with Attorney Stakeholders
Rebuilding Reputation When Things Go Wrong: Resilience as an Expert
Identifying New and Emerging Opportunities to Serve as an Expert
Opportunities for Experts outside the Courtroom

3. Other Issues and Insights  


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