Stuck Project Need SME

Hi there,

I am working on a new course on leadership. I haven't been having much luck with locating a qualified SME to help create the course. Most of the qualified SMEs, that I have been speaking to, like to conduct webinars or live courses, and are not interested in online courses. How do you find good SMEs?

Thank you for your help!

Chris

6 Replies
Rachel Barnum

Hi Chris -

I'm first interested in why you are creating a new course. There are so many courses on leadership out there in existence that it almost seems odd to create a new one. Is this for an internal training? Training to sell? Etc?

If you must make a new one, what is in it for the SMEs if they help you? Are you paying them? Are they getting recognition? What duties would they have? (e.g. are they just serving a review role or are they actually providing you with content?)

Chris Olsen

Hi Rachel,

The client wants to offer something specifically with industry examples. They currently use pre-built courses for the leadership training but want to move away from that.

The SMEs are payed and offered recognition in developing the course. They already have a team of SMEs that would like to review, but need the content first. My next plan is to break the project down into smaller chunks, asking different SMEs to work on different modules.

Rachel Barnum

Got it! So it sounds like not only are you having trouble finding leadership SMEs, but industry specific leadership SMEs? It also sounds like the SMEs you have been talking to are also trainers in some sense, and not just SMEs. This makes sense as they're the ones that are typically "easiest" to find. You may be able to ask them who they have worked with in the past to help create their own content and offer a "finder's fee."

In the past, in addition to looking on LinkedIn, we would look to book authors. Are there any industry specific leadership books? Or potentially related industries?

Another fall back would be to rely on those pre-created generic leadership materials, and ask learners to apply that to industry-specific leadership scenarios that you may be able to get from your clients with just their SMEs as reviewers. If you wanted to get an industry SME for those, it would potentially just be an industry leader in general who can provide those scenarios rather than an industry leadership SME who is giving you a whole new leadership model. Many leadership "models" can be customized to any industry.

Chris Olsen

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for the recommendations! There are some clear areas I can check into. Yes that's the problem I've been having, with the limited pool of SMEs. There is a lot of general leadership content available but there isn't anything asynchronous industry specific. That's a good idea to check to see who they would recommend. I've done that with a few, but should reach back out to the ones that I haven't heard from and offer the finders fee.

The book idea makes sense too. I can expand the search to more of the related industries outside of their niche.

 I like the fall back idea. That would give us the content and make it industry specific. Are there any services that offer content that can be purchased not licensed? I think that's part of the issue, is they want to own the content.