The Nine Capabilities of Master Subject Matter Experts

Written by Alistair Gordon 07 Jul 2022

A Roadmap to Expert Career Success

The Expertship Model

Looking for a roadmap to accelerate your career success as a subject matter expert? Congratulations - you’ve just found it.

Developed over many years of research and application, and subsequently embraced by thousands of technical subject matters experts around the world, the Expertship Model (see graphic above) describes the nine capabilities every SME needs to be truly influential and impactful.

Take a close look at the Model above and you’ll see there are three capability domains:

  • The Technical Domain - the technical skills and knowledge that every subject matter experts spends the first few years of their professional life developing;

  • The Relationship Domain - the enterprise skills that subject matter experts need to acquire to be able to work successfully with all types of stakeholders and partners, both internally and externally, to have impact and add value; and

  • The Value Domain - the market and contextual skills that subject matter experts need to understand where the opportunity to add new value exists, and the ability to articulate that value in non-technical terms to those who will fund and resource the projects.

SMEs master one domain, Master Experts master all three

This website, and our mission as a company, is to help subject matter experts reach Master Expert status.

Most experts start out by developing their technical skills, and don’t really stop acquiring more technical skills. Quite often, they develop their relationship domain skills but only to the point where they communicate well with people in their own area - communicating and influencing effectively outside their technical domain is sometimes a struggle.

And many subject matter experts don’t have much skill set in the value domain. Master Experts master all three domains.

Free primer

For a detailed primer on all the expert roles, capabilities and domains of the Expertship Model, complete the form below.

It remains our intellectual property, but please feel free to use it to help you plan to the best subject matter expert you can be.

You can get every behavior in the Expertship Model, and a range of development suggestions - actions you can take to master all the domains, by buying the The Expertship Growth Guide .

And you can buy this book - Master Expert: The ultimate guide for subject matter experts having more influence and impact - which is a deep dive into the behaviors and mindsets displayed by subject matter experts at the top of their game - Master Experts!

Download The Expertship Model