That Third Kind Of Vet

VetBeing able to properly vet might be the most important skill of the 21st Century. Not curing sick animals. Not retiring from military service. I’m talking about “subjecting to thorough examination or evaluation.”

We’ve been trained to rely on experts to do this for us. If we go back 30 years or so, we would find experts in a limited number of places: academia, government and non-government organizations, and major corporations including media. As I wrote in The Age of Thought Leadership:

“…the Information Age is allowing experts to step out from behind the veil of a corporate (or academic) entity…”

This is a double-edged sword. As individuals we can develop and express thought leadership. However, also as individuals, we can no longer solely rely on third parties for pre-vetting our experts.

Learn how to do research. Know the difference between a primary source and a secondary source. Become more discerning in your content consumption. Develop a healthy level of skepticism.

Learn that third kind of vet.

[Note: Vetting is one of the skills from my TEDx talk, 3 Essential Skills for the 21st Century]

10 Thoughts on “That Third Kind Of Vet

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  2. Chris S. Cornell on December 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm said:

    So true. And so many people (including many of my Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections) need to learn this. In my newsfeeds, I’ve read dozens, maybe scores, of reports about recent news events that contained inaccurate (in many cases, flagrantly inaccurate) information with no reference to the source of the information. Seems to me that if an individual is going to report on important news they ought to adhere to the basic rules of reporting — otherwise they’re nothing more than a gossip.

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  4. Great stuff Alan. This is it. If we don’t get good at this, we have no hope of getting anywhere.

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