An interesting conversation unfolded on Twitter today when I tossed out a question that was spawned from this post on BuzzNetworker.

After reading Collen’s take on self-proclaimed social media experts, rock stars and gurus, I posted a rather lengthy comment sharing my views on the subject.

Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote in the comments section of that post:

“…I believe that having been in an arena for a short period of time just might mean that you still have something of value to offer. Maybe you see things that others do not. Maybe you’re not yet jaded and bring a different perspective. Maybe you’ve made a discovery early on that others missed and might find value in. You could be entrenched in it in a way that others have not been. Do you see where I’m going with this? Yes, let’s all be honest, and maybe if some of that is shared in the introductory phase and less emphasis is placed on a title that no one really understands, then we can all continue to learn from those who have something new to offer. So as I type all of this a new word comes to mind. How about “practitioner?”

So, the question I posted on twitter was this:

What’s of more value? A “strategist” or a “practitioner?”

Here are some of the responses:
@ChristineTatum: Depends on what you need. It’s tough to value “practitioners” who have no vision or smart sense of priorities.
And then it’s tough to value “strategists” who don’t know how to put all of their great ideas into action. I just think people’s specific strengths should be respected. Many times, strategists and practitioners aren’t the same.

@feste1: a practicing strategist? srsly–strategist when talking with execs, practitioner when talking with operational ppl.

@beckiparkhurst: re: strategist or practitioner, I think it depends on the goal to determine the value.

@HappyAbout: Typically a “practitioner” is more valuable than a “strategist), but it does depend on the task.

@brandingdavid: I had a chat with a friend about that, and practitioners are what companies want. They don’t want ideas, they want actions! I think in 2009, the words companies will avoid when hiring include: planner, strategist, organizer, etc…They’ll want action people. Specialists that can take their needs and solve them, not just give them a plan to solve them.

And then. Collen responded to my comment on her blogpost with this:

@angela everything you’ve said is dead on… I agree someone with a new perspective can be totally useful, but I still don’t want to see a new perspective calling themselves an expert.

So what do you think? Strategist or practitioner? And just how long do you have to be in practice to call yourself an expert or strategist?

Be sure to post your twitter name at the end of your comment.

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