Friday, September 5, 2008

A Time to Vet

We do it every day, whether we realize it or not - when we meet and greet, when we dine, when we work, when we watch TV. We are vetting everything in increments. We are judging people, situations, events, products, even ourselves, almost every hour of the day. We quickly roll questions around in our heads like laundry in a dryer until we can make a decision on whether or not we want to accept someone or something into our lives.

Sarah Palin had to overcome a few obstacles this past week. She proved that no matter who you are, what you look like or how you speak, someone will always be asking, “How’d you get here?”

Who is she? What’s her background? Why Palin? Why a governor from Alaska? What has she done?

On the heels of her VP announcement and the unfolding of her teen daughter’s pregnancy, the republican vetting process was called into question. Everyone wanted to know how much exploration went in to her nomination. Many were confused as to what a vetting process even looks like. In the end, no one really knows what went into the vetting of Governor Palin, but if you’ve ever stringently vetted someone before, you might know that its not like finding a good cup of coffee – it’s so much more.

Interestingly, the StreetBrains website enjoyed a spike in web traffic this week with many visitors viewing our vetting process page. Many seemed to want to know more about the process and what it meant. Were they looking for answers as to how Sarah Palin was evaluated to be McCain’s running mate?

At the core of the StreetBrains vetting process is a meticulous examination of value. Before an analyst joins our platform, we want to know exactly what he or she has to offer our clients. We assess their professional history, methodology, points of differentiation, and the unique value their research provides. What can this research provider deliver? Do they have credibility? What do they do and what is the advantage?

Vetting is not a simple procedure. It takes a good amount of time and requires our undivided attention – we know because we do this every day. Essentially, the process necessitates a series of pointed questions that should challenge whatever or whomever you are vetting.

The days of plastering a pretty face on the screen and assuming your audience will bite are long gone. The recent interest in vetting proves that your audience needs and expects more. Vetting is a process that should be taken seriously. Our analysts are put through it, our leaders are put through it – perhaps accountability isn’t lost on our society quite yet.