Knowing What You Don’t Know

Knowing What You Don't Know

Tom Brokaw once asked a series of candidates in a town hall debate, “What don’t you know and how will you learn it?” This funny question is actually a good way of thinking about how to tackle many issues around which we don’t have complete knowledge. We know that we want to be expert enough to ask the right questions, but we may lack sufficient expertise to know what those questions are. 

Donald Rumsfeld, during a Department of Defense news briefing, once famously broke down the world of “unknowns” in to three categories. There are “known knowns.” These are the things we know that we know. However, there are also “known unknowns.” These are things we know that we don’t know. And lastly, there are “unknown unknowns.” These are things we don’t know we don’t know. 

The challenge for some claims executives who are looking for the right legal spend management business partner is that they may have a fair number of unknown unknowns. In other words, they may not be sure what to ask about, what to look for, and how to flush out the philosophies and practices of their potential new business partner. 

This article will summarize a few known knowns about effective legal spend management. This will help you focus and direct your questioning – ensuring that you find a partner that will deliver truly effective solutions for your business.


About The Expert

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith serves as the president of Claims Pages. Prior to this role, Taylor was Founder and Managing Principal of two successful businesses: Revere Advisory, a litigation management consulting firm, and Suite 200 Solutions, a company that connects claims, legal, and insurance executives with products and services that improve their businesses. Taylor’s areas of specialty include legal spend and vendor management, market intelligence studies, talent acquisition, sales and marketing, and other operational areas of opportunity for industry executives.

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