UPDATE: when I wrote this, I had just joined. The problems I had were simply because the "impostors" (which, a year later, are indeed still impostors) are based in the HQ, and my line manager prioritised HQ relationships over my expertise. It was a harsh lesson, and I hope this helps others.
I joined a corporation as Subject Matter Expert (SME). My knowledge and expertise are far beyond anybody else in the company. However, in the last couple of years a few people "filled the gap" by gaining an interest in the field. These people are excited about what they are doing, but their work is out of scope and is not producing revenue. The company is just excited to say we have a "team of experts".
The difference is acknowledged by my manager. However, there is limited room to hire new headcounts, and I can't just bring in some good people. For the most part, I will have to work with the "impostors" we have.
My manager will be happy if I collaborate with the incumbents. From my perspective, accepting them is a big mistake, as they would have the "SME's seal of quality" and I would validate their existence, making it even harder to bring in good people afterwards.
My question is: to bring expertise in a new technological field in a company, should one join as senior manager, or is middle management still acceptable? I am trying to understand if the mistake I made was joining with a too junior position to bring the positive change that is needed for the business to flourish.