Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Hallmarks, Collaboration, and Women in Business

Filed Under Mindjet

Arwen Heredia

October 17, 2013

Thursday is #thoughtleadership day here at Mindjet HQ, and as much as we like to give you daily tips, it’s often hard to pick just one to share. Plus, there’s so much more to being a thought leader than just becoming one.

Below are three great examples of thought leadership that popped up on the internet this week. As always, check them out and let us know what you think — after all, thought leadership is about building conversations and expertise around specific topics, so input (including yours) is absolutely essential.

Competing on Thought Leadership: The Seven Hallmarks of Compelling Intellectual Capital

From Bloom Group:

“With the stakes rising and the experience base growing, executives are becoming more sophisticated in choosing the firms with which they do business. They consider many factors, including: the firm’s insight into the issue at hand, their demonstrated experience in resolving it, the firm’s image and reputation in the marketplace, price/value, the firm’s approach or methodology, and the chemistry between the firm and the client team. But in the end, buyers really are looking for results. They want to know that whoever they hire can deliver the business benefits they are looking for — whether it’s winning a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, successfully integrating an acquisition, implementing a new enterprise resource planning system or shoring up their financial books. It is up to the firm to give prospective buyers the confidence they are seeking by demonstrating their unique insights into the problem, their experience in addressing it, their success rate, and the validity of their approach. This is the need that thought leadership fills.”

Our take: These days, it really is all about repeatable results. Consider what you can do to identify internal thought leaders at your company, who can both bring clarity to your message and deliver it in a meaningful way.

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Real Collaboration Takes More than Meetings and PowerPoints

From the Network for Business Sustainability:

Everyone wants to focus on pressing problems, but usually as they define them. But in facing truly complex problems, no one sees the whole. We all see only portions of the larger system. This is not bad; it is human. Our vision naturally reflects our background, competencies, and aims. The real question is: Do we recognize our limited understanding and have practical ways to address it?

One such practice is “learning journeys.” When the Food Lab network began, the initial core team — 40 people from about 30 organizations — spent two weeks together in Brazil. They visited farmers’ cooperatives and large global food companies. They talked with government officials and community organizers. All members of the team saw parts of the larger system unfamiliar to them.

Equally importantly, they saw one another. Riding in small mini-vans for many hours, with extended periods for reflection and conversation, they discovered, as one business person expressed it: “I am just amazed at how two people can have the same experience and see totally different things.”

Our take: It’s rarely a smart business practice to accept a single, unchallenged perspective as gospel. Always look in unexpected places for inspiration and advice, whether that’s through cross-functional collaboration or even outside the walls of your own organization.

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National Thought Leaders on Women and Business Come Together at Wahine Forum

From Huffington Post:

Sheryl Sandberg says “lean in.” Arianna Huffington says “lean back.” There’s an energetic and compelling national dialogue on how things are lining up for women in the workplace, the community, in leadership and at home. This national discussion is coming to Hawaii.

At this year’s Wahine Forum we will hear from six regional and national thought leaders: A co-founder of the national movement “Lean In,” best-selling authors on female leadership, a venture capitalist, a career coach and a diversity change agent. They are joined by local business and community leaders speaking on how to serve on corporate boards, negotiation, running for political office, STEM careers, the latest in cancer research for women and making your spouse a true partner. We can’t wait to hear how they’ve broken through personal and institutional barriers.

Our take: We’ve talked before about how gender inequality in the workplace can affect business success, and how empowering women in the office can lead to higher levels of productivity. Any and all companies will surely benefit from the findings that come out of this forum. 

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