Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: The Power of Ideas, Working Anywhere, and What Isn’t Thought Leadership

Filed Under Innovation

Arwen Heredia

May 1, 2014

In this week’s thought leadership roundup, we take a look at Boston’s most notable TLs, Macquarie University’s next thought leadership event, and what The Bloom Group’s Tim Parker has to say about expertise and ownership.

The Power of Ideas: Boston’s New Class of Leaders

From Boston Magazine:

“Ideas have long been Boston’s most powerful export—our thought leaders are driving new developments in everything from technology to energy, culture to politics, education to healthcare. Most recently, a new generation of leaders has begun to collaborate with these innovators to address challenges in the public arena as well. To celebrate this unprecedented convergence of minds, we shine a light on Boston’s new power class: the visionaries, idealists, and thinkers among us whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn, and play—not only here in Boston, but around the world.”

The piece then goes on to cite specific Icons and Visionaries, Fixers, Leaders and Idealists, Tastemakers, Scientists and Thinkers, and Entrepreneurs and Innovators.

Our take: What’s especially valuable here are the many opportunities to see how thought leaders in a variety of positions and industries are taking action to improve their organizations, communities, and the rest of the world. Many of these examples will inspire aspiring TLs, and influence how they develop and apply their own expertise.

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Business As Usual: Mobility and Working Anywhere

From Macquarie University:

“The way we work has changed. Agile working, mobile working, telework, distributed workforces and co-working centres have shifted workplace culture to be more mobile, adaptable and flexible. In this thought provoking event, find out how to harness new technologies and management strategies to improve your corporate plans. Gain a competitive advantage in the corporate and broader business world. Develop new processes around flexible and mobile working. Hear from leaders taking advantage of new approaches to work.

The Macquarie University Thought Leadership Series addresses financial, economic and political challenges, creates a community of thought leaders who engage in intellectual debate around leadership and share Macquarie’s knowledge through collaborating with industry experts. This innovative series by the Faculty of Business and Economics provides cutting edge thinking and ground-breaking ideas.”

Our take: Though this event is taking place in Australia and therefore, not accessible to everyone, those who can attend will be met with an excellent panel of speakers with many years of experience in their respective fields. Plus, it’s always possible a recording will be made available!

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What Isn’t Thought Leadership

From The Bloom Group:

“With thought leadership exploding as the next big thing in B2B marketing, there has been an eruption of punditry offering to define it for us. A search on ‘What is thought leadership?’ returns about 34,000 citations on Google. And it seems a new attempt at definition arrives in my mailbox via Google Alerts every few days. Here’s how one that arrived a couple of weeks ago starts out: The problem is, no one can agree on what thought leadership actually means.

Says who? And what’s going on?

Partly, I’d suggest, that when we attempt to define something we are trying to own it. If your definition becomes the definition, you can lay claim to being the expert. Unfortunately for you and other would-be colonizers of thought-leadership land, the term has been around since Joel Kurtzman coined it 20 years ago. The issue of ownership is moot. So what are all these new definitions bringing us that we didn’t have before?”

Our take: Though this is yet another piece questioning the validity of the term ‘thought leader’ and attempting to clear up its confusing, sudden popularity, what’s unique about this article is that it addresses specific issues, and deftly questions the abundant, ambiguous definitions floating around — thereby positioning the author himself as a thought leader.

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