Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Bare Essentials, Company Culture, and Key Drivers

Filed Under Innovation

3 bulbs blue water
Arwen Heredia

by
June 5, 2014

In this week’s Thought Leadership Roundup, we take a look at why being a thought leader helps your company culture, the bare essentials of effective thought leadership, and five key factors driving various sectors to take up the TL mantle.

Content Marketing: 4 Bare Essentials for Thought Leaders

From Kuno Creative:

“[Though] being a thought leader might seem like a lot of work, the benefits of positioning yourself as one are invaluable, especially in today’s competitive landscape. We live in the age of the self-educated buyer. But how do you think buyers educate themselves? By researching or finding content created by thought leaders.
However, the questions remain: How does one become an “expert” in his or her field and how do they illustrate their expertise? My short answer — content marketing. Now, before you utter something like “I don’t have time to create white papers or blog posts all the time,” let me explain — content marketing doesn’t always have to involve long-form content. In fact, “bite-sized” pieces can drive engagement as well — and are often preferred.”

Our take: Hear, hear on the topic of long-form content! Being engaging — whether you’re trying to sell a new innovation program to your employees, announce a product release to your customers, or simply trying to broaden the reach of your personal or company brand, does not necessarily require tons of narrative. A good rule of thumb? If the message can remain clear and engaging when shortened, it probably should be.

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Why Being a Thought Leader Helps Your Company Culture

From LinkedIn:

“Company culture can be a lifeline for your employees. It can mean the difference between happy, fulfilled, long-term team members and high turnover and low productivity. Some employers spend significant amounts of money improving employee morale with perks or company programs, but you can achieve similar results with thought leadership, which costs you nothing but time and — frankly — is something you should be doing anyway.

The core benefit of a strong, positive company culture is that it inspires positive emotions in employees that, in turn, benefit the entire organization. When done correctly, thought leadership can build:

Trust: When a leader writes about his philosophy, it holds him or her accountable to act it out. What he or she puts in writing can be trusted by employees, giving them a sense of consistency and security. When The Washington Post was purchased by Jeff Bezos, Post employees were understandably concerned that he would implement Amazon’s values, which weren’t necessarily right for The Post. He could have addressed these concerns privately but chose to do it publicly, through content, in order to be held accountable and to put his team at ease.

Excitement: When a company leader is recognized by the community as a thought leader, it gives him or her the opportunity to rally the team behind company ideals. Think of the excitement that results from a presentation at a company retreat regarding industry trends and exciting developments on the horizon. The same excitement can be achieved throughout the year when team members read their leaders’ articles.”

Our take: Most of the time, companies focused on identifying and developing thought leaders are thinking about how this will help business returns and customer growth. However, it’s great to see the perspective turned on its head — after all, employee engagement plays a huge role in the success of every aspect the company, from turnover to ROI.

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5 Factors Driving Many Sectors to Thought Leadership

From Bloom Group:

“By a number of metrics, running a profitable business today is much more complex than it was 50 years ago. One reason is the impact of information technology. Using U.S. Department of Commerce data, Forrester Research says that the ratio of IT investments to Gross Domestic Product in the U.S. has risen from less than 1% in the 1960s and ‘70s, to more than 3% today. IT has changed the way companies design and run their business processes, and digital technologies are now forcing many companies to rethink their basic business strategies and even business models. In an age of such profound complexity, executives gravitate toward people with clear, substantiated ideas about how to run their businesses better – ideas that create coherence out of chaos. Real thought leadership does exactly that.”

Our take: As purveyors of a platform that is specifically designed to bring coherence out of chaos, it’s more than refreshing to see that industry leaders are taking this approach from the inside out.

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