Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Jump Start Your Networking, Entrepreneurs are TLs Too, and We Are All Content

Filed Under Innovation

Big Innovation Needs Big Data
Arwen Heredia

June 19, 2014

This week in thought leadership: super-charging your professional network, acknowledging the value of entrepreneurial ideation, and why if you’re not all about content, you will be soon.

How to Jump-Start Your Networking

From Executive Coaching Concepts:

“The most influential leaders, whether they occupy key positions in various organizations, or are regarded as “thought leaders” in their field, “work” their network in a disciplined manner on a regular basis. When we consider how busy we are with everything we have in our work lives, not to mention our other lives (remember that?), many of us really wonder how they do it.

The pace and severity of change in our world has created a need for a different and expanded way of looking at our work and how we accomplish things. There has been such an explosion of information and a “flattening” of the economic landscape that it requires this network of contacts to understand and develop shared meaning so you can keep up on what’s happening in your field or industry and to keep tabs on current and emerging best practices.”

Our take: The reality of today’s job market is that, unless you’ve got connections, you’d better have an incredible amount of luck or be quite literally at the top of your game. Networking may sometimes be tedious and uncomfortable, but it’s almost always worth it in the end.

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Busting The Corporate Myth: Entrepreneurs Can Be Thought Leaders, Too

From Forbes:

“Thought leaders have been described as individuals who take expertise in subject matter to the next level and become true authorities in their field…[they] do this by constantly listening to what is happening around them, in their local community and wider industry sector, learning what the real stand out issues, the pain points, the challenges are.

Research and read up on trends and seek out trusted sources. Listen to key influencers on LinkedIn LNKD -1.34%, read their blogs, and those of others in your circle of expertise that attract a strong following. Join groups and be active in engaging and conversing with group members; all the while listening to and learning what’s really ‘trending’. Look for opportunities to speak at business events, and offer your services as a panelist for online Q&As, or start up workshops. These are as much a chance to glean valuable insight as they are for you to impart your knowledge and expertise.

Nobody becomes a thought leader overnight. And actually, it isn’t a role that you can choose to become. You are only a thought leader when enough people consider you to be one. It takes time, commitment, and perseverance, to acquire the expert knowledge you need to convince enough people that you do have the authority to lead the thinking. Whether you are the CEO of a listed company, or founder of a digital start-up, it can be done.”

Our take: But wait — aren’t entrepreneurs frequently lauded for their ideation capabilities? Sure, but the devil is in the details. Entrepreneurs may be known for groundbreaking ideas, but that doesn’t necessarily make them experts on a given subject. This piece offers up some great advice for anyone who wants to rise to the top of their chosen field and actually stay there.

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Are We All Content? Why Thought Leadership Marketing Will Turn That No into a Yes

From G2M Solutions:

“Businesses are always looking for innovative ways to gain more traffic and customers online. Tactics range from the now nefarious keyword stuffing to the well-worn buzzword of 2013, ‘content marketing’. Most businesses understand the importance of content. Or should I say, they understand the long-standing phenomenon of creating material for people to consume now known as ‘content marketing’.

Marketers around the world have been incessantly and with increasing force chanting the simple mantra of “create good content” for what now feels like an eternity. However marketers have realised that with all this hype about content marketing and the proliferation of Internet access across societies and devices, we will be hit with a biblical flood of content and the only businesses escaping it will be those who have built great content arks…[The] answer marketers are providing to this deluge is another simple slogan “don’t create good content, create great content”. Or if they are really creative an extension of this is “create a great content brand”.

Beyond these apocalyptic visions and basic incantations remains the question that no one will answer.”

Our take: It’s simply not prudent for business leaders — marketers or no — to ignore the value and efficacy of well-executed content marketing. Though this piece is certainly glib, it makes several excellent points that are actually applicable rather than theoretical, so it’s a great read for anyone who knows what to do but could use a bit of help actually doing it.

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