Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Proving You’re a Thought Leader, Building an Army, and Triggering Innovation

Filed Under Innovation

Arwen Heredia

August 7, 2014

In this week’s thought leadership roundup, we examine how to prove your thought leadership prowess, what it takes to move from individual to corporate TL, and why small, strategic changes can spurn innovation.

Don’t Just Say You’re a Thought Leader, Prove It

From Lynton Web:

“There is no one blog title to get you to being considered the expert. Don’t tell me you’re a thought leader, prove it to me with content, engagement, and strategy.

It takes more than renaming your blog “Thought Leadership” to win the respect of your audience and get them coming to you for industry news and innovative thinking. Everyone can claim to be a thought leader. If you don’t know what’s going on in your industry, then shame on you. So what’s so wrong with touting what you know with a blog title that shows that off? Anyone can include the blog titles “Thought Leadership” or “Industry Insight.” There are no rules on what you call your blog, your navigation, or your resources section. Therefore it negates any impact or relevance of whether you really know your stuff.”

Our take: An old point, but a critical one — simply calling yourself a thing does not, in fact, make you that thing. Otherwise, we’d all be Steve Jobs (or someone similar). Moreover, it takes a great deal more than having an opinion or perspective on a topic to be considered an expert on it, so do your research, interact with your audience, and always stay on top of industry trends.

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Are You Building an Army of Thought Leaders? Move from Individual to Corporate Thought Leadership

From Content Equals Money:

“Corporate thought leadership, while hard to develop and implement, can provide enormous internal and external benefits. When properly executed and fully supported, it can set your business apart from the competition.

Internally – Corporate thought leadership can improve company culture and morale. When done well, it can build trust, enthusiasm, pride, purpose, and loyalty. Think of it like this: wouldn’t you rather work for a company that lets you in on its goals and allows you to participate in furthering it? It shows that your employer trusts you as a person, wants to see you succeed, and needs your help. As a byproduct, they develop employees who are loyal and proud of the work they do.

Externally – From an external point of view, corporate thought leadership has enormous value. It shows brand consistency, industry authority, attention to detail, and pride. Competitors begin to look at your company as the leading figure on thoughts, ideas, and implementation. Customers see your company as head-and-shoulders above the competition. Suppliers want their resources in your hands. Distributors are happy to push your product out. The benefits go on and on.”

Our take: Completely agreed; the foundation of any well-executed, collaborative strategy — whether amongst employees or advocates — involves transparency and consistent communication. Positioning a stakeholder or organization as a go-to resource for any specific subject can’t be done unless trust is built through those types of tactics.

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Triggering Innovation One Strategic Pivot at a Time

From CFO Thought Leader:

“Ever wonder how strategic decisions are made in a venture-backed firm? Join us as Tim shares the entrepreneurial mindset he adopted as a CFO and that he now embraces as a CEO of Ticketleap, a Philadelphia company determined to disrupt the event ticketing business.”

From the podcast: “In the early stages our software that runs on the Web became quite messy and we found ourselves spending 80 percent of our time making certain that things that were already built didn’t break and so this was not a recipe for success. So we made the bold decision to throw out the old platform and rebuild it. Immediately, new customers took a jump up, and now 80 percent of our time is being spent on creating things that are new and innovative rather than making repairs.”

Our take: The full podcast is worth a listen for any company that wants to position themselves as innovative. And isn’t that, well, everyone?

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