Thought leadership is an important tool for any organisation seeking to raise its profile, sharpen its competitive strength or to develop a reputation for innovation.
Unfortunately, the reality is that most organisations tout a desire for thought leadership but just rely on empty buzzwords as material. They are not willing to do the hard work to develop genuine thought-leading innovation or to identify and build a detailed story around their real achievements.
The plus side is that if you can demonstrate genuine thought leadership, the opportunities are enormous and there is a great opportunity to differentiate your organisation and attract smart people.
The most basic tool in identifying thought leadership is asking questions. Testing out ideas, challenging them, developing narratives around them, picking up on an initial spark of thought, and then considering how all these pieces can be communicated and how they fit in a competitive environment – these are at the heart of developing successful thought leadership campaigns.
It requires commitment and a willingness to be open-minded. It also requires the ability to craft stories that resonate with your stakeholders and that are fully supported by your organisation.