Thought leadership means different things to different people. In its simplest form, it’s about becoming a trusted source on topics we are passionate about by delivering different perspectives on all questions: New and old.
As the name suggests, thought leadership requires two things:
- Thought. Asking every possible question and igniting the critical-thinking process, which is a prerequisite for asking the right questions.
- Leadership. Writing with passion as an informed opinion leader to become the go-to-person in your area of interest or expertise.
Thought leadership helps us grow
Personally, thought leadership gives me a chance to experiment freely with different ideas while escaping the disciplined and demanding rigor required for operational excellence in my day job.
Thought leadership helps us grow as an individual and learn more about our purpose, which is a reflection of both our passions and imperfections.
More important, it sheds light on our personal path – allowing us to seek what is yet to be discovered through our natural talent and creativity.
Thought leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum
Thought leadership is neither a magic formula nor one that can be rushed or done in a vacuum. One of the main ingredients is a relationship—albeit virtual—that is built (often from scratch) between the thought leader and his/her audience. This process by its nature takes time. And to use an analogy from cooking, you can’t simply crank up the heat in the hopes to reduce the cooking time.
Consistently producing quality content begins the process of building trust—a crucial component of this journey. Each piece that we generate serves as a building block that will later become the foundation on which we would stand.
Bottom line: Thought leadership is about creating opportunities
Generating excitement about topics that are relevant and timely—not just in one business, industry, or niche, but across the entire ecosystem—provides intellectual stimulation to get the process started.
Finding viewpoints and relating them to real-life stories with a new angle—even if they represent a small window for discussion or engagement—gives birth to new opportunities never-before imagined.
Stretching old ideas beyond their traditional boundaries creates new perspectives that can serve as a foundation for others to innovate. This approach inspires conversations that would have been otherwise lost or never started in our fast-paced, smartphone-addicted, multitask-driven culture.
How does thought leadership make a difference in your world? I’d love to hear your perspective!
By Kaan Turnali, EPM Channel Contributor, from: http://turnali.com/blog/what-is-thought-leadership/
As Global Senior Director, Business Intelligence (BI), for SAP’s Global Customer Operations (GCO) Reporting & Analytics Platform, Kaan Turnali is responsible for the development, oversight, and execution of strategy for the BI platform across GCO’s worldwide user base. Prior to joining SAP in 2006, he worked as a senior BI consultant specializing in strategy, design, and development of enterprise BI solutions for SMEs and Fortune 500 companies. His background and experience in the integration of business and technology span over two decades. He is also an adjunct professor, teaching BI in the doctor of business administration program at Wilmington University. See Kaan’s articles on EPM Channel here.