How To Transition from Expert to Thought Leader


Uploaded by TexasCIE on 15.08.2012

Transcript:
Hi everyone.
This is Anne Gibson from the Professional Development Center at the University of Texas
at Austin. I hope everybody can hear me. I'm pleased
to have all of you here for our latest webinar, 'How to Transition
From Expert to Thought Leader', presented by our instructor, Dr.
Liz Alexander. And we also have our Senior Program Coordinator,
Veronica Phillips, here to answer any questions you guys might have at the end
of the presentation. Dr. Alexander is an
internationally experienced Communications Professional, who's
strategic focus blends together marketing, storytelling principals
and professional development. Over the past
25 years she has brought her creativity and business acumen to
bear on projects for organizations as diverse as
the British Government Appeals Service, Cafe Pacific Airways,
Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas and the Environmental Protection
Agency. She earned her Ph.D in Educational Psychology
from the University of Texas at Austin. And if you guys have questions
throughout the presentation, please just send them to us using
the question feature in your control panel and we'll
answer as many as we can during the Q&A period after the
presentation. And with that I'll hand it over to you, Liz.
Liz Alexander: Thanks, Anne. And thanks to all of you, not just for registering for this webinar, but also
for making it a priority to attend. As Woody Allen once
said, 80% of success is showing up. So it's wonderful
to know I have so many successful people on this call
and we've got about 20% wiggle room to work with so that you can become even more
successful not least when others endow you with the title of
thought leader. Now when Anne emailed me to let me know that registrations
for this webinar were in record numbers, she made the point
that Thought Leadership must be a hot topic right now. And
indeed it is. But here's the beauty of attending this webinar for you,
thought leadership is frequently done really poorly.
So my goal today is to offer you some perspectives, ideas
and resources with which you can be the exception to the
rule. So in this webinar you are going to discover what
thought leadership really is. Why it's important to
individual consultants in organizations these days? And what
you need to have in place strategically to do thought leadership well.
Now you are probably aware that I offer the Strategic Communication
Certificate Program here at PDC, and if not, we'll be
telling you more about that at the end of the webinar. So I hope it
doesn't suprise you to discover that this webinar focuses on
strategy, not tactics. I'm giving you an
overview of what to think about with respect to setting up a thought
leadership campaign, not outlining the day to day activities
you need to take to make it happen. Anyway, we'll discuss more about
the importance of taking a strategic focus later in the webinar.
But before I do anything else, let me give you a brief overview
of where the concept of thought leadership came from.
Have you ever wondered who comes up with some of the new terms
we hear now a days, like disruptive innovation or
permission marketing, or in this case, thought leadership? Well,
let me introduce you to the Joel Kurtzman, who coined the term
that lies at the core of this presentation. He's not just someone
who interviews the people he collectively named thought leaders, he's actually
quite a luminary himself, as you can see from the box to the right
of the picture, which lists some of his acheivements. And don't you think he looks
rather like someone's favorite uncle or a kindly grandfather?
But as Editor in Cheif of booz&co's
publication, Strategy and Business, he coined the term,
Thought Leaders, to describe the visionary and inspiring business leaders
and thinkers that he'd invited to be part of a special interview series
that was published in the late 1990's.
So who were some of these early thought leaders? Well, if you read Kurtzman's
book of the same name, which is 'Thought Leaders: Insights
on the Future of Business', you'll find listed six professors
including Charles Handy, Warren Bennis, and Gary
Hamel, five internationally renouned chairman, Presidents
and CEO's of global organizations, such as, Minoru
Makihara of the Mitsubishi Corporation and John Chambers
of Cisco Systems as well as the Chief Economist of Deutsche
Bank. And yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Where
are the women? Well, maybe if Mr. Kurtzman were conducting a similar
series today, he would include Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard
for her thinking around Change Leadership and Leadership in the Digital
Age. Charlene Li, who is co-author of one of my favorite
business books, Groundswell. And he might even add
entrepreneur and philanthropist, Esther Dyson, who is
associated with innovative health technolgy and pre-emptive healthcare.
So, we've heard the names of some high profile thought
leaders, but what'd they actually do to merit that term?
Well, Kurtzman's original concept for thought leadership
was to highlight people with ideas that merited attention, simple as
that. And here on this slide are some of the big concerns
that folks were talking about. What the original thought leaders
were doing was providing profound insights into how
managers could position their companies to differentiate themselves
and maintain a competitive advantage. Now remember, at
the dawn of the millenium, the business world was becoming increasingly
more uncertain. Products and services seemed interchangable.
It was becoming harder for brands to carve unique niches.
Business leaders and managers needed guidance, not just about
how to anticipate what was likely to come around the corner.
They wanted to learn how to shape the future and be proactive
not just reactive. And who could provide such
insights, but the remarkable thinkers and innovators now
known as thought leaders. Well, that
was then, this is now. In the intervening 15 years or so, the concept
of thought leadership has evolved and it seems not everyone agrees
on what it means anymore. So here are three numbers,
one is the number of current definitions being suggested for the concept
of marketing, one is the number of definitions
for PR and one is the number of definitions out there for thought leadership.
So while I go through the agenda, which do you think
it is? Are there something like 72 definitions,
31 definitions or 21 definitions of thought leadership
today? Now while you are pondering that, let me
share how I've organized the material for this webinar in three
parts. In part one, I am going to outline the core
characteristics of thought leadership and run briefly through some of the challenges
and controversies associated with it. In order to
help us make sense of the title of this webinar, 'How to
Transition from Expert to Thought Leader'. And the
purpose of this part of my presentation is to set a context
upon which to build our understanding of the topic. In part
two, I'm offering you two examples of thought leadership. One
B to C example by an organization and one B to B
example by an individual to show you what effective thought
leadership looks like. Then in part
3, I want to show you what is involved in taking a strategic approach
and how best to prepare yourself before you start to design
and execute your own thought leadership campaign.
And in this part I'll be referencing some of the material I cover in my
Strategic Communication Certificate Program. I've also got
some resources to share with you that will help you build on the foundational
thinking prompted by today's webinar and these include my
forthcoming book, 'Thought Leadership Tweet: 140
Prompts for Designing and Executing an Effective
Thought Leadership Campaign', which will be published either at the end of September
or at least by mid October. And I've also compiled a free
fact sheet that I will send to anyone who emails me
and lists the additional web links, articles and other materials that I'll be
referencing. And I will share details of how to access those resources
at the end of the webinar. But just to be clear
this is not a webinar about tactics. My focus today is
to alert you to the key reason why most thought leadership
activities fail to hit the mark. Because strategy is
overlooked in favor of, let's do something and do it quickly.
But more of that later. Let's kick off part one with that question
that I asked you just a few moments ago.
As you can see here, many people have determined their own meaning
of thought leadership to the extent that one online sources claims
to have found 21 different definitions and
that's not a complete list by any means.
But what's most important to us today is not the different
ways that people choose to define thought leadership, but what these definitions
have in common. What I've found is that there
are three broad categories implied in each one.
Thought leadership is about having innovative ideas
that are relevant to the market and are actionable
in that the target audience can do something with those
ideas to either differentiate themselves if its the B
to B space or become more engaged with the brand
if you are talking about customers, consumers. So
let's look at one definition that reflects all three of these core
components of thought leadership. And it's this one from
Jeff Ernst, of Forrester Research, who is an expert I hugely respect,
and he basically says, thought leadership is the process of formulating
big ideas and insightful points of view on the issues your
buyers face. Capturing those ideas in multiple content
vehicles and sharing the ideas with prospects and customers
to enlighten them, engage them in a dialogue and position
your company as a trusted resource.
Now when he talks about big ideas and insightful points of view, he really
means approaches that are innovative. But what does he mean by
multiple content vehicles. Well, just that your thought
leading point of view could be showcased in a video, a white paper
a webinar, a fact sheet, who knows what? You need to
figure out what is the most relevant approach designed by your
market. And one of the points I stress in my strategic communication
course is, is that you have to go where your market conversations
are already taking place. And that includes sharing
your ideas across social media platforms and in formats
that your audience wants, not just what you think they want or
have always done. And when you engage
people, surely you inspire them to take action, which they
will certainly be doing when they perceive you as a trusted resource.
Well, you may be wondering, well, how is that different
from being an expert? I mean, why did I title this webinar
'How to Transition from Expert to Thought Leader'?
Well, I read an eastern fable the other day that reminded me of the
mindset of many experts and the story went something like this..
So this frog that has never lived or visited any
where other then the well in which he resides. One day a different
frog whose home was in the sea but who liked to venture to new places regularly
to keep life interesting and adventuresome wondered by.
"Who are you? Where do you live?" Said the frog in the well.
"I'm so and so, and my home is in the sea." Said the traveling frog.
"The sea? What is that? Where is that?" Asked the
frog in the well. "It is a very large body of water and not
far away", replied the visitor. "How big is your sea?"
"Oh, very big." Came the response. "As big as this?"
Said the frog in the well, pointing to a little stone lying nearby.
"Oh, much bigger!" "As big as this then?" said the
well frog, pointing to the board upon which he was sitting. "Oh, much
bigger!" "How much bigger then?" "Well," said the traveling
frog, "the sea in which I live is bigger then your entire
well. In fact it would fill millions of wells such as yours."
"Nonsense, nonsense! You are a deceiver and a falsifier!
Get out of my well. I want nothing to do with any such
frogs as you!" Said the first frog, jumping back into his well and
diving so deep he could not be reached. Now, doesn't
the frog living in the well sound a little bit like some of the experts
we know? You know, the one's whose reputations indeed
entire careers, have been built on a particular approach or thin slice
of knowledge, their well. And who are reluctant to
think differently about their expert topic. You see this is
why I don't use the terms experts and thought leader, synonomously.
Because being a thought leader is less about what you know, and more about
what you are prepared to discover. So
while experts reside in wells; thought leaders
live in the sea and wonder outside of it occassionally.
Because you are never going to discover anything new if you are always
trying to defend your existing position. And the very thinking
that enables someone to create a domain of expertise
might not be the right kind of thinking needed to see a business or
problem in a whole new way or even redefine the kind of problem
that your customers or clients need to be addressing for
tomorrow. So what else is challenging or
controversal about thought leadership? Well, is
thought leadership synonomous with content creation? Not in my book.
I see the difference between these two as rather like writing
an original research paper for an academic journal or
writing a meta analysis article. In the first instance, it's
your unique approach that's being showcased. In the
second, you're pretty much collecting and commenting on others
ideas. Now, I am not saying that curating others
content isn't a valuable activity and often times, do
doing this can lead you to discover your unique thought leadership
point of view. But these two approaches should not be confused
with one another. Do organizations
need a chief thought leadership officer? Good heavens,
no. You see this risks thought leadership becoming
systemitized, sanitized and siloed. It
goes back to what I said about experts. If you think that only one person
or a single department should be responsible for your thought leadership,
then you are losing out on the diverse perspectives
that are vital to doing thought leadership well. And as I'll stress
in part 3 of this webinar, good thought leadership is
viewed as a culture based initiative, not something that
marketing or PR does in order to boost lagging sales.
By the way on the fact sheets I prepared for you
there are some links to books and articles that talk about why
none experts are so much better at disruptive innovation
and innovative thinking then experts are.
Here's another point I'd like to make, which is that, like beauty,
thought leadership is in the eye of the beholder. It's only when
you're granted that status by your market, your peers, or the media
does it make any real sense to use that term.
Now, it's quite exceptable to call ourselves experts as though our
qualifications, experience or positions likely support that, but I actually
think it's pretentious for anyone to go around calling themselves a
thought leader. Leave other people to say that about you.
Once you've shared ideas with them that are innovative, relevant
and actionable. And the third
challenge I would like you to consider, concerns your underlying motivation
for undertaking a thought leadership campaign. You see,
for those who think it's just about making money for you or your organization
here's why I say no to that. In fact, I took issue with
some contributors on Forbes.com around this topic recently.
Because part of their definition of a thought leader was an
individual or firm that significantly profits
from being recognized as such. Now certainly, if you do thought
leadership well, you become the go to source for the media
as well as, perspective and current clients. And that will likely
lead to increased sales, revenues and profitability.
But it shouldn't be the reason why you engage in thought leadership
in the first place. And again an analogy might be helpful
here. I was reading an inteview with Veronica Roth, a young
adult novelist, who, when asked about how aspiring authors could
acheive similar success, because she's the number one New York Times
Best Selling Author, said, want something
else more than success. Success is a lovely thing
but your desire to say something shouldn't rely on it.
And you know, I think the same holds true for thought leadership.
Do it because being in service to your clients and customers -
it's the right thing to do. Do it because
it helps you grow as an individual or an organization.
Don't do it just because you think it's all about selling
more stuff. So to round
off part one and lead us into our first poll, let me share this quote
from our upcoming book, Thought Leadership Tweet.
"Thought leaders advance the marketplace of ideas by proposing
actionable, commercially relevant researched-backed,
new points of view. They engage in and showcase
innovative thinking as opposed to churning out product
focused, brand centric white papers or curated
content that mimic others ideas."
Now Anne, would you please launch the first poll for us?
Anne Gibson: Sure. Okay, I am going to launch that
for you guys right now. And I'll give you guys about 10 or 12
seconds to vote here and then I will share it with everybody.






Okay, and I'll give you guys just a few more seconds.



Okay, I am going to close
that. And I'll share it with you guys.
So, 4% of you
said marketing department. 4% said
communications or PR, 2% said
an individual designated as cheif thought leadership officer
and 82% said the entire organization and 18%
said Senior Management. LA: Fantastic! The majority
wins, definitely. That would definitely be what
I would plum for and when we go to part three
when we're talking about culture and how to align
a thought leadership campaign, then definitely you want to be drawing
on a lot of different perspectives. So
fantastic, yes, D definitely wins out there.
So here's the summary of what we covered in part one
which actually I don't need to go through, I'll leave you to review that later.
So let's now move on to part two and the two examples of
thought leadership in action that I promised you.
Now I hope this picture of partly clothed women isn't distressing to anyone, but
if you are familiar with Dove's campaign for real beauty,
you'll have seen images like this associated with that brand
on the internet or in magazines. Now here's a revelation.
Beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety.
Now wouldn't you agree that beauty is an anxiety
producing issue for many these days. And it appears not just women.
You know I looked at the cover shot of Alec Baldwin on
Vanity Fair's August issue and thought, give me a break.
I mean the man is 55 years old, yet that cover photo
shows him with jet black hair, with a line on his face.
I mean he resembles a slightly plumper Alec Baldwin then the
one who starred in the Hunt for Red October, a movie that came out
22 years ago. I mean who are they kidding? He was definitely airbrushed
and photoshopped. So yes, I think it's refreshing
to see a company known for beauty products owning up to the fact
that the images we see in advertisements and other media are not
the ones we look at in our mirrors. So
what makes Dove's campaign for real beauty thought
leadership in the B to C space? Well back in
2004, when the campaign was first launched, the
approach was definitely forward looking. I mean, it's distinctive in terms of
promoting awareness of how unrealistic perceptions of beauty
are created. And I actually find it inspiring, don't you?
Because I think it's more relevant to what most of us are thinking
on the body image issue. Plus, it's credible because
it's backed by research not just the company's opinion.
And it's a dialogue, not a monologue. It
invites consumers to help shape the campaign and
contribute real life perspective. So let's
see how Dove's campaign for real beauty maps onto our earlier
list of core characteristics of thought leadership.
You can see they are taking a unique perspective. You know, they're
discovering new approaches to engage their market. They're
asking big questions, they're dealing with issues. It's brand agnostic.
You know, there might be the Dove brand there, but they're not
always talking about their product. So I think it shows a deep understanding
of the market needs which gives them a competitive advantage
and a course for others to follow.
And if this is something you're interested in looking into further, you might visit
the website and I've included that URL on the fact sheet I've mentioned.
And having looked at the example of organizational
thought leadership, let me bring this section to a close with another
example. This time of an individual business
to business thought leader. Now just recently I came across
a press release about this lady, Sonia Sroka, and forgive
me if I'm not pronouncing that properly, who is a Senior Vice
President and Director of Hispanic Marketing at global
communications company, Porter Novelli.
Now she was recently named one of industry magazine, PR Week's
40 Most Influential People under the age of 40.
And in her case, well, let's take a look at what the
acting CEO of the firm had to say about her.
"Sonia Sroka has established herself as a vocal advocate
in the industry, both as a Hispanic marketing
leader and proponent of the business imperitive of
diversity and inclusion. Early on she understood the power
of the $1 trillion dollar U.S. Hispanic market
and it's importance to clients. Further, she offers deep
expertise and insight into how to navigate the delicate
balance between assimilation and cultural preservation
within the Hispanic community." So has this VP
helped build the business for Porter Novelli? Absolutely.
And she did it by introducing their clients to a market that
other people were ignoring. Not just that, one of the partners in
the firm was quoted as saying, "Sonia has built our
diversity programming from the ground up into an award winning
and industry recognized standard." So there's not just
thinking going on, there's action being taken, too.
So again, let's look at those acheivements against our
poor characteristics of thought leadership. Futuristic?
Absolutely! What did they say? Nobody else was looking at this market.
She could see that this was going to be important. So she
pointed out what was invisible to others. Taking
into account the needs of their stake holders, which in this case, are Porter
Novelli's clients. She's educating, inform and
inspiring them, showing a deep understanding of other needs,
making Porter Novelli different, differentiating themselves
in the market and also fermenting change.
So I hope you can see that theres a strong fit here with what
we talked about earlier. And so now let's turn to another pole, because
what I'd like to do is discover what your focus is in
coming to the webinar. Is it on organizational thought leadership?
Or your individual thought leadership? Anne, could you launch that next
poll for us, please. AG: Sure, I'm going to launch that
now. Give you guys about 10 or 12 seconds.








I'll give you just a few more seconds.
And I meant to put other interests not captured by
A, B, C or D. Not just A, B, C.
LA: No, I think that's okay. AG: Yeah, I
think you guys get the jist of it. Okay, I am going to close the poll
and share it with you guys.
So 11% of you said that you
were interested in designing a thought leadership campaign. And 10% said and
executing. 18% said you would like
others to recognize you as a thought leader. And 85%
expressed interest in both organizational
and personal.. LA: Oh, well that's excellent!
AG: Yeah, that's a lot. And 7% said other interests.
And just in case any of you guys are wondering
why these percentages add up to more then a 100, I think you guys
are able to vote on more than one. So...
LA: Usually the case. AG: But, yeah, somebody asked me
about that. So.. LA: And again, that's wonderful. Yes, you can help
your company, your organization to design and execute
a thought leadership campaign, but I think it's nice to be able
to take on board, as Sonia Sroka did, an
activity for which you are seen to be the thought leader
in your space. So again I think this summary of
part two pretty much speaks for itself. So let's move on to the final
part of this webinar, where we consider the strategic factors
that need to be in place for your thought leadership efforts to be
effective. And in order to guard against your thought leadership campaign
becoming just another marketing ploy, it has to be about
issues, not your products and services. You see, to be
successful, your thougth leadership point of view needs to address what your current
or perspective clients and customers care about. So it's not
as we've said before about your need to shift more products or services.
And before I get to this quote, let's just
refresh our memories because we are going to talking about strategy and I think we need to
look at what we mean by strategy because like marketing, PR, and
thought leadership, there are a lot of different ideas going around as to what that concept
means. And I am indebted to the author of a book entitled,
'Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and
Why it Matters', for pointing out that just because you are adopting a
strategic perspective that doesn't mean it's good strategy.
I think you pronounce his name Richard Rumelt.
R-U-M-E-L-T, but he defines
strategy as the craft of figuring out which
purposes are both worth pursuing and capable of being
accomplished. And that starts, he says, by diagnosing
or defining the situation in which you find yourself.
So let's consider that in the light of this quote from out forth coming book,
which is essentially saying that in order to prepare
yourself effectively for thought leadership, you need to diagnose
whether or not you have the right cultural environment for innovative
thinking to flourish. You need to determine that your thought
leadership strategy aligns with and advances the bigger picture
goals of your organization and you need to make sure that
you've got the right people on the bus. And here's
where I want to align this presentation with material you'll be
exposed to in my Strategic Communication Certificate Program
courses including this model, that I introduced in the Toolbox
course. It's meant to help insure that you have all your
ducks in a row in order to communicate strategically
and effectively. So let's address the first two rungs
of that model in this way. Infrastructure
and goals. So let's turn to the first one
labeled, infrastructure, which in this case refers to
corporate culture. You see, I think an important part
of the self diagnosis of any organization prior to
embarking on a thought leadership initiative involves addressing the
extent to which you are culturally inclined
towards innovative thinking. For example, I wonder if any of you read
the article in July's Vanity Fair, entitled, "Microsoft's
Lost Decade", in which they talked about the cannibalistic
culture operating under Steve Ballmer's leadership
and how systems like stack ranking, and I quote,
"effectively crippled Microsoft's ability to
innovate". Likewise, if you're fending off so many perceived
enemies within and your management is encouraging more
competition between teams, departments or divisions, then it is
competing with outsiders, then cross functional cooperation is
not going to take place. Ideas are not going to spread
and your thought leadership strategy will be dead in the water.
Now the book I mentioned earlier that I co-authored with Craig
Badings of thoughtleadershipstrategy.net in Sydney, Austrailia,
offers 140 prompts or questions that aspiring
thought leading organizations and individuals need to ask themselves
around 6 stages or C. And one of my favorite prompts
in the section entitled, 'What does it take to become a thought leader?', is
this one: do you admire the late, great
Steve Jobs, but no way in hell would hire anyone
like him? Do innovators thrive or die
in your culture? Now let's step up to the next rung of
that model I showed you earlier to reveal your blue sky
or bigger picture goals. One of the case studys we talk about
in our book concerns the consulting firm, booz&co,
who pushed the magazine strategy and business I refered to at the opening of
the webinar. Every year since 2005, they
have conducted a study called the global innovation
1000, that shares insights with their target market
around what makes for a successful innovative company. And Tom Peters has
called this study series, 'the most comprehensive assessment
of the relationship between R&D investments and corporate
performance.' Now why does booz&co do this?
Well, they want to be know as D - goes to source on innovation,
which drives media coverage, which in turn raises
the profile of its consulting business and secures speaking engagements
all of which helps them attract new clients and retain
existing ones. They know who they are.
They know what they want and how being known for their thought leadership
point of view can help them acheive their strategic
objectives. So you, too, need to think about these cultural
and strategic issues before embarking on your thought leadership
campaign. Otherwise, it's likely to turn into nothing more then plain
vanilla product or brand marketing.
So let me refresh your memory with the model again. Now you are probably
asking yourself at this point, where do I discover this
elusive thought leadership point of view? And
here the key word is, indeed, 'discover', not
'determine' or 'decide upon'. You see, here's where we move up
the model to consider the target audience and the importance
of conducting research. Because there's no point in delivering
thought leadership content that is of no interest or value
to the people you want to communicate with and influence or lead.
You know, I like what Jeff Ernst of Forrester
Research says about how thought leadership helps companys and individuals
differentiate themselves. You see he points to something that those of us
who are not operating as monopolies should always remember.
That our clients or customers aren't buying our products
or services, they are buying into how we
solve one or more problems that are important to them.
And in a world where trustworthyness is becoming harder to come by,
people are looking for research backed brand agnostic approaches
that match their value. Which brings me to the third
of those elements I talked about earlier, having the right people on the
bus to drive your thought leadership initiative.
I mean, do you have the necessary talent, either in your organization
or within your network to do this? Might you
partner with research institutions like IT or specialist
consultants who can design and carry out an effective research
study for you. Because discovering your unique
thought leadership white space involves listening
to your market or target audience to learn what is important to them.
What conversations are going on and how might you reframe
them? What opportunities exist to shift those conversations?
So that you are opening up a whole new avenue of thinking that
no one has considered before. And you also
need to research what your competitors and other people are saying to discover
if someone has already claimed the point of view that you're
interested in developing. Then you need people who
are insightful enough to draw the right inferences
from research data you've collected. And only when you've done some deep
hard thinking, is it likely that you will stumble across or
discover the ah-ha moment when your thought
leadership position becomes obvious. Now does that
sound challenging? Well, take heart from what George Bernard
Shaw said, who was quoted as saying,
"Few people think more then 2 or 3 times a year.
I have made an international reputation for myself by
thinking once or twice a week." And luckily for you,
we've done a lot of the preparatory thinking for you in our book, 'Thought Leadership
Tweet', so that you'll have the right questions to think about in the first
place. But when it comes to people, I'd say the more
you invite diverse perspectives to look at the issue
you're considering tackling, the quicker your thought leadership point of view
will become apparent. And the key is to
think differently. Thought leadership isn't about
rehashing existing ways of looking at your industry or your clients problems
in the way that you always have. And you know, sometimes you have to go
to different departments or ask people within your organization
that never have a voice around these kinds of things
and find out what their perspective is. And very often they have
ideas that would take you down a very interesting thought leadership
route. And then finally we get to the tacticle stuff
and these are the formats you select for your various thought leadership
communications and the channels through which you distribute them. And not
least, you need to know how to tell a good engaging story,
which is a topic we address in depth in my course entitled,
'Communicating Complex Ideas: The Power of Storytelling'.
And again that's part of the Strategic Communication Certificate Program.
Because you don't want to go to all the efforts of coming up with a compelling thought
leadership approach only to turn people off because of the way your
sharing your material is boring. So
here is a point I reinforced time and again throughout my courses
and that is that communicating strategically involves the need
to shift from talking to different stakeholders and audiences
to talking with them in order to acheive
specific business related goals. And that brings
me to my final point that relates to another of my courses,
'Measuring the Effectiveness of Strategic Communication.'
Now this is an aspect of thought leadership that, unfortunately, many organizations
think about too late in a campaign or when they do they end up
measuring the wrong thing. Now we don't have time to go into this
in any great detail but here are some highlights you will learn from my measurement
course. And the first one is when and how to measure
impact because, yes, it's important to measure how many people
were exposed to your thought leadership contents and the extent to which they're talking about
and spreading those ideas. But what you're looking for, ideally,
is what changed as a consequence of others following
your thought leadership point of view. Think, for example, how
Porter Novelli's focus on the U.S. Hispanic market has positively
impacted the way their clients now interact with that market.
And think, too, about the impact the Dove campaign is having
in terms of engaging consumers in ongoing conversations
about what is real beauty. So impact
is about much more than counting the number of people who have liked
you facebook page. So let's take a look at point number
4 and you may have heard the phrase before 'data rich,
but insight poor', which effectively means you've measured a lot of
stuff, none of which helps you understand, control or
improve your campaign. And again it's back to having the right people on
the bus, but you have to give them relevant data to analyze
in the first instance. And with respect to points 5 and
6 here, you have to set in place ways to measure the impact
of your thought leadership campaign and monitor that at the out
set so that you can make incremental modifications as you go.
You want to know whether these conversations you're provoking are moving
in the direction you'd anticipated. Or if you are able to
act and capitalize on an exciting new direction that's
opened up that you just didn't expect. So
there are so many benefits to designing and executing a thought leadership campaign
if you have the discipline and resources to handle
this effectively. And of course there is so much more I can share with you around this
topic but our time is pretty much running out. So, I think its time for our last
poll question. And Anne, can I hand this over to you? AG: Sure.
I'll launch that. And again, I will give you guys about 10 seconds.
So what do you consider
the biggest benefit of this thought leadership approach?









Okay and I'm going to close that and I'll share it with you guys.

So, 16% of you said provoking need
for deeper thinking to stimulate innovation. 10% said
assessing - accessing, sorry, accessing otherwise
latent insights across our organization. 3% said
differentiating ourselves from our competitors. 11% of you
said promoting greater trust with perspective and current clients
and 76% said all of the above. LA: Yeah,
absolutely because you do get all of those benefits and a lot more
when you do thought leadership well. You
know, I know how easy it is to just - to want to jump to tactics; to want to
address the how and to take some action before you've even begun
to answer the why or what questions. But if you don't shine a spotlight
on those strategic issues first, then you are not going to succeed
with your thought leadership efforts, and there is a lot to consider, which as I said
earlier, is why Craig and I have done a lot of the preliminary thinking
for you. And this book that I mentioned, our book, will published
in, I think about another 6 weeks or so, and can be ordered from
the website listed here, the thinkaha.com, where you can
reserve your copies in advance. And I should mention that in the appendix,
there's a thought leadership blueprint that will walk you through step-by-step
everything you need to put in place a strategically effective
thought leadership campaign. And the book has been
thankfully reviewed and endorsed by 10 or so global thought leadership experts
and it's concise enough that you can read it cover-to-cover in an hour or
less. But its real value is in insuring you address
everything necessary for developing a thought leadership approach
that will help you become the go-to source for clients,
prospects and the media around your choosen topics.
And if you'd like to send me an email to the address listed here, info
@drlizalexander.com, I'll be very happy to send you the
fact sheet listing additional resources and all the articles,
books and other things I mentioned during this webinar. If you just put
thought leadership fact sheet in the subject line so that we can find the
emails easily. And of course, I do hope to meet
you in person at one or all of our upcoming Strategic Communication
Certificate Program courses and Veronica will have the upcoming
dates for you at the end of our session. Let me just
wrap it up here by saying if you are wondering if its worth
the investment to come on that certificate program
then let me share a couple of quotes from recent attendees.
Toolbox course, Samantha Pollard said,"I've never walked away
from a class as excited to put my new knowledge to use. It was
hands down the most useful class I've taken in my professional
career." And Corey Price, who earned the very first certificate for
the entire program said, "This Strategic Communications course was
exactly what I was looking for - focused, concise instruction
on how to move communications forward in today's high
ly connected world." And Patty Cassell says,
"I have struggled with good communications my entire career.
But I am not intimidated by it nearly as much after just
one class with Liz." So on that high note let me pass it back
to you, Anne and Veronica, and I gather you have been collecting questions thoughout
the webinar, so I don't know whether you want to address some of those now.
AG: I do have a couple of questions and anybody that
is listening, if you guys have questions, just please send them to me
using your control panel if you can type them
to me and I will ask Liz for you.
So, somebody is asking me and I think, I don't know
if you covered this in the beginning, but who are some of your favorite thought leaders, Liz?
LA: Ah, now that's a very good question.
I am very impressed
by the two folks that wrote Blue
Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim
and Renée Mauborgne, I think you pronounce it, it's a french
name. It's a book that's published by Harvard Business Press
and it's how to create uncontested market space and make the
competition irrelevant. I just love that book and I
think it's just such a clever way of looking
at, you know, how we can differentiate ourselves. So those two
out from INSEAD, which is a business school in
France, are two of my favorites. So I hope that's.. but
yes, there's a lot of great people out there and if
I'll tell you somebody else that I'm very impressed with. There's a U.K.
company called sourceforconsulting.com and again this will be
on the fact sheet if you are interested. And they
do a lot of work around highlighting
consultants, people in the consulting space, and who are the major
thought leaders there. And I think the last time they produced
that list, the number one was the Boston Consulting Group.
And here's an idea for you, you know, because sometimes what people will say
you know, I'm - we're a small organization or you know,
we were worried about keep thinking the same things where do we
for a fresh approach? You see, what the Boston Consulting Group have
is this initiative called BCG Seller.
So they've got 18 accomplished thinkers and doers and actually what they're
doing is a kind of cross functional disciplinary effort
where they are pulling in all these specialists from all their,
you know, the different BCG offices around the globe.
So you could copy something like that, I mean if
you don't have the talent and you're not a global
consulting firm, you know, you can go outside to maybe set
up something like a BCG fellows initiative.
You know, where you are pulling in experts from U.T. or consultants
for hire, or what have you. So its definitely worth looking at
that site, sourceforconsulting.com.
You get a lot of ideas about who's saying some really cool things now a days.
AG: Okay, and I have another question
from Amy, she says well the book, the Thought Leadership
Tweet, be valuable for an individual interested for being recognized
as a thought leader? LA: Oh, absolutely, totally. And because
you see, the same prompts the same questions that you would need to ask
organizationally, then you also need to know and ask yourself
as an individual. And I have gone back to the previous slide
so that you can see what we cover here. So we talk about,
you know, what is the foundational approach. What, you know, what do you need
to put in play? How do you create impact? What do you need to be thinking
about in order to measure your impact effectively?
You know, how do you do research? How can you use content
creation or curation, rather, to help
inform your thought leadership point of view? How do you
create or come up with this unique point of view and then
how do you execute on that? How do you manage
communication strategy? So yes, the book is
valuable both for organizations and for individuals.
AG: Okay, and then I have another question, which I think this is a really good question because
I think this is a problem that a lot of people may be able to
relate to from Elizabeth, but she says, I work for large companies
that is risk averse, which translates into a feeling by some
employees that we are simply marching in place. As a
mid level employee, how should I present your materials to leadership.
We desperately need innovation - innovative thought
and action? LA: That is a terrific question, Elizabeth, and
thank you for bringing that. And you know, here's what I think. It's all very well
telling people, but I think if you show them examples
of thought leadership in action and let the senior management
kind of absorb themselves what it takes.
So for example, a couple of resources, go buy that book,
'Thought Leaders: Insights on the Future of Business', that Joel
Kurtzman edited. It's published by Jossey-Bass.
And in there you'll find, for example, all these interviews
by the various thought leaders, one of which is John
Chambers, and he talks about the challenges
that his obviously very large organization, were being faced
with and what they had to do in order to
shape the future of their industry, rather than just following on.
So I think in addition to maybe sharing
some of the, you know, the slides here, just
point out to them that these books, these resources are available.
These organizations are making huge strides, again,
with the consulting list that sourceforconsulting.com
puts out. And you'll begin to see, Elizabeth, that there are
very distinct things that these thought leaders do. And
being risk averse is not one of them. In fact, they
embrace the risk, but they do it in a strategically smart
way. So, I would find as many examples
as you can and look for opportunities to present that
material to show rather then tell the advantage
of doing thought leadership and doing it well. AG: Great.
Great answer, Liz. And Elizabeth, you were asking
if you can download the slides. I sent out the powerpoint presentation
in a pdf. to everyone this morning, but I will send it out
again when we send out Liz's fact sheet
to all you guys. So I will send that out when we are done. But I do have a couple of
other questions that I want to get to while we have time. One is from
Samuel, and he says, what if the company you work for is too
profit oriented to take the time to implement a thorough strategy
even though they want one. How can I
convince them not to do a half hearted job? LA: Well,
yes, exactly. And again, I think if you go and you
put out a google alert for thought leadership, you will see
lots of examples of folks who really are not getting
it. I mean, they just don't see that thought leadership isn't
the same as content curation. And again, a little bit like
the response that I gave to Elizabeth, I think the examples
help a hugh amount. I mean for example,
sourceforconsulting, they put out a report a while ago
in which they said, thought leadership is becoming a two tier market.
Okay, so the top tier, the ones that are doing this
well and are reaping the benefits, which for a profit
oriented company, I would think would be of interest, they
take greater risk. They've invested more time, effort and money.
They use new channels and tools effectively. They're
researching an issue, you know, deep diving on that and owning it.
And they're producing these thought provoking reports and conclusions.
What do the poor people do? What of the ones that are not, you know, the lowest
here? They are interested in quantity over quality.
They play it safe. They spread themselves too thin, by being thought leaders about
you know, 20 or 25 different ideas, rather than just
being known for one thing. You know, they are short on data, they don't go
to the trouble of doing the research and they come up
with predictable conclusions. So, that report basically
said the distance between a nearly good and exceptional
thought leadership is growing. But there are
definite benefits from doing thought leadership well and
being part of the top tier. So again, I would look for resources
such as I have mentioned, and I hope you will email me for that fact sheet
and then present, this is what makes the difference.
And if you are going to do it in a half hearted way,
you know, really you are just wasting - you're wasting time and you're wasting money.
But it can be done well, and it doesn't have to
in the initial stages cost a huge amount. Take
a small.. do a small pilot project for example.
I mean where would be the harm doing that. And then measuring
what the impact of that is and then maybe deciding, we'll throw
some more resources and investments into thought leadership.
AG: Okay, wonderful.
And let's see, Jason is wondering, does the certificate
program include more tactical information? Does it
address establishing thought leadership with higher level
leadership from a mid to lower level leadership position?
LA: Well, let me just say that the
certificate program is about strategic communication
widely. So, it's not a.. it's not a
program that.. excuse me a second. It's not a program that specifically
focused on thought leadership. So we are looking at the umbrella
topic of strategic communication and it presents
in tool box the model, which is the frame work and blue
print for all of that. Veronica, would you like to take that over for a second while I just grab
a glass of water because I'm croaking away here with all these allergies.

Veronica Phillips: Yes, Liz. The Strategic Communication Certificate
Program basically expands on how you can strategically
communicate within your organization
or even externally. It consists of five courses
the first one beginning in October, October 17,
is the Framework class, which is the Toolbox class,
'Establishing your Strategic Communications Toolbox', where she
begins a good foundation for the entire certificate program.
LA: And you know the thing is Jason that people from all
all areas, in fact, even a lot of what I would call
middle management, if you like, attending those
courses, so here's my take on it.
You know, if you focus on the tactics only,
then it's, you know, as I say, it's not going to get you anywhere.
Most people will automatically go to that, so that most of the stuff we've got down
anyway. It's the strategic issues that are really the stumbling
points for most people. Then in fact, the certifcate program is really
the five courses are applicable for
people throughout an organization. And in fact, I would like to
see even more diversity among the participants next time.
AG: Okay. And we've hit our
hour mark, but I do have a few more questions, so if you guys want to
hang on, I will try to get to all of you.
LA: Yeah, and I do apologize for croaking at you like that. Yeah, obviously
I was imitating the frog that I mentioned in the previous story. AG: I think we all
understand the Austin allergies or at least most of us do.
Bobby Joe wanted to know what are a few of the top companies that you
have come across in your research that really walk the thought leadership
walk? LA: Oh great question! Again, I mean
the global consultants do this really, really well.
As I say, the Boston Consulting Group, go look at them. booz@co
definitely around innovation. Accentia, Price
Waterhouse, Coopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, we've got
quite a lot of case studies, too, that we've mentioned from different organizations
in the book. You know, Deloitte, for example.
So there's a lot of them doing really well. And it may be, you know, if you want
to collect more examples and
find out more about this. I put.. you know, one of my
google alerts is thought leadership and it does so offer a lot of stuff, I mean a lot of
it, not that great, then if you can go sifting through
then very often it will highlight some ideas from
organizations that are doing this really, really well. But we also highlight
them in the book as well around case studies that we offer.
AG: Okay. And I just have a couple more questions, then I think we'll wrap
it up here. I do have one from Cindy, and she's been waiting patiently.
She's wondering, as a
Human Resources business partner through consulting
how would you present this subject matter to a client
who is moving from expert to thought leader?
LA: Yes, that's a really great question, too. Fantastic
questions today. Really, I think it's about are
you too narrowly defining or kind of..
Think about the frog in the well again, that story.
You know, think about the ways the experts are looking to
promote a point of view that they may have held for a very
long time. And look for ways in which, now is that,
point of view still relevant to your target market. Is it really
you know, opening up the debate here?
Is it hitting all of the concerns and the future
needs of the people that you're meant to serve?
If it isn't, if it did like 5 or 10 years ago,
but you are not thinking or doing anything different, then that's the time
to transition into this broader perspective of thought leadership and
maybe bring some more diverse perspective into
the conversation. So, I hope that answers that question.
AG: Okay, and I just have one more
question from Sandra. She
says are there examples of failure followed by success using thought
leadership strategies? LA: Oh, now that's a really good
question and I can't mention any of them directly
to you but here's what I would say, Sandra, and I think it goes
back to what I was suggesting earlier about
maybe doing a pilot program. Because if you think you are going to do
thought leadership well straight out the gate, think again.
Very often the biggest learning that we get
are things that haven't gone well. And I think if you are flexible enough
and are prepared to sort of take that on the
chin and say what did we learn from this, then that again
is all good. So I would say I doubt that any of these
thought leaders especially the ones that I've been mentioning as being top tier
got away without making.. having a failure at
some point. Maybe they misunderstood who their target audience
was or they chose a topic that
for one reason or another that just wasn't moving them forward
So, in a sense, embrace the failure because that always teaches
you more and as long as you correct that and do something
different next time, then inevitably, you will be
successful with your thought leadership. AG: Okay, that was a really
interesting questions, Sandra, thank you. So
I think, let's see.. Oh wait, I have.. Sorry, I just
want to clarify the question before that from Cindy.
She was the.. LA: The HR..
AG: What she meant was, how would she, let's see, she says
How would I.. oh, let's see, sorry. I'm
trying to read her thing here. It says, how would I use a thought
leader versus and HR expert to get a new
client? So I guess I
misunderstood her question. Sorry Cindy. LA: Well, I guess my
quick answer to that was it depends on the client and it depends on what the client
wants. Remember I said it's all about your target audience
it's not about you. So instead of..
see you really kind of need to know what it is, your
your client is looking for and if they are looking for forward thinking
go back to that slide I showed you earlier
which talks about the core characteristics of thought leadership.
I mean, is the expert doing this? Does the
client want something that's different. And I think
that would give you an idea as to whether a thought leadership perspective
or an experts approach is the best one to use in order to
attract a client. But really, it all depends on the client.
AG: Okay, and just to conclude
Mike says that failure is the seed of success. He's
actually quoting Ishikawa, so thank you for that, Mike.
We're a little bit overtime, so I just wanted to give Veronica just
a quick moment and if you guys can look at your
screen, there's the link to the Strategic Communication
Certificate Program. And if you guys have any questions about that
you can contact Veronica. And I will be sending out
the pdf's of the powerpoint presentation and
Liz's email, which is also in the pdfs.
So I'll send that to you guys as well, so if you have any questions, you can contact
her. So Veronica.. VP: Alright, thank you.
Thank you guys for attending, I appreciate your time I know we are over. So if you'd like
to learn more about the classes, feel free to contact me. We can even contact Liz.
You can even reach her on Facebook. She often goes on our facebook and chats with our
students, so feel free to do that as well. Visit our website, the link is there
for you. So we look forward to seeing everybody in the class in October
or hearing from you. AG: And our facebook
address, which I forgot to put on here, is facebook.com
slash U-TEXAS-P-D-C
So you guys can talk with Liz there, because yeah, she's on
there a lot. Thanks everybody for attending and thank you so much,
Liz, that was really interesting. LA: Oh, Anne, its my absolute pleasure and thank you everyone and
for such brilliant questions. Thank you. AG: Okay, we'll see you
guys at the next one thanks. VP: Bye everybody.