Sample Article: Thought Leadership
Create Organization-Wide Success by Implementing Effective Thought Leadership Strategies
Within your organization, your role as a leader is to ensure the success of your team and your company as a whole. However, the strategies you implement must vary based on both short and long-term goals. They must also vary based on internal and external aspects such as customer engagement, trust, and loyalty; Consumer satisfaction, growth, and sustainability; Product or service diversity, enhancement, and delivery; as well as numerous other factors.
One critical aspect that is most often overlooked when it comes to implementing new strategies for the success of your team and organization, is how to bring new, innovative solutions to the table while creating a culture of inter-organizational stability?
For too many corporate leaders, this question can be hard to answer because it is sometimes a difficult tightrope act to balance.
Organizational success depends on your ability to define and implement the best strategies that work best for A) your organization, B) your team members, and C) your consumers. Without clear and strategic thought leadership, you cannot define a clear path of success for anyone involved.
Let’s discuss your three primary avenues, and how you can better approach sustainability while simultaneously achieving growth through thought leadership.
Avenue A: Your Organization
Your organization is the vehicle that will transport your solutions to your team members on the road to sustainability and growth. According to i Research Services, thought leadership can impact an organization through gaining alignment with all people and sectors involved for informed and effective decision making.
Let’s face it, everybody has their own perception of a situation and have their own determination on a solution. Applying thought leadership strategies does not mean making everyone agree. It’s convincing the majority of the decision-makers to trust your judgment and to follow your lead. They can explain to their teams why they’ve made the decision to trust you.
Avenue B: Your Team Members
Your team members are the driving force, implementing your strategies to facilitate your company’s sustainability and growth. According to the research paper, Organizational transformation through improved employee engagement – “How to use effective methodologies to improve business productivity and expand market share”, bridging the gap between employee/employer improved nearly every function in the organizational process.
“– It was found that working together as a team and learning together to create standardized processes improved the company’s overall profitability, increased sales and expanded their market share.”
By implementing thought leadership solutions to bring together decision-makers, team leaders, and team members, you will effectually combine separate sectors into one cohesive unit. This will create a cultural alignment, transforming a form of internal bureaucracy into a unified driving force, implementing goal-driven strategies.
This process is both a centralized hierarchy and a devoted democracy. This is because your role as a thought leader provides a centralized leadership role, combining a source of strategy and a place of controlled oversight.
On the flip side of the coin, however, the basis of the strategic influence over the destination of the organization is rooted in transforming the company culture and unifying team members, team leaders, and decision-makers. This unification aligns office culture and organizational mission, allowing for the free exercise of ideas among each sector and/or department in order to best implement the strategies set forth.
Citation: Daneshgari, P. and Moore, H., 2016. Organizational transformation through improved employee engagement–“How to use effective methodologies to improve business productivity and expand market share”. Strategic HR Review, 15(2), pp.57-64.
Avenue C: Your Consumers
Consumer satisfaction and loyalty is the goal that will solidify sustainability and growth. Providing a product or service that is in-demand isn’t enough in 2018 and beyond. To continue maintaining current sales tracking and continually acquiring quarterly growth to appease shareholders and stakeholders alike, you must implement strategies that are focused on the five defined pillars of the customer lifecycle: Awareness, Engagement, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.
According to generational marketing expert David Baxter,
“At its core, thought leadership is the creation of a unique viewpoint and in-depth, proprietary insights of high relevance to customers’ lives.”
This is the crux of your role as a thought leader within your organization; understanding the needs of your target consumer in order to provide more than just a product or a service to them. Remember, your organization is one of many. When it comes to products and services, there are many to choose from. What separates yours from your competitors? The ability to provide solutions to problems your customers didn’t know they had.
To find a fantastic example of this, just look to Steve Jobs and Apple.
Steve Jobs: The Preeminent Thought Leader
To find the perfect example of finding a solution to a problem your customers didn’t even know they had is the iPad.
Steve Jobs once said,
“How does somebody know what they want if they haven’t even seen it?”
His idea was to do things differently, not better. Essentially, his belief was to take something common and from it, create something new. He took a risk on creating something between the laptop and the Smartphone, something nobody knew they wanted but soon simply couldn’t live without.
Computers were on the rise in 1983. And they were big, expensive pieces of hardware. But even then, Steve Jobs had a revolutionary strategy. He wanted to make computers portable, easy to use, and inexpensive.
In a speech in 1983, Steve Jobs said,
“The company’s strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes … and we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.”
Citation: Panzarino, Matthew (October 2, 2012). “Rare full recording of 1983 Steve Jobs speech reveals Apple had been working on iPad for 27 years”. The Next Web. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
Taking on the role of thought leader means to unify those with different perceptions while embracing different views, creating trust. It means to centralize the decision-making process while promoting the exercise of free thought and ideas. It means to create a new mode of transportation for the implementation of ideas and strategies to create sustainability and growth.
Being a thought leader within your organization means to take its culture, processes, and strategies, and transform them into something new in order to achieve true organization-wide success.
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