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How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

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How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

by New Solutions  new s olutions 2 0 08


How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

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Liability disclaimer The material contained in this e-book is general and is not intended as advice on any particular matter. New Solutions and the authors expressly disclaim all and any liability to any persons whatsoever in respect of anything done by any such person in reliance, whether in whole or in part, on this e-book. Please take appropriate legal advice before acting on any information in this e-book.


How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

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You Own the Reprint Rights We believe this e-book contains vital information, so we’re giving you free electronic redistribution rights. Yes, it’s yours free!

You can even sell it for any price you’d like and you get to keep 100% of the profits! Or, you can use it as a free bonus in a product bundle. It’s up to you.

This means that you can give it away to other people. You can send it to your mailing list (but no spam, please)! You can give it away on your Web site.

The only restriction is that you must not change it in any way, which means that you must distribute it in its original PDF format in its entirety.


How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

Introduction The world has changed. The current economic and business crises that are occurring have not only changed the landscape but also created new opportunities for those ready to act on them. Succeeding in business now is dependent on having a new edge. Prospective and existing clients demand their service providers deliver not just outstanding service and products but most importantly be seen as the leading thinkers, experts and authorities in their industry.

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You may well have heard of thought leadership- a term coined in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman then head of the Innovation and Thought Leadership section of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Developing and utilising thought leadership is the easiest and most effective way of leading the IP creation/ expertise competition. Many organisations are jumping on the marketing bandwagon of thought leadership, but too few actually deliver and meet the promise. In this e-book, we’re going to share with you what thought leadership actually is, what benefits it can bring and how to utilise it to succeed in the next economy.


How to utilise ‘thought leadership’ to navigate into the next economy

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“What is thought leadership?”

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Tip: Thought leadership is a term used to describe an organisation or individual who’s recognised for their innovative ideas and ability to promote and share their IP through a variety of media to their current clients, prospective clients and the industry they work in. It’s no longer enough to be good at what you do. Thought leadership is about challenging the status quo, adapting to the changing environment and being ahead of the curve when it comes to developing product and service offerings. It’s a strategy, a business process and a sustainable market differentiator.


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Tip: Innovators, experts and leaders within their field who share their IP.

“Who are successful thought leaders?”

Here's why: Ideas are the currency of the ‘next economy’. Thought leaders know that clients buy experts, but unless experts also share their expertise too few clients will be exposed to what they can do to help them. Thought leaders are willing and able to adapt to change, are constantly looking for new opportunities and ways to improve. They are decision makers who lead their organisation into the next realm.


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Tip: Everyone looks to see what leaders are doing, thinking and saying.

“The advantages of being a thought leader.”

Why? When times are tough people look for assistance and clear, confident thinkers who continue to succeed despite adverse conditions. Thought Leaders know how to increase market awareness, differentiate in a crowded market & acquire market share. They do this by creating strategies, solutions and taking action that no one else is, then communicating the outcomes. It’s hard to say your organisation is the best choice, when all people are hearing about & seeing is a competing organisation.


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Tip: Think then lead.

“Creating superior processes, products and service in crisis”

Leaders have the ability and confidence to create solutions from innovative thinking. Thought leadership is about developing IP and superior solutions. Creating new solutions requires training in creative thinking, space, time, permission and having an innovation process with KPI’s to determine the success of the new thinking. Thought Leadership also includes communicating these solutions and thinking to the market place.


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Tip: The more crowded the market place becomes; the more important it is to maintain markets and differentiate your offer.

“The need to change”

Thought leaders are adaptable to the changing conditions because they are able to create solutions and strategies for any environment. If your organisation isn’t one of the first to adapt and change to the prevailing conditions then you are unlikely to dominate the market place. The more change that occurs in the market place the more change our clients expect in what we can deliver for them.


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Tip: Be flexible and adapt quickly. The sooner one can lose the ‘this is how we used to do it’ mentality, the sooner one can succeed in the prevailing conditions.

“Responding to the changing conditions”

Thought Leaders have the ability to think quickly and follow up with innovative solutions immediately. They can do this by having flexibility in their thinking & an ability to create solutions no matter what is going on. Thought Leaders are trained to access thoughts & ideas from a myriad of sources that enable them to create the best solution suited to the conditions.


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Tip: Expect the unexpected.

“Utilising thought leadership to discover opportunities”

Why? Thought leaders expect to find opportunities when everyone else has given up. They can do this because of the skills they have developed in looking for ideas and how to capitalise on them when no-one else can. The currency of an idea is what Thought Leaders work best at. They find them, develop them quickly and capitalise on them in the market place. When the market hears that there’s a new solution, it can’t help but want to buy it and use it.


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Tip: Tell everyone what you’re doing.

“Using thought leadership as a promotional and marketing tool.”

Why? Thought Leaders aren’t afraid to share their IP, because they’re the ones who created it. The more people find out about the successful ideas that you have developed, the more the market wants to use them. Thought Leaders are proud of their ideas and their success stories and are proactively marketing them through blogs, articles, special reports, white papers, ebooks, keynotes, workshops, books, mentoring and facilitating events. Thought Followers just watch.


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Tip: Ask first leverage second.

“Capturing and utilising your IP and ideas.”

Your organisation already has thought leaders in the making, all you need to do is ask what they are doing that’s unique and succeeding. Once you’ve captured the ideas either through intranets, a dedicated idea phone line or simple IP summits you can collate, distribute and communicate it. Communicating the unique things you are succeeding at & how you are doing it is what thought leadership is about. It’s also about helping people get better at what they do & telling the world about it.


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Tip: Thought Leaders know themselves, their clients and their adversaries so well they have no fear of them.

“Working with clients, industry and competitors”

Working with clients rather than for them changes the dynamic of the relationship. In tough times, partnering with clients and even competitors tells the world we are not afraid to share ideas to get the best results possible. Being open to criticism and seeing it in a constructive mindset is what enables Thought Leaders to succeed in tough times. The market sees leaders who are totally committed to leading them into success.


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Tip: So you’ve come up with a great idea. Now what?

“Turning ideas into outcomes.”

Thought Leaders are skilled at assessing the environment and developing cutting edge concepts. But they also understand this is just the beginning. They know it takes action to turn great ideas into outstanding outcomes. The ability to implement – to actually make things happen – is what sets Thought Leaders apart. They don’t just know what to do, but also how to do it, to achieve breakthrough results.


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“Dealing with ambiguity and imperfect information.”

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Tip: We live in uncertain times. But far from being challenged by the constant change, Thought Leaders understand the opportunity this presents. They are comfortable with ambiguity and are prepared to take action, even when surrounded by uncertainty. Thought Leaders are constantly on the lookout for opportunities as their environment changes. Then they make the most of them by acting quickly and decisively on the information at hand, rather than waiting for the perfect timing. Unlike Followers, they’re willing and able to act even as the events are still unfolding.


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Tip: Becoming a Thought Leader takes training.

“Developing in-house smarts”

Thought Leadership can be developed through a curriculum that teaches people a combination of thinking skills, research skills and communication skills. The difference between most skills workshops and Thought Leadership training is honing in and developing the ‘unique intelligence’ of each Thought Leader. The component then is all about the message: how to capture the IP and communicate that message in a variety of delivery modalities.


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Tip: Good people value the opportunity to be seen as Thought Leaders.

“Keeping our good people”

Here's why: There is a special respect and feeling that someone earns when they present and publish. People want to be noticed for the contributions that they are making and that their organisation is making. Thought leadership is a reward for those who work hard and are great at what they do. It’s an opportunity to allow your people and organisation to shine in the market. The more Thought Leadership opportunity, the better the organisation’s profile and self esteem and loyalty of the individual.


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Tip: Business networks appreciate the expertise of Thought Leaders.

“Attracting new and strengthening existing business relationships”

In continually developing new IP and expressing the competitive advantage it delivers, Thought Leaders demonstrate a commitment to enhancing their client’s business that is rewarded with loyalty and referrals. But it doesn’t stop there. Suppliers, industry peers and even regulators and agencies benefit from Thought Leadership and see value in developing relationships with influential Thought Leaders.


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Tip: Anyone can claim to be a Thought Leader. But true Thought Leaders are easy to spot: they live and breathe their passion.

“Walking the talk, not just talking the talk.”

You’ll see it in the way they interact with their clients; the way they communicate their message; and in they way they run their own business. For a Thought Leader it’s more than just giving advice or following the pack. It’s about the burning desire to exploit opportunities and make a difference. Thought leadership is about redefining the rules, and then leading by example to change the state of play.


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Tip: People buy experts who speak and write.

“Smart isn’t enough”

Why? Consider if you had to choose between two consultants with similar experience, client lists and testimonials. The only difference is that one consultant regularly speaks at events and conferences and has their articles and reports published regularly in trade magazines. Which would you recognise as the expert? It’s usually the Thought Leader who writes and speaks. Organisations are no different than individual consultants. The tougher the economic climate the more clients want expert advice. From experts who share knowledge and are prepared to stand by it.


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Tip: In the next economy, the ability to act quickly and decisively is more critical than ever.

“Improving the decision making process.”

Thought leadership is about new possibilities, forward thinking and being ahead of the curve. By tapping in to this new knowledge and new ways of doing things, you can respond to new opportunities more effectively than ever. No longer are you constrained by old paradigms and old ways of doing things. It’s about faster, smarter decision making for better business outcomes.


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Tip: Leaders are made not born.

“Creating current and future leaders”

Leaders need to be able to lead using a number of modalities. A true leader has the ability to TELL, SHOW & ASK. All of these abilities can and should be taught. Tell- the ability to communicate a message through a presentation and the written word. Show- the ability to train and mentor others by showing them the things that matter most. Ask- the ability to facilitate and coach through asking the right type of questions.


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Tip: Message management – the ability to collate, replicate and communicate messages that become the organisations IP.

“What does it take to be a thought leader?”

Communication essentials – Delivering presentations, facilitating meetings/ think tanks and selling ideas. Models & metaphors – the ability to use scientific models/ charts and metaphors. Thinking skills and Coaching & mentoring abilities.


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Conclusion Thought leadership as a marketing ploy won’t gain your organisation much credibility unless you can back it up with a genuine thought leadership program, but having a genuine thought leadership program will directly create a smarter organisation that is leading their industry.

Find Out More … The ideas you’ve just read are all a part of the New Solutions Corporate Thought Leadership program. www.newsolutionsspeakers.com At our workshops you’ll learn about how to create a thought leadership program for your organisation. Our course curriculum provides all the skills courses to generate a thought leadership program. New solutions also provide ‘round tables’ where we provide continual external thought leadership throughout the year, tailored in a variety of formats to best help develop your organisations IP and thought Leadership. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter at www.newsolutionsspeakers.com It’s free and full of great thought leadership.


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About New Solutions New Solutions are a cooperative of experts who are speakers, trainers, facilitators and consultants on the most vital of all business operations and strategies. They are the author of several ebooks and numerous digital publications. New Solutions Thought Leaders are: Craig Rispin, Anders Sormann-Nilson, Rowdy McLean, Steven DiPietro, Jen Dalitz, Scott Stein, Nils Vesk, Belinda Yabsley, Domonique Bertolucci, and Adam Frazer. www.newsolutionspeakers.com You can contact New Solutions on phone:

+61-2-8011 3136


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Can we help you? Here are some of the things that people say about New Solutions: ‘I was fortunate to be invited to a session entitled 'unConference', hosted by New Solutions. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very positive session…….all about opening up to the 'yes' solutions and looking at ways to turn and encompass change and to challenge us all to re-think our event management. I think it would benefit everyone, from those stuck in a conferencing rut to the ideas people who need to re-visit their thought processes.’ Sharon Mahony, Conference co-ordinator Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia “Nils led us, guided us, facilitated, challenged us, and most importantly he helped us innovate and become thought leaders. He was fabulous, his style is terrific his energy is contagious and we’d use him again in a heart beat.” Brigid Gibson, HR General Manager Commonwealth Bank. "Jen is leading the way in regard to women in management. I am constantly entertained by her honest and apt opinions that address 'unspoken' issues, in a thought provoking and inspiring way.” Julia Palmer, Managing Director, BConsulted

If you’d like to work with us, visit our Web site at www.newsolutionspeakers.com

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