Recently Tim Parker of the Bloom Group write an article entitled Thought Leadership: It’s Not About the Writing. In it he delineates the Bloom Group’s definition of thought leadership: “Publishing information material on a complex issue to position a company as an expert in its field”. While I agree with the definition, I still wrestle with a notion that it takes up more space.
I still don’t have a definition of it that satisfies me, but hopefully some day soon I will stake my claim. So far, the best I can say is that I disagree with Gartner’s recent definition (see this post for my reasoning). Admittedly that is a cowards way out, but for now, it’s all I can do.
The Bloom Group’s post, however, is prov0cative in its use of the words “complex and immediate problems”. While of course immediate problems are very important, sometime the issue is so complex that it cannot be readily be defined with enough specificity to invite a solution. In others words, thought leadership is not just about solving the problem but also serves to discover out the nuances of the problem.
I will try to come up with a good example of this in my next post. All the best. Mark
Recently I ran across the web site for Tata Consultancy Services. The site is rather unique in that it calls out Thought Leadership in its upper navigation bar next to Offerings and Industries. It’s exciting that thought leadership is getting such a big headline. At the same time, I am concerned that this attention will only be short lived if many companies highlight their thought leadership without first developing a thought leadership strategy consistent with their marketing and business strategy. I alluded to this “disconnect” in earlier posting about Gartner’s attempt to define thought leadership.
It would truly be sad if readers looking for deep thought leadership moan “Ughh!” and simply bypass top navigation menus offering TL content. I am afraid that this might happpen if more and more sites promise thought leadership, but instead exclusively serve up marketing centric content. I guarantee this will happen if a preponderance of companies take it even further (or lower) by using TL to harbor thinly veiled product positioning documents.