Thought leaders embrace and even encourage change through their thought-provokingviewpoints on issues that matter to them and their stakeholdersand through their commitment to act in line with their viewpoints!
Thought leadership defined The action of promoting thought- provoking viewpoints that reframe the way stakeholders think about their key issues, helping them toward new insights and solutions. Mignon van Halderen & Kym Kettler-Paddock (2010)
What does the “thought” exactly relate to?
What thought leadership isn’t “Our thought leadership” “…access our latest thought leadership” “We are active thought leaders” “We pride ourselves on the caliber, breadth and scope of our thought leadership” “…our thought leadership magazine” “Browse our growing library of mobile thought leadership pieces..” “.. we are thought leaders and experts”
Worryingly, thought leadership is overused to a point that it is becoming meaningless.
Prevent yourself from falling in the “Twelvis” trap
The most elegant forms of thoughtleadership are not claimed, but arethe outcome of strategies driven by thought provoking viewpoints
Thought leadership based on two pillars Thought leadership Trust Novelty (Schema theories) (Trust, social exchange, network theories)
By studying successful (and less successful companies!) inpursuing thought leadership …
…we* developed the Thought Leadership FrameworkTM Thought Diagnosis Implementation Outcomes leadership Analyze market-or Novelty Articulate Novel Stakeholders are societal trends Point of View attracted to company because of its Openly share novel insights Preferred partner to knowledge & into for them work with relevant issues Assess opportunity for expertise Reflected in company-unique Novel Point of View on metrics, e.g. brand value, these trends brand preference, active Trust business leads, sales, Stakeholders employee engagement. regard company as a trusted voice and Act in line with partner on these Novel Point of View relevant issues*Developed by Mignon van Halderen & Kym Kettler-Paddock (2010). Presented in their forthcoming book (with Craig Badings) “Howto differentiate your company and stand out from the crowd: Thought Leadership”.
Diagnosis Analyze market-or societal Digital inter Energy Water Traffic Connected trends ness IBM”s Information 3000+ top heritage: technology scientists Think!Assess opportunity for NovelPoint of View on these trends Technology answer to some of world’s most macro-economic problemsc
Explaining IBM’s NPOV : a systems perspectiveKandinsky, The Center (1924)
IBM’s system perspective reflected in concrete solutions: movies Smarter traffic systems Smarter energy systems
The thought leadership frameworkTM Thought Diagnosis Implementation Outcomes leadership Analyze market-or Novelty Articulate Novel Stakeholders are societal trends Point of View attracted to company because of its Openly share novel insights Preferred partner to knowledge & into for them work with relevant issues Assess opportunity for expertise Reflected in company-unique Novel Point of View on metrics, e.g. brand value, these trends brand preference, active Trust business leads, sales, Stakeholders employee engagement. regard company as a trusted voice and Act in line with partner on these Novel Point of View relevant issuesDeveloped by Mignon van Halderen & Kym Kettler-Paddock (2010). Presented in their forthcoming e-book (with Craig Badings)“How to differentiate your company and stand out from the crowd: Thought Leadership”.
Leading by articulating a Novel Point of View (NPOV) Implementation Articulate Novel Point of View Openly share knowledge & expertise Let’s us see the world differently… Re-orders our thinking… Gives new insight… Elicits AHA moments… All important for realizing change and progress!
The power of articulating a Novel Point of View (NPOV)• “When used well, a point of view can help you develop a compelling corporate positioning and narrative, articulate a strong view on the issues that matter to your organization or your customers, and enable you to champion causes or take a position on the issues of concern.”
The power of articulating a Novel Point of View (NPOV)• “Once you have them, they are liberating: you will be able to use them on all sorts of occasions and you will look for occasions to use them.”• “To do this, your point of view should always make clear what you believe in, how you behave and what benefits are derived from your actions. It should always call for people to support your cause.”
Examples of Novel Points of View We should look at the world’s problems from a system perspective to bring solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems Society’s perception of beauty is distorted Cities don’t have to be unsafe and unhealthy Aging is not necessarily a process concerned with illness and dependence. Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that makes our hearts sings
Philips novel viewpoints on “health & well-being”. Livable Cities Aging Well Challenging the conception of Challenging aging as a process concerned with cities as unsafe and unhealthy illness and dependence. Upcoming Philips examples thanks to Katy Hartley, director of the Center for Health & Well Being (http://www.philips- thecenter.org/)
Leading by sharing knowledge & expertise Implementation Articulate Novel Point of View Openly share knowledge & www.jaumeplensa.com expertise Not just any content but Content that links to the NPOV Offers new insights Is preferably evidence based
Philips gained insight into “health & well-being” through research: what drives people’s health perceptions (in 32 countries)?Source:Katy Hartley, Center for Health & Well Being(http://www.philips-thecenter.org/)
Philips shared findings and insights through digital and social media. No push, mostly looking for debate.Source:Katy Hartley, Center for Health & Well Being(http://www.philips-thecenter.org/)
Philips’ sharing resulted in “content sharing partnerships”
Leading by initiating network platforms Implementation Articulate Novel Point of View Openly share knowledge & expertise Center stage in an ecosystem of influencers… Extending meaningful relationships Sensing external developments Co-creation; sharpening NPoV and Ideas
Leading by acting in line with Novel Point of View (NPOV) Implementation Articulate Novel Point of View Openly share knowledge & expertise Demonstrating company is committed to NPOV Showing that company has the competence and expertise to deliver positive outcomes related to NPOV
“Acting in line” starts internally
Acting in line: long term strategies with successes but alsofailures or challenges…
BP: Contradictions NPOV (“Beyond Petroleum”) and practices.What BP did to act in line with NPOV Actions contradicting their NPOVBold move by leaving the Global Drilling in the Arctic Wildlife RefugeClimate Coalition; industry group Three major crisisskeptical about climate change 2005: Explosion Texas Refinery BP was perceived as “leaving the (15 people killed) church” 2006: Oil spill from leakingFirst oil company setting clear pipeline in Prudhoe Baytargets to reduce greenhouse gas 2010: Oil spill Gulf of MexicoemissionsSetting up own Emission TradingSystem (ETS), ahead Europe’s.Investments in alternative energy(2-3% of capital expenditures)
Remark from a BP employee is telling “The values are real, but they haven’t been aligned with our business practices in the field. A scream at our level is, if anything, a whisper at their level” (BP Employee, p. 13 of Putting Profits before Safety? ECCH case study) .
Appreciation and controversy Women have been telling “Any change in the culture of researchers and advertisers for years advertising that allows for a broader that they would be more responsive definition of beauty and encourages to ‘real’ women and, finally, they’ve women to be more accepting and been heard comfortable with their natural Martha Berletta, expert on issues in appearance is a step in the right marketing to women. direction. But embedded within this is a contradiction. They are still saying you have to use this product In a survey, 79% of respondents to be beautiful”. Psychologist Mary agreed with statement: “It’s great, Pipher finally some ads with everyday women”.
How Dove responded to critiques“We are telling them we want to take The product “is for women of allcare of themselves, take care of their shapes and sizes, and a lot of womenbeauty. That is very different from want firming products. It’s aboutsending them the message to look feeling good about yourself. Andlike something they’re not.” that’s about bringing products that matter to women…Let’s face it, if youDeb Boyda, managing partner at had a firming product, and you had aOgilvy and Mather, Chicago (Dove’s size 2 woman selling it, what wouldPR agency) really be the contradiction.” Stacie Bright, a Unilever spokesperson
What can we learn from these failures and challenges? • Should BP have stayed away from voicing their “Beyond Petroleum” viewpoint? How far can companies stretch the gap between aspirations and operational realities? • Will Dove succeed in earning a trustworthy position around its NPOV? Will Dove be able to sustain its NPOV over the long term? What is necessary to do?
Key take aways In an era of rapid developments and fundamental change; stakeholders are keen to hear refreshing viewpoints that can help them advancing /solving the issues that matter to them. Thought leaders pick up on these stakeholder desires by offering novel viewpoints that reframe the way stakeholders think about their key issues By doing so, they not only raise their profiles but create meaningful stakeholder relationships and offer valuable insights or solutions to stakeholders For thought leaders to be successful, organizations have to build trust around their novel viewpoints; they need to show that they are committed to their novel viewpoint; both in expression of voice and behavior The Thought Leadership FrameworkTM may guide organizations in pursuing thought leadership that are grounded in both novelty and trust!
THANK YOU!Mignon@leading-thoughts.com @Mignondelicia “Our body is the home of the spirit. The place in which ideas live. Our body is a meeting place where our different experiences converge, mix and grow, creating a colossal archive.” www.jaumeplensa.com
Mignon van Halderen • With her company Leading Thoughts, Mignon supports organisations on making choices about thought leadership strategies. She supports them with developing or strengthening a novel viewpoint and to align this with their strategy, identity ,activities and performances. She helps with the development of a communication strategy, measuring the impact of the strategy and how to further improve. • She also offers in-company presentations or consults to organizations that are keen on pursuing a thought leadership strategy, but first like to have a richer insight into its meaning and how it can be pursued.Dr. Mignon van HalderenOwner of Leading Thoughts • Mignon has further developed a 3-day Master Class on thought leadership at the Rotterdam School of Management, ErasmusThe Hague University. She coaches executive students of the Rotterdam School of Management graduating in the field of strategic+31 (0) 6 43 98 91 18 positioning or strategic communications.Mignon@leading-thoughts.com • Mignon has a PhD in Corporate Communication and ten years @Mignondelicia of experience in research, teaching and consulting at the Corporate Communication Centre of the Rotterdam School of Management. She is skilled in taking an evidence-based approach to business problems (both qualitatively and quantitatively) and to make academic models useful for a business audience. She navigates between academic thinking and intuitive creativity and pragmatism. • For her articles on thought leadership, see her Linkedin page.
Thought leadership, innovation and building a visionary company Process by which an idea or invention is translated into a good or service for which people will pay1Translating the company’s vision(aspirations for the future) into thevery fabric of the organization – intogoals, strategies, tactics, programs,culture, people etc.2http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/innovation.html, see also: The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, 20051Collins & Porras (1991) Organizational vision and visionary organizations, California Management Review, see reader.2