Securing Thought Leadership Buy-In: Overcoming The Forces Of Inertia

Published: March 17, 2017

“By its very nature, thought leadership is challenging.”

Fresh thinking. Agenda-setting insight. Thought leadership.

It all sounds great, but how do you get your business to invest time and money in a long-term project when there’s a constant demand for immediate results? Likewise, even if you do get a thought leadership project off the ground, how do you build a series of seemingly discrete initiatives into a year-long programme of coordinated activity?

These challenges come up time and again at our thought leadership workshops. Indeed, they’re often cited as the biggest frustrations facing comms and marketing teams at the professional services firms we meet.

Our experience shows that the following three-steps prove useful in response:

1. Release emerging findings in short-form as you go along (blogs, video, comments) and point towards the forthcoming ‘white smoke’. This feeds into a growing demand for bite-size insight, while encouraging the kind of feedback and collaboration that can lead to genuine fresh thinking.

2. Keep a thought leadership calendar so you can promote one evidence base while collating and researching the next. With good planning at the outset, there needn’t be the stop-start approach so often associated with research projects. Lull points tend to encourage a return to old ways.

3. Capitalise on a long tail of activity. Get known for an issue by demonstrating your expertise and people will come to you for commentary and ask you to speak at events. Put thought leadership at the heart of your corporate communications programme and build around it.

This approach is being successfully applied by the likes of Grant Thornton and Right Management. Both use thought leadership to set the agenda on the business issues of our day and open up new commercial conversations.

Sign up to our free thought leadership workshop on 4th May (RSVP: to hear how you can persuade your business to adopt a fresh approach to communications. You’ll be in good company. Our events usually attract eight to ten communications professionals keen to hear the latest ideas and share best practice.

Issues we typically cover include:

• Finding the right topic – how to find a sweet spot that appeals to your business, your clients and the media.
• Turning insights around quickly – how to tap into the zeitgeist to drive industry debate
• Becoming a genuine thought leader – how to avoid the curation trap and be truly original

By its very nature, thought leadership is challenging. But it’s also exciting, fun and rewarding. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you fight the good fight and put thought leadership front and centre of your communications programme.

Jon Bennett

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