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Leveraging Your Organization’s Thought Leadership | Peter Winick and Bill Sherman

Leveraging Your Organization’s Thought Leadership | Peter Winick and Bill Sherman

 


Creating an organizational thought leadership strategy and health checklist.

An interview with Peter Winick and Bill Sherman about their Organizational Thought Leadership White Paper.

It’s celebration time!
The Leveraging Thought Leadership podcast is celebrating our 500th episode with our co-hosts, Peter Winick and Bill Sherman.

In this special episode, Bill and Peter share news about their most recent white paper, “The OrgTL Canvas,” and walk us through the deep insights they’ve gained by spending more than 20 years working with thought leaders, from Fortune 500 and Global 100 successes to new, single-shingle startups – all looking to get their remarkable insights out into the world.

Over the past four years, Peter and Bill have spoken with more than 250 heads of thought leadership, many of them on this very podcast. Those conversations have given them incredible insight into the pain points that organizations face when creating, curating, and sustaining thought leadership initiatives. The OrgTL Canvas synthesizes their acumen into actionable steps that help organizations use thought leadership to gain higher visibility, greater success, and a strong, loyal following.

In today’s conversation, Bill and Peter share how organizations are changing the way they interact with consumers (and potential clients), and how thought leadership can bridge the gap that leads to “next steps” for their audience. They discuss thought leadership strategy (and how to create one), as well as the baseline criteria and metrics you should use, the warning signals that your strategy isn’t working, and the importance of alignment across the organization.

The OrgTL Canvas is a framework that can help your ideas spread beyond the walls of your organization, and create real impact.
We’re pleased to share it, and to join with our listeners in celebrating an amazing 500 episodes of Leveraging Thought Leadership.

Thank you for listening to our podcast, and here’s to 500 more!

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Strategy does not happen by accident. It has to be purposeful.
  • You only need 3 – 5 core provocative ideas to bang the drum on. More isn’t always better.
  • Thought leadership works to facilitate awareness, provoke curiosity, and serve as a call to education.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.


 


Transcript

Bill Sherman What does it take to build a thought leadership function within an organization? My colleague Peter Winick and I have spent over the last three or four years working and talking with literally hundreds of organizations and heads of thought leadership, some of whom you’ve heard as guests on this podcast. And one of the things that we’ve identified is strategy does not happen by accident. It has to be purposeful. So today, what we want to share is some of our insights into organizational thought leadership strategy over the last 60 some days. We’ve synthesized these insights into a white paper. This is the companion, if you will, to that white paper that introduces the concepts. And perhaps on a personal note, a note of personal privilege. It’s also episode 500 for us. So today, Peter Winick, congratulations on reaching the milestone.

Peter Winick I know. I feel like we should pop a bottle of something, but maybe. Maybe we will.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. Maybe after this. So let’s begin. One of the things that struck me and I’ve heard in many different forms from people is on the sales side and the revenue generation side that certainly given the way buyer behaviors have changed B2C in terms of research and even B2B, now, the old ways of selling aren’t working and the buyer is a whole lot more educated before they walk into the first conversation with the salesperson. Have you been hearing that as well, Peter?

Peter Winick Yeah. So I think that’s a trend that has been accelerated as of late. And I think the other piece that you have to take into context of is people don’t necessarily want the visit of the salesperson. You know, if we’re living in a in a remote hybrid, whatever world. The infrequency of the dates that I go into the office, I probably don’t want that taken up by someone coming in and pitching me. So by the time I do want to speak with someone on the sales or business development side, I’m a pretty educated consumer at that point. And then the question is how do you most effectively attract and educate them? And thought leadership clearly has a role to play there.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And one of the ways that thought leadership works is that it is able to facilitate awareness and provoke thinking and serve as a call to education, especially when there’s a longer time horizon. They may not be in a buying cycle right away. So one of the things that we’ve seen over the last three years or so I would say, is more and more executives saying we need thought leadership here in response to what’s happening within their sales cycle sales environment. And what I think is essential is that you can’t keep the thought leadership function separate from strategy. You can’t just tag one smart person and say, go figure this out, let’s have some thought leadership and we’ll sprinkled out like fairy dust into, you know, how we sell.

Peter Winick Yeah. And I think even when a well-meaning executive says, you know, we need to develop and deploy some thought leadership to fill this gap, there’s a couple of other an answered questions that that also sort of begets. Right. Which is, okay, what do you mean by thought? Leadership? What do we mean by thought leadership? Is it really content marketing? Is it subject matter, expertise? So we can go on and on about what those definitions are? But I think it’s critical that the leader and the team and the organization have aligned around their definition of what it is. And, you know, by default saying and it’s not this second, second piece to that is who’s going to own it and and what’s the strategy? Because I think, you know, there’s nothing worse than a head of sales in a panic over a bad quarter throwing lots of stuff against the wall. In the absence of strategy, you just start launching campaigns and such. So I think it’s critical to say, okay, we’re going to use this to do that. Okay, Well, what does that what do we mean by that? And what is the strategy by which we’re going to live by to try to achieve those objectives?

Bill Sherman Yeah. And I think one of the things where and we see this in business all the time, you wind up getting a term or a concept or an approach that gets a bit of momentum and becomes buzzy. And I think thought leadership did go through what I would describe as a little bit of Gartner hype cycle, especially during the pandemic, right. Where, you know, conferences weren’t happening, the in-person wasn’t happening, and people were scratching their head and go, how do we connect with customers? Well thought leadership. And so I heard some claims from people where it thought leadership would do everything from accelerate your sales cycle to give you brighter, whiter teeth. And I was like, Some of this is real and some of it is clearly hype. So if you’re going into thought leadership without a strategy, you’re likely to land in what Gartner calls the trough of disillusionment. And so where I want to take this today is how do you build a strategy for thought leadership? And more importantly, what are the common pitfalls that need to be avoided?

Peter Winick Yeah, so I think let’s start with the first piece of that. So I think that, you know, the way you build that strategy is to be clear around the business objectives, be clear around the resources that you have that you might not have previously put under a thought leadership label because that label didn’t exist when it was built. Right. So what are the you know, what are the resources that the organization has that we can already use? Who’s going to do what? What’s the timing? What are the gaps between what we have and what we need? What are the realistic expectations? Because, you know, pragmatically, realistically, you can launch an email campaign in 5 minutes, right? You cannot develop a viable thought leadership engine inside of your organization in a short period of time. It could be short-ish, but it takes time to build. It takes time to get that foundational stuff done. So I think from a strategy standpoint, what do we have? What do we need? What are we trying to do? Who’s going to own it? What are the resources that are missing? Are some of some of the variables that go into that?

Bill Sherman Yeah. And so one of the things, the advantage of having done as many conversations and projects with thought leadership teams and organizations is you hear common patterns. And one of the things that we created for this white paper that I want to dig in with you on is the strategy health checklist. Do you have a strategy for your thought, leadership or not? And so what we laid out is a set of baseline criteria and then some sample warning signals as a framework, and you’ll find it in the white paper. But I want to share a few and then maybe you pick out a few as well, Peter, that stand out to you. So one that comes out to me significantly and I’ve heard it in different forms is the last mile problem within a sales organization. In other words, there are smart people practicing thought leadership. Maybe that’s a top of the House or there’s subject matter experts who have evolved into working in thought leadership either part time or full time, and they create great thought leadership resources designed to inform, educate and attract target audiences. But there’s this last mile problem because marketing sometimes look at looks at it, scratches their head, and they don’t know how to deploy it. And maybe even worse, sales looks at and goes, I’m not going to talk about that because I’m working on closing my pipeline for the month and making sure I hit targets, etc.. And so if your sales team is only focused on talking about today and doesn’t have the room or the space to talk about opportunities for the future and help your clients think ahead, it’s a bit of a risk. Yeah.

Peter Winick And I think, you know, on top of that is you have most sales professionals have done what they’ve done and it’s got them where it’s gotten them and that’s been great. And then the world changes, right? So if you were a salesperson that was used to jumping on airplanes, going for meetings, going to conferences, doing those things, and those are the only tools you have in your toolbox now you’re in trouble, right? So I looked at it as not as it’s a little bit of a change management problem. We have a new way and new tools to help you meet your goals. Your goals are to still sell the things you need to do, serve your clients, do all those other things. But the way that you’ve been doing it is no longer working. So don’t just do it more, do it harder, do it faster. I think there’s a capabilities development piece here as well as the systems and process piece of the systems and process pieces to sort of literally map every part of your prospecting, selling, negotiating, scoping, whatever, all your sales stuff, your marketing stuff as well, and see where might this accelerate things and where might it not. And then, okay, who’s going to do that and what skills might they need to develop to? Do it better or what? What things do they need to let go of? And we’ve actually, as you know, Bill, done a lot of work in this area, retooling business development experts, sales teams, etc., and the outcomes are off. So there’s always listen, anything new, there’s always resistance. What can I do? Why can’t I have my comfort blanket right now? But once they start to get a taste of success and see, actually it’s just more tools to have great conversations to lead to the outcomes that I’m looking for. I think it’s embraced fairly quickly.

Bill Sherman So another example on the health checklist that I want to talk about for a moment is about building up internal thought leaders who have their own brand and reputation. So some warning signals on that are well, we only put out unsigned white papers. We just associate it with the brand or people will say we don’t associate ideas with individuals because, well, what if they leave the organization? And one of the thoughts for me that comes to that is in today’s environment, especially as we’re looking at generative AI creating text on the fly people will be looking to go, Was this idea originated by a person I could see, talk to and learn from? Right. And so if you’re not building an internal team that’s capable of communicating ideas, and then even more importantly, build their reputation out in the industry with your clients and your customers, you’re running a risk because maybe you’re worried that those people have a reputational leave. But if you don’t have a talent pipeline, you’re in trouble because that’s where people are looking for information now and you’re silent.

Peter Winick Yeah, and I think there’s two things I would add to that. One is one hedge against that is that thought leadership can be a team sport. So there’s really two models. You anoint someone to be the internal rock star and quite frankly, that’s less and less common today for lots of reasons. We’ve seen various examples or multiple examples of those people then leave and they become rock stars and you’ve created your own competitor, etc., etc.. So it’s more of a team sport, right? So you actually look at some of the great articles in a PR or strategy business or, you know, other places. It’s usually multiple people from either the same organization or others contributing. So now what’s kind of cool about that inside of an organization, you might have someone from the leadership team, someone from the from the software side, from the technology side, some, you know, three or four different domains or multiple people in the same domain with different views or perspectives. And I think that’s one way to handle the oh, what if so-and-so leaves? Because guess what? That’s life. And it’s not a reason to not partake.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And if you equate that to what’s happened in the sciences and academic research. So as science becomes more and more complex, whether it’s CERN doing particle physics, where they publish a paper with literally hundreds of authors on that, it is very possible to have an idea nurtured and developed. By many people in your organization and give them credit.

Peter Winick And it also allows you to be more inclusive because sometimes what happens accidentally, unintentionally, is folks that might not fancy themselves great researchers or writers or I’m not good, I’m not a good communicator, I’m not a good speaker or whatever. Stay away. But if you want to, they’ve got great ideas. Maybe English isn’t a first language. Maybe it’s just not. You know, they’re more STEM or technical oriented, whatever. If you invite them in, someone or another resource can help you polish up the ideas. Right? They don’t have to be the greatest writer.

Bill Sherman Exactly. It’s exactly that. So let’s talk for a moment about alignment, because I know you’re a big fan of it as well as I am, because in terms of a thought leadership strategy, three things need to be aligned when you’re doing both leadership. One, the you need to understand how your thought leadership activity aligns with your organization, not only in terms of outcomes and business goals, but to be able to explain that then to leadership and say We’re doing X so that Y happens, which is one of your big picture goals and issues you’re tracking on the other side. And I like to think of it as a sort of two sides of a chasm. You know, your organization, it’s close to you. All of those elements are within arm’s reach. The other side is your target audience, and it’s the other side of the Grand Canyon sometimes, or maybe it’s the other side of a stream and you’re trying to reach specific target audiences. And one of the mistakes that I see is it is really easy to build out the bridge with ideas that are close to you that you’ve been thinking about for years, and you’re comfortable when your audience is on the other side of the stream and they’re going, you’re talking about something that is far from me. And so you need to balance those two things your organization and your audience. And the third, whoever’s going to be the thought leadership practitioner, the individual or individuals who are creating and deploying thought leadership, it’s got to align with things that matter to them because if they are going to be the messenger for thought leadership, your audience will never be more excited about an idea. Your thought leadership practitioner is Exactly.

Peter Winick I think that’s exactly right. Yeah, that’s totally well said.

Bill Sherman If you’re enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about our podcast, please leave a five star review at ratethispodcast.com/ltl, and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listening apps, as well as Thought Leadership Leverage dot com forward slash podcasts.

Peter Winick So let’s turn to the canvas, Peter and I want to talk in a little bit of depth around how the canvas works and then we’ll go into the three sections of the canvas so the canvas can be used for turning ad hoc thought leadership into something that’s structured and sustainable. Often we see organizations stumble into thought leadership either as individuals or as a initiative where you give a speech or you’re doing an event and it works and you say, Let’s do more of that, right? The canvas can also be used to talk about what goals are we focusing on, what resources do we need and what efforts, who’s going to apply effort where. And then one of the things that I think is most important is to be able to set boundaries. Often thought leadership without a strategy is loosey goosey, and it’s hard to know where the organization will and won’t apply. Effort. An idea comes in, someone says, Oh, podcasts are hot, hot right now. Let’s create a podcast. And so you’ve got an activity that everybody sort of chases after, but nobody stops to ask, How does this fit into our strategy and serve our target audience and our needs?

Peter Winick Yeah, and it’s a great tool to be able to look at all of those things at once, because oftentimes what happens, whether it’s in thought leadership or other things, we develop our strategy. Okay, let’s put that on the shelf. Then we get into then we develop our goals, then we develop our activities and we’re not looking at them holistically. And the canvas by its design and very nature that I’m sure you can download it in the show notes, puts all those things in one place so that you can visually see and think about, Wait a minute, that doesn’t align with that. Or if this is. This can no longer be true or. Wait a minute. We keep adding to the pile. What are we willing to take away from? We have limited resources, so it’s a I think it’s a really good tool to help keep things in balance.

Bill Sherman Absolutely, because often thought leadership gets tasked with doing multiple things at once. We want to fill the inbound leads pipeline. We want to deepen relationships with current clients. Oh, we’d like to be known as a smart, innovative organization to attract not only top tier talent as well as then, you know, have a good, strong, healthy brand in the marketplace. Those are four different things with four different strategies that are needed. And if you try to do them at the same time, it’s kind of like juggling chainsaw, a bowling ball and a feather. It’s tough.

Peter Winick I’ve tried that, but yeah, I think it would be tough.

Bill Sherman I would have lost a limb just saying.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Bill Sherman So let’s start on the canvas and I want to start. There are five columns on the canvas and two belong to the thought leader and the organization to belong to the targeted audience. And the center one is the bridge. We’re going to start with talking about the organization and its thought leadership. Peter, could you talk a little bit about desired outcome as a what are you trying to do and then the business drivers?

Peter Winick Yeah. So I mean, if you use the example you had earlier, like, Hey, let’s start a podcast. Well, okay, so that’s a question, that’s a hypothesis. That’s or maybe a demand, right? So then we start to think, Well, why are we doing that? What’s the desired outcome? Right. Is it to fill our time because we have nothing to do? Probably not. Is it to elevate the brand? Is it to introduce ourselves in a thoughtful way to the following populations? So once you figure out what the desired outcome is, then you might say, Oh, you know what? Maybe we’re not ready for a podcast, but maybe an easier way to do that is for three of us on the team to be guests on other people’s podcast. Because part of building a podcast means you also have to build an audience. You don’t just get to hit record. So I think it forces you to look at those outcomes again, something.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And then the business driver.

Peter Winick Yeah, And the business driver is okay, we’re doing this to elevate the brand. Okay, If that’s so, how would we know if we achieve that? We’re doing this for relationship development. With whom? And how would we know if that happened? Well, we want to talk to heads of innovation at Fortune 1000 companies and have conversations with them. Okay, great. So can we track how many of those thoughtful conversations we’ve had over a period of time? Yeah, we could do that, right? Outcome doesn’t always mean the cash register was wrong. Outcome doesn’t always mean net new client acquisition or net new engagement. So this sort of you map this against the sales cycle and the objectives. So for example, if we didn’t have any relationships in the innovation space in the Fortune 1000 and a goal is in a year from now, we want to have deep relationships with 30 of those people and we’re going to use the podcast to do it. Okay, Let’s see if that that all fits together, if the puzzle pieces come together.

Bill Sherman Exactly. Exactly. So that takes care of the first column in the organization. Let me talk about some of the things that then within the organization can be leveraged to start building the bridge from your side. Well, if you’re going to go into thought leadership, you need a core idea. Your organization needs to have an aha, that’s provocative, that gets people to tune in and start thinking right. And it doesn’t have to be a full book or a white paper idea. It’s really a sentence or two. And that provocation, that invitation to think differently. An organization to have a sustainable leadership function from our experience needs three, maybe five provocative ideas most. And one of the things that we find is that the evergreen thought leadership really takes longer to reach out into the world than most people think.

Peter Winick Yeah, and I think that the rub on that is but wait, it’s more fun to just generate a whole bunch of ideas. Let’s do a whiteboarding session. Let’s do this, let’s do that. We’re really, really good at generating ideas. We’ve got hundreds of them. But you know, it’s counterintuitive to say, but you only need 3 to 5 to bang the drum on consistently. Might take some of the fun out of it. But unless the desired outcome or the stated goal was to just have fun, then you probably have to get over that.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And so then from the idea, well, how are you going to persuade your audience that this is a good idea? Well, you need stories, data, examples, anecdotes, case studies. All of those things belong to a content library. And in a content library, it doesn’t have to be that you use all of this information. Every time you talk about the idea, you put people to sleep, right? If you’re talking to an audience of a mid-level manager tasked with a buying decision, then you might use one set of stories or examples. If you’re speaking to a CFO of a large organization, you use a different set. All supporting the same idea. But you go into the library and say, What do I have that will be persuasive? What do we have as an organization that we can use to persuade?

Peter Winick That’s one of.

Bill Sherman The other things that the organization has in terms of thought leadership that’s available to it. Number one is top talent. Who are the key individuals within the organization that understand this idea best? That might be a senior leader, that might be someone in research or in product, or it could be someone who has been in the field for many, many years. That person needs to be helped to get those ideas out into the world so that more people think the way that person thinks. Right. And then the last piece is that key talent can’t do it alone. If you tell them, Hey, we want you to go out and speak right, white papers, do keynotes. And oh, by the way, short form video and can you post on a regular schedule? They’re probably going to roll their eyes and go, But I got a day job to do. You want me my evenings and weekends. And so creating the ecosystem of support, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s sales, whether it’s other people within customer success. All of that teamwork you need to align from the organization’s perspective. How are those people fitting this thought leadership work into what they normally do? That’s right. So let me turn to you, Peter. You want to talk maybe in terms of targeted avatar avatars, in terms of an audience and reach out to the audience.

Peter Winick So I think as important, if not more important, is now that you’ve got the internal stuff cleaned up, you’ve got to get really, really clear around who, right? So the you have to have avatars. Right. There are easy avatars, not effective, and there are more difficult avatars. So easy avatars are demographic income, range, educational, you know, the stuff that we’re all checking boxes on by accident or things of that, all nature. They don’t speak to my fears. They don’t speak to my desires. They don’t speak to. Do I have a growth mindset? They don’t speak to what is my risk tolerance. They don’t speak to my worldview. So I think a proper avatar, A has to have the demographics. Am I, you know, looking at an SVP at this type of company that has this education level in this tenure, this budget? Sure, you have to have that. But what are the other pieces of that? The more cyclical graphic pieces that might not be as easy to identify, but if you put the reps in to get there are going to pay the dividends, right? So for example, certain roles, if I’m dealing with a compliance officer, I’m going to make a general statement of they probably tend to be risk averse, right? If I’m going to deal with someone that leads innovation, they probably embrace creativity. Right. So you just have to look at some of those things and say, how does that play into it? Then you also need to understand your avatar from a modality perspective, right? So if you’re selling something into an academic market, you know, some lengthy 80 page white paper with 17 pages of footnotes and schematics and all that is probably right. If you’re selling into a Gen Z with some sort of cool new consumer facing whatever power drink or carbon or hard seltzer or something, that wouldn’t be the right modality that might work better on TikTok or Instagram or whatever. Because if you miss the modality, you’re signaling to them that I don’t get you, I don’t know you, I don’t appreciate you want to respect you. Right. Therefore.

Bill Sherman Right. What do you make of it?

Peter Winick I listen to you.

Bill Sherman You make a good point, is the modalities that you may be comfortable building in and may not be the ones that your audience is listening to. And so you can be screaming into the void, quite literally.

Peter Winick Exactly. And then you want to speak to how to bridge those two, because now we’ve got sort of two, two different sides of the coin. But if we can’t, they can’t come together. We kind of miss the point.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. So if you know what resources your organization has in terms of what you’re trying to achieve and who can help and what you’re trying to say, and you know your target audiences and you’ve been careful and sort of select down, then it comes down to the bridge. I think a lot of people focus on, well, let’s do a campaign, let’s do that white paper, or let’s do a research study or let’s do a webinar series. Okay. Those are campaigns, but. From a thought leadership perspective, you need to have multiple touch points. You can’t assume that one sunny day doesn’t make a summer. Nor does one LinkedIn post mean that everybody you want to reach has senior idea, right? So you have to think in terms of multi touchpoint campaigns and putting your ideas in front of your audience again and again until they see and they engage. But the two pieces that I think most people discount and don’t think about and where work is underdeveloped are in terms of the platform and the relationships that you have. Those are the pieces that cause an idea to reach scale further and faster. But it amazes me how individual practitioners, as well as organizations sort of skip by this. They don’t pay attention. Yeah. So let’s stop it. Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about what a platform is. So organizations we know spend a lot of time and effort measuring the health of the corporate brand. Right. How do people know us? What are. What do we stand for? Do they listen to us, etc.? Individuals build personal brands. Right. And the nuance is, is that when you practice thought leadership, your key insights, those 3 to 5 that we talked about need to fit within a brand. They need to be easily understood and thematically structured so that somebody knows what you’re about. One metaphor that I use is, you know, you turn on a radio and your station in your car and you’re expecting to hear Country Western and you hear mid-seventies punk. You’re going to raise an eyebrow and go, What happened? Right. The same here. If your ideas, going back to your point earlier, are popcorn and people don’t know what good idea will come from you today. They’re going to go, Oh, it’s like an eclectic, all independent radio station where the deejay just pulls out whatever record they think is cool at the time, Right? So in this case, you need a platform, a way that others understand what your ideas about what is your lane, or if you were a journalist, what is your beat, right? What are you going to be talking about again and again? That platform so many people miss and they wind up being seen as a collective.

Peter Winick It sets the tone for This is what you can come to me to rely on me for as long as it does me for. And that’s what you’re going to get, right? You’re not going to come into a Mexican restaurant expecting sushi, right? Right. Managing expectations. And why would I come to you at this moment in time?

Bill Sherman So and as an effect of the platform, when you have a clear platform, it becomes easier for others to know when to share your ideas with people who need them and to share what you’re talking about. Right? So this leads to the concept of allies and ambassadors. Allies understand your platform and they’re comfortable opening doors for you. They hear someone with a need and they go, Oh, you should check this idea out. And that helps scale the idea faster. Ambassadors are people who are comfortable enough to speak on your behalf. That could be internal salespeople who feel comfortable talking about the idea with client, or it could be external individuals who have embraced the idea and become evangelists and fans.

Peter Winick And what well developed and deployed what leadership does is minimize the game of telephone. So you’re feeding your allies and ambassadors, not just they could probably advocate on your behalf because they’re comfortable. They already leaned in, but when they want to share it to someone else in the organization or on the board or whatever the case may be, it ensures the integrity of the message. And you’re not getting diluted or twisted up or whatever by having assets to share. Instead of me saying, Hey, Bill, I just read this book on so-and-so and here’s what it talks about. I can say, you know, watch this little video about what this person is talking about. I think it’s pretty cool. So I think that’s what you need to think about.

Bill Sherman Well, and that leads to the third point to the bridge, which is the relationships. So when you have clearly identified target avatars, those could be buyers, they could be analysts, they could be people in the media, they could be policymakers. There are infinite number of categories, not all of them buyers for thought leadership. Right. But you need to stop an inventory and say, okay, who are the VIP’s in those target avatars that if and influencers that if we could reach with these ideas, they could become allies and ambassadors? And do any of us have relationships with those people now? Right. Whether that’s someone in the C-suite of your organization, someone in a functional leadership, what level of understanding what relationships you have and in which relationships you need? Because thought leadership is often conveyed individual to individual. It’s certainly as well conveyed through scalable means such as podcast like we’re doing now. But there’s always a human element. And in the human element, you’ve got to think about relationships.

Peter Winick That totally, well, here we are, It looks like we’re coming up to time and we’ve only made it through about half of the white paper, which means a it’s a cliffhanger and you got to go download it or we just got so excited and there’s so much in there that we might need to do another one of these. But I would encourage you to download this. There’s a lot of really, really good stuff in here that we hope you can internalize and use and will help you support your leadership initiatives inside of your organizations.

Bill Sherman Thanks, Peter. This has been fun.

Peter Winick To learn more about Thought Leadership Leverage, please visit our web site at ThoughtLeadershipLeverage.com to reach me directly. Feel free to email me at Peter at ThoughtLeadershipLeverage.com and please subscribe to Leveraging Thought Leadership on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to get your weekly episode automatically.


 

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

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