When I think about thought leadership within an organization, there are three interrelated tasks that need to occur together– in order for ideas to get out into the world successfully and create impact.
They are: Create Curate, and Deploy.
Let’s take a look at Create. I think some people believe that if there’s a thought leadership function, or a head of thought leadership, they’re the only one–or the only team–that can create ideas. And that’s not true. Good ideas emerge from many places across the organization: research, product, marketing, sales, the CEO, even senior leadership.
And so, it’s the responsibility of the thought leadership function to Curate those ideas–to identify which ones align with the organization’s objectives and package them in a way that a target audience would want to hear. The curation role is really one that’s distilling, focusing, and elevating.
And then the idea is ready to move on to Deployment, and in deployment the thought leadership function and team may be responsible for deploying the thought leadership. Or they may hand it off to Marketing, Sales, or PR and let them take the idea to scale.
When those three functions work together: Create, Curate and Deploy, that’s where the magic happens.
That’s how you get audiences to notice what you’re talking about, lean in, and realize you have something to say that’s worth their time to listen.