So Much of What You Knew About Thought Leadership Has Changed

Innovative leadership, the former core of marketing communications, must be seriously rethought.

In the past, podcast tests and launch interviews to reveal how your company’s new product or service solved a problem could put your leaders in the spotlight in the media and make them a resource sought after by the press.

But not anymore.

At the time of COVID, the public – and therefore the press as well – did not react to these tactical stories. They want to be inspired and guided by leaders who share experiences that help them understand the challenges we face today. Readers want empathy. They need a personal touch.

This is not to say that you should give up your traditional approach. The old format of contributions – creating a dissertation, contextualizing, sharing examples, presenting lectures – still works. But leaders who share a part of themselves in this configuration and thus transcend the obvious conclusions will shine.

Here are some of the stories we saw using this framework:

  • An association of human resources employees helped their stakeholders navigate the changing business landscape when their CEO wrote a series of articles like this about “Prioritizing Every Four Hours” and encouraging leaders to talk about what all of us have to say. we feel vulnerable because of the pandemic.
  • A brand strategist warned direct consumer brands not to be complacent and opportunistic in the face of COVID’s gains, but to consider the future of their brands in a post-pandemic world that transcends the direct consumer channel and positioning.
  • A creative services marketer shared his story of a trauma he experienced in the workplace, which is not only tolerated, but also set aside, and how the pandemic and social justice have changed the culture. His perspective showed a new wave of evaluation and reconstruction.
  • The head of a digital agency is asking across the industry that companies pay their employees to take civil action after their policies are implemented.

In the meantime, keep in mind some of the guidelines in the old “leadership guide” for innovative leadership. Your essay, podcast, speech, or media interview may not be so selfish as to look like a sales brochure. Your ideas should be posted promptly – if you don’t connect the dots to the audience, they’ll miss the main point. And your opinion will not be highlighted if it sounds like everyone else’s – your voice must be clear.

As for the most relevant guidelines in the new era, there are five principles for transforming your innovative leadership into more personal conversations:

  1. Draw your subject in your values.

Total Rewards Association, 60% said it is extremely important to work for a leader with similar social beliefs. After your company has clearly stated what it stands for, share a story that shows what you are doing to present your point of view.

  1. Include a story about a real person.

Tell people when they can see themselves in your story. Better yet, show someone an employee who performs the action you recommend.

  1. Make the news.

Time is everything. Fill your story with what’s going on around you right now. You are not dealing with politics or climate change – you can also respond to industry trends.

  1. Solve a problem.

Describe the challenges your audience faces and provide solutions that they can apply directly or use to formulate their own strategies. This approach keeps readers coming back for more.

  1. Stay involved and get noticed.

To know the opinions that matter, your voice must be different. You can’t sound like everyone else. Be clear and you will become a sought-after influencer in your space.