Establishing authority and maximising publicity is a process encompassing publishing, speaking, and networking. Within organizations this process is primarily conveyed by programs, in markets it’s implemented by managing projects.
The ways and means that turn experts into authorities in the marketplace and public can also be observed within organizations. However, do we need authorities in companies? Yes, we do – for three pretty good reasons.
First of all, once internal thought leaders with in-depth knowledge, commitment, and enthusiasm have found a sounding board, the entire organization will benefit from their creative and innovative power. This may be the impetus for all kinds of initiatives.
Secondly, especially within knowledge-based organizations thought leadership affects the motivation and development of committed employees. They stimulate a myriad of initiatives with their knowledge and passion and make a difference in the market.
Finally, supporting thought leaders with publishing, speaking, and networking creates competitive advantage. Thought leaders attract attention and followers with their knowledge, competence, and ideas, get access to relevant target groups, and pull prospects that are valuable for the organization. Eventually, they act as brand ambassadors.
How do you promote internal thought leaders?
The thought leadership program within organizations
It’s crucial to restrict the dominance of people with high-ranking positions and official status. Especially within corporations publicity is more often than not reserved exclusively for functional authorities and dignitaries. Thus, new formats are needed to build a bridge and a stage for those who should get attention with their knowledge and passion (e.g., social intranet platforms and collaboration tools, internal media, bar camps, ted talks etc.).
The corporate culture is also important with publishing and performing being part of the organization’s value system. There’s no room for jealousy and resentment. However, the requirements should be clear: It’s all about contributions with substantial and innovative content. Any ego booster show is considered undesirable and even counterproductive.
Thought leaders who want to be acknowledged within organizations and the general public benefit from specific skills and technology. The effective use of social media and intranet, presentation skills, storytelling and networking should be an integral part of their competency portfolio.
Any organization needs role models having manufactured and established authority. They demonstrate what thought leadership means and how this kind of authority is appreciated and valued. These beacons are to be identified and promoted. The objective is that others follow these examples and intensify the effect and impact internally and externally.
Attention: There’s no such thing as a roadmap for the development of thought leaders! They can only develop themselves – but just within the right environment and frame where they find their audience and followers. That’s why culture, formats, and competencies are key.
The Authority Marketing project
Once thought leaders have gained publicity and a circle of followers, it’s time for bigger projects with knowledge, effort, and energy focusing and multiplying the effectiveness of a person, their field and concepts.
Consequently, it’s time to make a concerted effort by:
- Publishing a book with trend-setting new insight;
- Publishing a study with new findings about your subject matter;
- Organizing events around your concept for the relevant target audience;
- Establishing a community of practice around your subject matter (online/offline).
Are you ready for your own positioning?