Adapting Thought Leadership for your Audience

Org TL Minute: Episode 5


I’ve long believed that the best thought leadership makes good ideas widely accessible and easy to understand. And that’s even more true today in the COVID-19 world.

Today’s audiences are currently struggling with cognitive overload. Navigating everyday life tasks have suddenly become a whole lot harder. And require active problem solving. When people feel stress, they focus less. Their reading comprehension skills can actually drop several grade levels.

We’re in a situation where almost everyone—even the smartest member of your target audience— feels some degree of mental exhaustion.

In general, that means people will have a lower appetite for long-form think pieces—such as books, whitepapers, and weighty articles.

Here are a few tips to help you create organizational thought leadership content for your audiences in today’s context.

  • First, distill your idea to its essence. Respect people’s time and equip them with curated, actionable ideas.
  • Next, choose easy-to-consume formats—now’s not the time for long-form.
  • Finally, use simpler language. Skip the jargon and complex sentences. Let your ideas shine clearly.

How have you adapted how you communicate your organization’s thought leadership?