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Creating a Structure for Thought Leadership| Lynette Jackson

Creating a Structure for Thought Leadership| Lynette Jackson | 477

How thought leadership can be an umbrella for the brands of your organization.

An interview with Lynette Jackson about creating a structure for successful thought leadership in organizations.

In an organization with a large C-suite, dozens of departments and hundreds of experts how could you possibly hope to keep any unified direction?

To better understand how to achieve this feat I’ve invited Lynette Jackson, the Head of Communications at Siemens to join me.  Lynette has a background in journalism, communication, and branding, making her the perfect person to help us explore the topic.

Lynette explains how thought leadership can become an umbrella for the brands of your organization. It can give a safe space for the different disciplines across communication and marketing to come together and move forward in the same direction.

Lynette describes how content creates credibility, but it doesn’t have to be high level content only experts would understand. In fact, it is better to have a variety of content that draws in an audience that is new to the topic as well as having deeper pieces that allow experts to explore the bleeding edge of the idea.

In addition, we discuss how to draw the experts in your organization out. Beyond credibility is visionary, which is where thought leadership often lies. However, many can be concerned talking about a future which may never come to pass will make the look foolish. Lynette shares where to find balance between achievable and unreasonable that will make experts keen to talk and audiences excited and engaged.

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Thought leadership is the intersection between brand and public relations
  • Credibility is what you want to sell more of while getting engagements to support your business goals.
  • Content about the future and the what-if of an idea can often be more engaging than what is guaranteed to happen in the short term.



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.

Join the Organizational Thought Leadership Newsletter to learn more about expanding thought leadership within your organization! This monthly newsletter is full of practical information, advice, and ideas to help you reach your organization’s thought leadership goals.

And if you need help scaling organizational thought leadership, contact Thought Leadership Leverage or reach out to Bill Sherman on Linkedin!


Listen to our Leveraging Thought Leadership podcast!


Bill Sherman An organization’s thought leadership can be based on serendipity. Individuals step up and do the thought leadership work themselves. Or thought leadership work can be organized with focus, direction and momentum. How do you create the structure, especially when your organization has hundreds of thousands of employees and many different business units? To help us explore this question, I recently sat down with Lynette Jackson. She’s the head of communications for Siemens. And in today’s conversation, we talk about creating an umbrella for the brands. We talk about establishing vision and credibility. And we explored how to join the dots. It’s about creating a culture of experimentation within thought leadership.

Bill Sherman I’m Bill Sherman, and you’re listening to Leveraging Thought Leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Lynnette.

Lynette Jackson Thank you so much for inviting me. Really happy to be here.

Bill Sherman I’m looking forward to this conversation. You and I have gone back and forth and I think there’s a lot of interesting topics that you and I can explore together. And the first is your title as head of communications for Siemens. You have many things going on of which thought leadership is one element, and I’ll want to get into that. But let’s start with fault leadership. You’ve talked about thought leadership at the enterprise level being an umbrella for the brands of the organization. What do you mean by that?

Lynette Jackson Yeah. I’m such a big fan of thought leadership, which is why I was really happy to be here, because I feel like it’s a way of being glue across many different disciplines of communications and marketing communications. It’s the voice of the company. So when you when there’s something that Jeff Bezos said is a brand, is what people say about you when you are not in the room. And then I would add that thought leadership is this notion of it’s the ideas that sparks from what people think about you when you leave the room. So I think it’s a critical element of communications and as an umbrella, it’s the thought leadership. There’s that word leadership and leading. So why do you want your brand to go? I think you can use so many words that takes where you want your brand to go. And so there’s much more than in a brand campaign. There’s so many more words. Then you get a much bigger umbrella than you do with a simple brand positioning campaign.

Bill Sherman The other piece that I like about the metaphor of the umbrella is I think about, you know, when a sudden rainstorm comes, people, if there’s only one umbrella, will cluster underneath it, then find some shelter together. And I think that metaphor of being together in a defined space where they can actually be together makes sense to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lynette Jackson Thank you, Bill. I’m going to use that. Do you think that – I’ll be I’ll be open with you. I used to talk about air cover.

Bill Sherman Mm hmm.

Lynette Jackson And then with, I mean, nearly a year ago, with the Ukraine war, I just really. I hated that notion of air cover. And so then I like that notion of being protected. But what’s super important is what are you using the umbrella for? And it is this idea that we have from a brand level. We’re providing shelter and connections to the outside world. But then you’re joining together with what the businesses need from you, and that’s the power of it. Because then then if you do it right, then you can have a framework where you’re connecting from the brand through to demand, as you say, or from the corporates. That nasty corporate work that I’m responsible to the businesses, to the regions and say you’re creating that shelter.

Bill Sherman And I think the other thing that I like about the umbrella metaphor, too, is there’s usually a sense of motion with an umbrella. Yeah, you may be out standing in the rain waiting for a bus or whatever, but most of the time you’re walking from A to B, you’ve got a point of purpose and direction that you’re going. And so you can say either two internal entities come with me or you can say it to clients, customers, vendors, the whole ecosystem. We’re on a journey.

Lynette Jackson You’re giving me all these images in my head and you know the tools they have when there’s the Toledo, they’ve got their umbrella.

Bill Sherman Oh, right, right, right. Yeah.

Lynette Jackson That’s my head of thought leadership. And so then corporate level, then I want that to be the guide to say to the organization, these are the key topics that we want to talk about and lead the conversation in a way that’s relevant and interesting for all of our stakeholders and then the organization, the many communications professionals and ambassadors and thought leaders across the company, they can follow that nice talk to a leader umbrella.

Bill Sherman Well, and then it becomes the question of giving that visual cue of where are we going? And I love the idea of the tour leader holding up the umbrella or the sign, and it’s a little bit of a follow me. Otherwise, you know, if you just unleash, you know, a bunch of people on Go Explore the City, then the tour just goes through different places, right?

Lynette Jackson Yes. And that’s where we were, to be honest. I think what I love about Simmons is we’re very democratic with our communications, super Democratic. And I love it because I’ve worked for other companies and I will not mention the names where there’s been much more control and to the point where it’s it probably stifles creativity. But we’re very, very democratic. But one of the things that you strike for is brand coherence. And so what you can do by creating a structure and a framework is you can build into that coherence and really ensure that you’re supporting what you want the conversation to be about, but that you’re also leading it and saying new things. And that’s one of the one of the ways that we do that is we talk about the Credibility Foundation layer. And so what are we what do we mean by credibility? We’re really strong on these brilliant, clever things, digital twins. So basically you’re able to have a digital version of pretty much anything, so a factory, a building, and then you’ll be able to optimize it and then.

Bill Sherman Run simulations and then make the improvement in the real world.

Lynette Jackson Yeah. And so digital twins, that’s something where we really good and we’ve got credibility. But with thought leadership, you want to be visionary. And so then you talk about the future, which is the industrial metaverse. And so that’s the that’s a good example of the credibility is we want to talk about digital twins. The visionary is we want to talk about the future, which is the industrial metaverse, which is very, very advanced, these fancy digital twins. And now I’m sorry to all of my engineering colleagues, but just the industrial metaverse in such a simplistic way.

Bill Sherman Well, and I think that’s a point that’s worth unpacking. Right. So you and I can talk about industrial metaverse. And then if you have an engineering colleague who’s talking on a much deeper level, those can both be forms of thought leadership. You can do it as a sort of 1 to 1 entry level into the world of what is the industrial metaverse. If somebody hasn’t heard that term, followed by you have PhDs and experts who can run right to the bleeding edge of the technology and say, Here’s what I think is coming next.

Lynette Jackson No. And that’s what that’s what I really like. And then you. Because when I think about thought leadership and we had this exchange before, I want the content that’s being created for Simmons to be the stuff that I would want to read on the weekend and that that our customers and stakeholders would want to read in the weekend. So for me, I would want that. What on earth is this industrial metaverse? And so when I’m browsing on a on a Saturday morning in between the Times and The Economist and whatever novel I’m reading, I would love to, to have something that informs, educates me and helps me, really helps me understand the industrial metaverse. But my chief technology officer, he wouldn’t want to read what I want to read. He would want that deeper level of content. But it for me is creating that content that is valuable enough that you want to read it in your free time because it serves you in whatever your requirement is learning more, understanding more quality of content as a communicator. I mean, that’s what I think is the science and the art of thought leadership.

Bill Sherman And you make an excellent point that when it comes to that voluntary reading, even for people who are interested in a topic one size does not fit all. You and your CTO are going to have different interests. And if you try to produce one piece of research or a white paper and then just display it out to the world and say, Hey, this is for everybody who’s interested in an industrial metaverse, you know, they’re going to look and go, Yeah, that’s not my Saturday afternoon reading. Thank you.

Lynette Jackson And that’s what’s so exciting in communications is we can understand the journey of our stakeholders much better using data and analytics and serve the content that’s relevant. So and it is it’s always about sort of layers. And so that sort of the hook, which would be Lynnette Jackson explains the industrial metaverse and then getting to the point where the PhD has done it, kind of not the 1i1, but the sort of advanced industrial metaverse. And then just to have the conversation to that, then, you know, the conversation I’m going to have is going to be much simpler level. But the conversation that the Ph.D. is going to have is really, I think, in terms of for brand to demand a company that then is thinking, gosh, I should be getting on this journey towards the industrial metaverse, thought that that conversation. And then I think you can really it can be very meaningful as a as a communications tool.

Bill Sherman And you can set out a trail of breadcrumbs, if you will, from where someone is today and where they may be thinking to where the level of understanding that they need. And then if they choose to go deeper, great. But, you know, it is easier to define, okay, if you’re in this type of role, what you need to know. And then you talked about the data and analytics. I think from a content side, we are very good at, you know, online being able to track from the relational side. It’s a little bit harder when it’s delivered hand to hand or through spoken conversation, the pull asides, the one on ones. And often that’s where a lot of good ideas are shared is because it’s shared through people.

Lynette Jackson Right. Yes. Yeah. And that’s what I think is so brilliant about thought leadership is because people at the center of it because and this is where so I mean funny story when I was working for an executive and explain to them why they should be more active on LinkedIn and they were really what I see on I don’t understand I’m seeing this this flow of content on my on my lectern and why is that valuable for a customer? And then me having to explain algorithms and a customer sees a completely different experience and then me giving the data about, you know, we track the data if our channel, one of our channels posts an article, then you get no, say, 10% of the rage when that executive does because they want to people want to hear from people and people follow people. And of course, people follow channels as well. But I mean, it’s staggering the difference between engagement and reach, because talking to Symonds, then you know that there’s a communications person around it. Talking to Bob Smith, Executive Vice President You’re going to get Bob Smith replying much, much if that’s the conversation.

Bill Sherman And much more likely you’re getting the voice of the expert directly. And I think that’s one of the things that when we talk about LinkedIn. Or other social media. That ability to find and connect with someone and engage in conversation is orders of magnitude what it used to be. Right. And that transforms how we communicate ideas and how we present the brand. So both from a comms perspective as well as a thought leadership perspective.

Lynette Jackson Yes. And I mean, what’s so exciting is we have ambassadors and internal influencers, we might call them who we support, and we choose the people who are experts, but we choose the people who are experts and want to do this because they have an interest. And I mean, I think that communications is the best job in the world. And so people who are engineers get the chance to experience what it’s like to be a communicator. And I’ve had some great conversations with colleagues who really love this. And it’s a joy for them to be a part of it. And they see it, so they see the business value. But personally, it’s really interesting for them. And because they’ve got such a passion for their subject, I mean, these deep experts that we have on such a range of topics quite phenomenal.

Bill Sherman Well, and even if we break down something you said earlier that Saturday afternoon or the Saturday reading, right, it’s very possible that your target audience may not be looking for the white paper, but they’ll pop up on LinkedIn. And if they follow one of your colleagues, they’ll be more likely to go, Oh, what? Back to Bob Smith. What did Bob say today? And click on that Seymour button after the first you and read and engage, Right. Because they want to know what Bob said and maybe they only have time for a snack rather than a full meal of something to read. But that’s okay too.

Lynette Jackson Yeah. And I think that that’s what’s great is there’s all different formats that you can use anything. And I, I remember the day and this is a colleague of mine, Karen, who talked about snackable content and. Exactly. Yeah, I just I love I love that term. And so there is everything from snackable content to a whole thought leadership series of white papers that go really super and beautiful research pieces and, and then you can have multi-sensory content. And that’s what I think is so nice about thought leadership is the breadth of what’s possible. And I mean, we have a culture in Siemens of really thinking about test and fail test and succeed. And I’m continuously trying new techniques and tools and then really seeing what’s working and doing more of the stuff that works and stopping some of the things where I mean what was interesting is we were tracking on the topic of sustainability what gets traction. And there’s all I mean there’s every kind of day, that day of any use paper bags, there’s day of whatever. And that they just don’t really get traction, but have a real story of, of a person doing something that has a positive impact and sustainability. Then, then you get the traction, as I think this is why I’m such a massive fan of data and analytics to drive your strategy. I mean, it’s it’s nothing new, but I think that we’re getting more and more sophisticated. And this is where I come back to the credibility and visionary, because there was a few years ago where people started talking about, you know, you can analyze the bars and there’s the bars in the white space and it’s part of the white space and the and the buzz is about pairs. And you’re an apple orchard owner. Right? Right. And so basically that’s why it becomes really important to say credibility is what we know we want to be selling more of and getting engagement on to support our business goals. And then there’s that visionary layer that is has to be linked so that when people when you’re talking about you’re talking about the next generation of Apple and how apples might be manufactured in vertical farms in the future, then it links to your apple orchard that you’re trying to sell. But if you’re talking pears.

Bill Sherman And I think from that perspective, the ability to take ideas and insights which are in the future, they’re not today’s problem, but they’re around the corner, whether they’re six months from now or a year or five years. And to be able to make that idea real and give people a glimpse of something they haven’t been thinking about is incredibly powerful. But you’ve also got to bring that, like you said, in tied to credibility, because otherwise you sound like, you know, you’re just, you know, painting of future of the flying cars we’ve been promised since 1950, Right?

Lynette Jackson Yeah. You know what? It reminds me of something. For years and years and years ago, I worked for an American automotive supplier, so had been acquired by ZF then. But I remember preparing for the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is now the Munich Motor Show. I had this idea of. So we did driver assist systems and then the talk was a lot about safety. But then more and more, I mean this is a long time ago there was more and more talk about fuel efficiency and green solutions. And so then I had the idea talking to my super duper clever engineering colleagues, I said, What if. We could have a green button. But when you’re driving because you’ve got adaptive cruise control, you’ve got daring assist and other technologies that can regulate how fuel efficiently you drive, how about you have a green button in your car and then you press and this I mean, this is long time ago. And so we had this press release at the time, press release about the future of the green button car. And I was so proud because my engineering colleagues thought, yeah, that is feasible. What’s very interesting in an engineering space is how do you convince your colleagues to talk about things that might not happen? And especially in a market, Germany, that is more conservative potentially than the US perhaps. And so making sure that you’re convincing your colleagues to talk about the what if scenarios because especially we have advanced technology and these super duper clever researchers who are looking right into the future but getting them to put it on paper without being nervous that it might never happen. But I think those might never happen. Imagine, imagine situations so powerful and engaging more than then talking about what is going to come in six months time. That’s important too. But opening up the possibilities is really exciting.

Bill Sherman It’s the power of what if. And I and I like what you said in terms of and I think it’s a great point that an engineering based culture of an organization looks at what if differently than if you were with a software company in Silicon Valley that’s got VC money and, you know, they’re rushing to try and get their product out the door, right? They want to sell that even before it exists, whereas the engineers are probably a little bit more, well, let’s be cautious here. We’ll put out the data, you know, and that will stay on firm footing. Right.

Lynette Jackson And making sure that what we’re talking about, we’re not going to raise expectations in a bad way that is going to frustrate the customer. And so making sure that we’re talking about things that are achievable in the product pipeline because this is something that’s super duper interesting, exciting, and I know it’s going to be a great story and a great piece of content, but that we’re not going to have to deliver to the customer but for too long is not good. So it’s getting that balance.

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 and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listening apps as well as

Bill Sherman So how do you convince your colleagues to talk about what if? I would love to hear what you’ve tried. What’s work? How do you get people to be a little bit more comfortable to talk about possibility?

Lynette Jackson Yeah, I mean, I think it’s about, as I said, we’re a big enough community that you have the luxury that we find the people who are the people who want to be a thought leader and a keen to to talk. And then I think it’s about. So some of it’s about education and then it’s about them owning how they talk about it. I mean, a great example is we’ve got this wonderful she was one of our inventors of the year and what she’s doing is so great. She has been working to understand how do you inject empathy into a chat bot?

Bill Sherman Oh, that’s a tough challenge.

Lynette Jackson Yeah. And how cool is that? And so what’s interesting is she’s been talking about this for quite a number of years and now it really is is is like. But the brilliant thing about her is she’s a natural storyteller. And so I think it’s about finding the people where this comes naturally and they are, you know, to convince somebody who’s nervous of doing it. I do. I’d rather find the people who have an appetite. And because we’re talking about engineers, they’re nominee. I think you have to point to where you’ve done it and you haven’t broken anything. You know, this piece of thought leadership was what if and quite in the future, but wasn’t. And coming back to the industrial metaverse, interestingly, I had the conversation when I first took this job in October 21. In November, I sent an email around to colleagues saying this industrial metaverse is that’s something that we could own from a thought leadership perspective. And I still have the emails where it’s like, Oh, no, no, no. Fast forward to last June. We. Launched a partnership with Nvidia, which is about the industrial metaverse. And so the great thing is there is still a future. So I think the beautiful thing is finding the right time and everything.

Bill Sherman Right? Right. Yeah. There is thought leadership, which is evergreen, where you can be talking about it for five, ten, 15 years and it stays the same thing because you’re still speaking to a core value or principle. And then there are things where there are is specifically a season and a time to shape a conversation and to jump into an existing conversation.

Lynette Jackson Yeah, So that’s what’s really I mean, I really am very, very proud of the team and that’s been senior management and leaders to really say we want to kind of own the space of the industrial metaverse and be the first industrial company to really talk about the possibilities of the industrial metaverse. And so that we that’s one of the things I think we’ve done well as we’ve set up a team to kind of think about the topic that that you can shape the conversation. And so it’s about not waiting to listen to the analytics people who say because there’s no buzz about that, I mean, because it is new news.

Bill Sherman You look at Google search results, for example, right? On topics for thought leadership, you’re always chasing where the conversation has been rather than where it needs to go.

Lynette Jackson Yes, exactly. And that’s what I find really exciting, is sort of doing the proper analysis to work out where you want to have these conversations that links to your business strategy and is providing that umbrella. So not coming and talking about an exciting, interesting topic that’s leftfield, but talking about an exciting, interesting topic that is going to really help the person who needs to sell something that’s related to that.

Bill Sherman So let’s pivot for a moment. I want to ask a question about you. You have said in this recording that you really love thought leadership. Okay. My question is, how did you get into a position where that happened? Right. What’s your journey?

Lynette Jackson Yeah, so I started going way back at university. I studied languages and I thought about becoming a journalist. And then I went I mean, back then there was a careers officer in University College. And then when I spoke to people, then they would say, Oh, Lynnette, journalism, you’re not hard nosed enough because everyone thinks that the journalist that’s going and so stepping people and asking me about a tragedy rather than a business journalist, and actually they were right, because I don’t think that would have been my thing. So then I literally looked at related careers and saw public relations. And then because I always have loved to write, it’s my it’s a the kind of core of my competencies, a communications is the written word. I just I just love words. And so then I got a career in PR and then I worked in a PR consultancy, then went in-house as an internal comms person, then got some responsibility for media relations because of my background and marketing communications and brand, and then kind of grew up in a company and then it’s, you know, what’s really annoying? I can’t even remember the first time I heard that the idea of thought leadership. And I think that thought leadership is that intersection between brand and public relations, because public relations, media relations, it’s all about editorial content. And you have the different newsletters that I’ve been the editor of back in the day. And there is that sort of crafting thought leadership within it, within a print newsletter. But then and then I’ve sort of watched as this discipline has evolved, and I just absolutely love the possibilities because of that passion for the written word. And as I said at the beginning, I think getting a brand campaign right, you have to boil it down to an essence, which is a fun thing to do as well. But with thought leadership, you have so many more words to get the message and to engage. And what I love about it is that it’s two way. And then as in when you are head of communications, then I can remember the first time I tweeted about my son losing a tooth just to see what happened there. And it’s just like that seems so banal. And then I’ve become so fascinated by the different platforms where you can have the conversations and then looking at the analytics and see what it does with the different types of content you do. So that’s how I’ve been very, very lucky in my journey and then end up head of communications to Siemens and able to create it together with my head of media relations and executive positioning, create a new team. It’s not that we didn’t have. Thought leadership in Siemens, of course, but we didn’t have we hadn’t named it as such, and we didn’t orchestrate it enough because those thought leadership departments in the businesses and said what I’ve tried to do is to kind of join the dots.

Bill Sherman And with that, I think there’s a difference between the people who voluntarily do thought leadership because it’s something they’re excited to do versus if there’s a named function and some curation of the work. Right. And recognizing, yes, this is part of the work that we need to do to grow the business, to reach our goals, but not relying on serendipity for it to happen and to have some sort of orchestration and structure.

Lynette Jackson Yeah. And so, I say to the team, I mean, when they got set up the vision that the head of media relations and I shared was there’s two main pillars. And one is the most fun part, which is deciding the content. Know what the topics that you want people to be talking about, finding the beautiful formats and I mean we’ve done some beautiful collaborations and in the business some really lovely research pieces and that’s the fun of it I mean the bit that would make me wake up in the morning and I actually think that I’m just a little bit sorry. That was my journey that I never was ahead of thought leadership. I mean, I’m slightly sorry about that.

Bill Sherman Well, that tail didn’t necessarily exist when it would have been at the right point in your career, right?

Lynette Jackson I know. I know. But I mean, I’ve still got some maybe some years left. Maybe. Maybe I’ll do that one day. Maybe when I retire, I’ll do it for a really small company. That would be cool. But so, you’ve got the content, which is which is super important, but equally important. And there’s some people who would who get as excited as I do about the written word, get excited about the orchestration. And in a company like Siemens, that is equally powerful, if you think we have our five board members, our 20 plus business unit CEOs, we have our country CEOs, and they’re all thought leaders for four Siemens more enthusiastic, less enthusiastic, but they all have a voice. Then we have all of our subject matter experts. And if you don’t orchestrate, then you’re super inefficient. And so that orchestration is really, really powerful for a company, a large company. And that’s something that the team has taken. And so the orchestration part is about the people is about how do you onboard the ambassadors, the thought leaders, the influencers, how you what are the processes you put in place and including training, etc.. And then there’s sort of platform how do you manage the content repository? So, you’ve got the messaging and some examples of all of the content that’s been published so that you can in a multiple languages, multiple markets. It doesn’t make sense that everyone’s reinventing the wheel, right?

Bill Sherman Right.

Lynette Jackson It does make sense that they’re making it new and their own and engaging in a conversation. That’s where it isn’t just about having a library of articles that you’re publishing. Thought leadership isn’t that.

Bill Sherman Well, and then even having what I would describe as a talent pipeline. Right. So you talk about the country CEOs, you talk about your individual subject matter experts. What are the topics that you want to be producing thought leadership for? What is the talent pipeline for that? And so that, you know, it’s not congratulations, You’re now the CEO of this country. You’re doing thought leadership. You’ve been prepared for that journey and that part of the role beforehand.

Lynette Jackson Yeah. And what I love is it’s really interesting where these thought leaders come from and they can be all different roles. And that’s what I think where people have that passion for it then that the better ones. And I just I love it when I read just on one of the channels a great piece of thought leadership and then the great thing in my job then I will send a note to saying congratulations, Well done. I love it. I’m always interested to understand, is that coming just from you or do you have a nice comms colleague who’s supporting you? And it’s probably almost 5050. You’ve got these super talented subject matter experts that probably could have been highly successful if they had a career in communications.

Bill Sherman Well, and I think as you look at that, the mantra that I’ve used many years is in thought leadership. Your audience is never more interested in your topic than you are. And for those people who have that passion and fire and they want to get a message out to the world that signals a lot, even if you don’t have the formal training in writing and copy editing and all of those things, you can still get a message out even if you get a little bit of punctuation wrong.

Lynette Jackson Yeah, I mean, that’s what I love is I mean, it’s about authenticity, isn’t it? So yeah. And it’s much more authentic. And this is really because I, because I love to write and I, I write it as a note to the community in seminars or if there’s something published on extending I’ve written it normally I mean, might be that somebody does a first draft for me but I’m awful because I always and I have a voice and people will comment, they’ll see a headline and they know that I’ve my hands have been in it and they know when they read. So end of year letter or a thank you note, they know if I if I’ve written. So that authenticity is super important and I’m obsessed with punctuation and grammar and all the rest of it. But I think it’s really nice when you read stuff where it is more down to us. Real self expressed, not lots of non-natives writing in English, which I just I’m always in awe of because you wouldn’t want to read my stuff in French or German.

Bill Sherman So as we begin to wrap up, I want to ask you one last question, and that would be given where you are now and how you’ve come to see thought leadership and how it fits into the organization. What advice would you give your younger self?

Lynette Jackson Oh, that’s brilliant. I would say learn it. So that’s it. As an aside, that’s the one thing I never did and I wish I had. But I think I would have spent some time learning data and analytics a bit more deeply earlier, and I should have as soon as thought leadership became a thing, I should have looked for job and thought leadership. But now you give me regret because I haven’t ever had a regret. Now, now this this conversation has said, Well.

Bill Sherman We don’t want to end on a down note, do we? So then what are you glad of the one thing that you did that has paid dividends going forward?

Lynette Jackson You know, that is back to Mike, the journalist who I worked for in my first PR consultancy, and having a journalist who told me they taught me the ropes of writing good copy. And I was. Broken hearted. And when I did, I wrote an invitation to a media event and they all that red pen there. But that couching in terms of making sure that you write engaging copy and that you really think about the audience and keeping it punchy. I’m very, very grateful for all of the great writers that I’ve worked with and read and everything that they taught me. So. Roger Bishop I was thinking of him. He was an editor of a technical magazine. Thinking about him the other day or these. And I love when I see and I’ve got colleagues here at Siemens when I read that beautiful words. I’m so grateful for every great piece of copy I’ve read.

Bill Sherman Fantastic. I think you and I could have a long conversation about the joys of writing, of reading, and then being a language and lit lover who then goes into data and statistics. Right. Because that was my journey to 20 years later, I realized, Oh, I really need to learn that. I want to thank you, Lynnette, for a wonderful conversation today for talking about your views on thought leadership, how it’s working at Siemens. This has been fantastic.

Lynette Jackson Thank you so much. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And you’ve made me think, which is always very helpful.

Bill Sherman Thank you. If you’re interested in organizational thought leadership, then I invite you to subscribe to the OrgTL newsletter. Each month we talk about the people who create, curate and deploy thought leadership on behalf of their organizations. Go to the website. and choose ‘Join our newsletter.’ I’ll leave a link to the website as well as my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.