When I was a child, my parents took me to Disney World. And I remembered being so excited to visit Tomorrow Land, Mission to Mars, Space Mountain, The People Mover. It all sounded really really cool and really exciting. And when we got there, I remembered that there was this one thing that stood out to me. These giant video phones. They seemed impossibly large. They seemed a vision of the future alright but one that had been crafted in the 1960s. So by the time I got there in the 1980s, it felt dated like a museum.
Many of our thought leadership editorial calendars suffer the Tomorrow Land problem. We built a vision of the future based on assumptions of where we thought the world was heading. Then, 2020 happened.
Those basic assumptions of how people live and work have been upended. At least, for a little while. Messaging we thought was perfectly well tuned seems out of step or out of touch. Modalities such as live speaking events have been canceled. And people, they’re not tuned in on the same set of needs. They’ve got different needs and pain points. When the world returns to normal, normal will seem very different. Things that have been common place today will have been swept away. And things that have seemed unobtainable or impossible will be here. I don’t know what your organizational thought leadership is about. I don’t know its vision for the future.
However, here’s a few suggestions:
In the short term, I think we need to refocus our thought leadership editorial plans around our audiences. Reach out to them with relevance and authenticity. That’s how you’ll get their attention.
And then behind the scenes, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to rethink how this new world challenges our thought leadership. We need to be prepared to reshape and adapt.