What is thought leadership?
Some people will say the term is an empty piece of business jargon—a buzzword. Others will say that thought leadership equals content marketing. The two are interchangeable.
Recently, I’ve had a chance to sit down with heads of thought leadership at large organizations, and what I’ve come to realize is that there’s no single, common, shared definition for thought leadership.
So, here’s how I define thought leadership after almost twenty years in the field.
Thought leadership is a professional practice area. It helps people see around corners into a possible future to identify either risks or opportunities. And then, it brings those insights back today to the people who need to hear them. They could be employees, prospects, buyers, a vendor ecosystem, media or public policy makers. Thought leadership engages in two-way conversation with these audiences. It’s not just pushing information out there. And then, it contains a strong bias for action. After people encounter these insights, they know what steps they need take today.