Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Thought Leadership 2.0

Graphic from Indiangroup.com
I came across the 2.0 version of thought leadership from the article by Maria Tabaka in Inc.  She has posited that social media has opened the way for a new form of thought leadership where
“[…] the Internet allows ordinary people with extraordinary ideas to lead and make a difference. Do you have what it takes?

I've been saying for some years that the Roger's Diffusion of Innovations version of an opinion leader is well out of date (the book was first published in 1984). Many peer reviewed papers continue to reference this outmoded version of opinion leadership, without considering how social media and other technology based platforms has changed the opinion and thought leadership landscape.

Maria's advice on being a 2.0 thought leader is straightforward; you have to work at it.
“Begin by becoming a true expert in your arena. Do your research, and then do more research. Learn to speak about your ideas with passion; become a story-teller. Your passionate disposition will recruit followers and other leaders who respect and appreciate your insight. These folks will spread the word!
Step onto the stage, speak to live audiences, upload videos that teach and inspire, write, write, and write some more. Guest blog, invite others to blog as your guest. Author that book that has been burning to get out. Promote yourself to podcasters and broadcasters who speak to the same or a similar audience.

I like the way Maria focuses on the need to keep doing research. This is a theme from many of the publications about being a thought leader. To be out there, you need to be out there with something, some new content. You need something to be passionate about. Thought leadership is about going to depth, about sticking with a concept or idea and bringing it to life.  It’s not about spouting forth on the latest craze you’ve read about.

Thought Leadership 2.0 is about using social media to best effect.  It’s more than hanging on Twitter. Here’s a checklist of some activities a TL 2.) may be involved in. How many can you tick off.
  • Active on Twitter; engage in conversation, retweet others (without making them your own), share useful information and links
  • Participate in LinkedIn groups; specifically those groups within your thought leadership domain
  • Host a Facebook Page, or two
  • Maintain a personal blog and update it on a regular basis
  • Guest blog for other influential sites / people / organisations
  • Host your own podcast / video series
  • Guest on others’ podcasts or video
  • Use other social media sites such as Foursquare, Google+ etc

Yes, it’s hard work, but TL 2.0 is about extending your reach and cementing your passion in the reality of virtual relationships.

Previous articles in this series include:
  1. What or who is a thought leader
  2. Being a thought leader
  3. Organisations as thought leaders; some healthcare examples
  4. Medical Thought Leadership

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