What is Thought Leadership?
What is thought leadership? Do you define yourself as a thought leader or does that term out right annoy you? Amanda Walter, of Walter Communications, undertook a survey last year with the Cameron MacAllister group to find out how architecture firms are pursuing thought leadership. Her early findings were documented in an article for Design Intelligence.
Does the term “thought leadership” annoy you? You are not alone.
I admit that it is overused and borders on cliché, but other terms that get at the same idea —“change agent”, “futurist” — induce the same eye-rolling effect. “Knowledge sharing” lacks the sense of being visionary, and “subject-matter expert” is a mouthful and doesn’t quite convey the spokesperson quality that “thought leader” possesses.
I started dissecting this term when I began a research initiative with my colleagues at the Cameron MacAllister Group to study the prevalence of research, testing and/or knowledge sharing done by firms in the related architectural design, engineering, and construction industries — specifically efforts that are pursued independent from any one client or project for the purposes of enhancing the firm’s offerings or its reputation. For lack of a better term, we refer to these efforts as thought leadership.
+ Design Intelligence
+ Walter Communications