Thoughts on Thought Leadership
The power of a new business point of view
New points of view change our life. You could describe Steve Job’s new point of view on the user interface as: we now serve our computer versus our computer needs to serve us.
Thomson Holidays, an UK travel agency, made it possible in 1981, to book and pay for a trip online, thereby being the first travel agency to do so. Their new point of view: my clients will go to my travel agency to book their trip versus what if my clients can book and pay for their trip at home? Or all carriages were pulled by horses until Cugnot believed that it was also possible without horses and invented the first steam car. Movement powered by horses versus movement powered by a steam engine. Horsepower versus non horsepower. All three new points of view that have changed our lives drastically.
Business point of view
Thought leadership requires a leading idea. A leading business idea is a strong point of view on a business problem combined with a new and better working solution. Many brands claim to offer these solutions, therefore also claiming to be a thought leader, but actually aren’t. Producing a lot of content with not more than an explanation of what the brand is and does is something else than being a thought leader. Does your brand fulfill a promise born out of a strategic business point of view? Strategic in the sense of a fundamental distinction with respect to your competitors?
Why are these new business points of view so powerful?
Powerful new business points of view are being bought because they arrive from a deep understanding and strong ‘why’ arguments. They are fascinating, compelling and poignant. Your business point of view is powerful when it is new, deep, relevant, valid, useful, robust and understandable.
New: your point of view provides new customer insights in a business problem and its solution.
Deep: your insight of a clearly defined problem is of high quality.
Relevant: it is a really serious problem and other businesses view it as so.
Valid: you have proof that your solution actually works.
Useful: implementing the solution is not a problem.
Robust: your arguments are irrefutable.
Understandable: your audience fully understands your arguments and solution.