Thought leadership is broken.

Thought-leadership. Think about the name for a minute. What about how we believe business should be conducted today – open, collaborative, diverse & inclusive – does it reflect?

The very term is singular, masculine, exclusive. And to get specific, thought leadership today is, still, too often:

  1. Lacking diversity on-stage and on paper.
  2. Prioritising clickbait, short and shareable stories over well reasoned and evidence-based arguments.
  3. Self-promotion and sales-gimmickry in disguise.
  4. Hiding thinking behind paywalls and exclusive, expensive events.
  5. Privileging the new and the novel over the right for right now.
  6. Simply shouting and showing-off in a filter bubble, not engaging with differences of opinion.
  7. Limited in its engagement between author and audience.
  8. All action on-stage, with no follow-through.

In general, more people seem to be focusing on “being seen to be a thought leader”, rather than actually being one. The former simply takes posturing and posing by an individual or single organisation, the latter takes time and consideration and involves others in collaboration.

So what can we do?

So what are we going to do? We’re going to ask people who agree there is a problem to pledge to be part of the solution and ensure their own presentations and writing are part of doing better. Read the manifesto first.