“Thought leadership” gets a lot of traction as a hot concept to drive “innovation,” but often falls short of management’s expectations. One client — a large organization operating within the US — knew that building a new thought leadership team would require more than buzzwords; it wanted a real plan based on best practices across industries.
We partnered with our client and another local consulting firm to dive deep and cast a wide net in understanding the models of organizational thought leadership available today. How are groups situated within organizations to create effective models that get results, while allowing researchers to drive their work? What is the balance between internal work and external partnerships? We performed desktop research and interviews with folks working in thought leadership groups in the academic, entertainment and automotive industries, culminating in a report aimed at helping our client and its C-Suite select the approach that works best for their culture and goals.