Creating thought leaders within an organization can be challenging, but it’s rewarding for both the company and employees. Thought leadership focuses on providing insights surrounding a problem instead of just pitching a quick solution.
It goes deeper than simple problem-solving, in that it highlights and shows a thorough understanding of a given problem, an ability to explain issues, as well as explore opposing views before coming to a solution.
Having thought leaders as a part of your team can help elevate your organization to new heights. Through having an organization of thought leaders, you end up creating a rich ecosystem of productive ideas and form creative and novel perspectives.
Establish your Goals Together
Before your team can focus on building thought leadership, it’s important for them to understand what your organization’s goals are. Are you looking to attract more members? Are you trying to onboard newly graduated employees entering the field? What are the things that make your organization stand out from other ones in the area? Who is your target audience? Establish these answers with your team and everyone will gain a deeper understanding of your organization’s needs.
Cultivate Their Skills
Chances are, there are many talented people within your organization with unique abilities and skills. Thought leaders are those with informed opinions and who act as a reliable source within their field of expertise. By encouraging your team to hone their unique skills and talents, you’re helping them further develop what they already bring to the table and giving them the opportunity to take a leadership role. If someone on your team has an affinity for organizing large events for your organization, for example, support him or her by seeing if he or she would be interested in taking a course in event planning.
Similar to cultivating the unique skills that each member of your team brings to the table, you should also provide them with experiences that allow them to use their skillset. Through practice, your prospective thought leaders will gain confidence. With experience, those around them will look to these individuals as experts within their field, establishing themselves as an authority. Always remember that experience is vital in creating thought leaders.
Open Channels of Communication
Encouraging individuals to become thought leaders can be difficult in that it can be hard to pique the interest of your team. Not only will they be looked at as leaders within the organization but there can also be some pressure in being relied upon. Through ensuring that honest and open communication is encouraged, your prospective thought leaders will be more likely to think freely and openly and this will ultimately encourage different and more unique perspectives. Create a safe space in which they can express themselves honestly and the rest will come.