Apr 17, 2022
say, ” I want to be a thought leader when I grow
up.” So, when did you realize this
was what you wanted to do with your life?
leadership practitioner comes from a unique
background. Most began in
other roles, following
twisted paths that unexpectedly led them into thought leadership. When your
organization needs a formal thought leadership position, how do you take people from disparate backgrounds and
successfully stand up that new function?
To better explore this transition, we’ve invited Mark Smith. Mark is Director, HR Thought Leadership at
the Society for Human Resource
Management (also known
as SHRM). Mark’s background includes a
Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and years of
consulting in Human Resources, so he's
got the right background to help us answer this
Mark started his career
at SHRM by
leading a team to develop certification exams for HR.
This research led Mark off the beaten path into marketing, social
sales - all the while
continuing to lead his team. Eventually, Mark’s boss
recognized that Mark was doing
incredible work outside of the scope of his position,
and created the title of Director, HR Thought Leadership that Mark
holds today. As the first official thought leadership role in the
company, Mark was tasked with creating the responsibilities, roles, and
tasks that the position would require, and building it into a meaningful part of
the organization. He had to discover ways to bridge the
gap between their important research and the
audience he hoped to
shares his ideas about
papers. He tells us that
not a great medium for the average audience,
but those papers, infographics, sound bites, and more,
can be shared on social media
simple ways to take action toward more
his is a wonderful conversation
about standing up a thought leadership position. F
rom the first steps of writing a vision
for the role,
mutually beneficial partners to collaborate with and reach larger
audiences, Mark's got amazing insights
that can help you do the same.
Three Key Takeaways:
- Research often sits to
the side of business goals. Thought Leaders need
to bring that
research to their audience in an actionable way.
- Organizational Thought
Leaders need to navigate the complexity of silo'ed teams, develop buy-in, and get
everyone on the same page.
- A fast way to grow your
thought leadership reach is to collaborate with complementary
partners - especially those whose
work doesn't share the same audience.