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Leveraging Thought Leadership

Dec 16, 2021

There are two popular roads that can be taken when building a consulting firm. The first is intense specialization; becoming the gold standard in a particular domain. The other is to have a more general focus, relying on a broad variety of topics that can be combined and recombined to solve many different problems. But what happens when the truth of your brand lies on both roads?

Niko Canner is the Founder of Incandescent, a firm which has many talents: it serves as a thought partner to leaders of large enterprises on strategy, organization and innovation; advises founders on the development of their ventures; and partners with foundations and non-profits engaged in systems change.

Prior to founding Incandescent, Niko was co-founder and Managing Partner of the consulting firm Katzenbach Partners. In our conversation, he recalls his struggles to properly but concisely describe their firm to the market, and how many potential buyers walked away without properly understanding their value. Niko also shares how the term "Breakthrough Organizational Performance" was the key that let them go to market as both specialists and generalists, and find buyers competing for their attention.

Niko shares the conversations that took place prior to that acquisition, how to find a good fit for both acquiring and acquired company, and explains the factors anyone hoping to see their firm acquired someday should be considering now.

Three Key Takeaways:

  • In order to successfully market your thought leadership, you need a platform that is succinct and resonates.
  • If your thought leadership brand is too general, you can get lost in the crowd. Get too specific, and you could become irrelevant to most. Find the path between!
  • When looking to have your thought leadership firm acquired, you need to establish a relationship and prove that you are a good strategic fit to your buyer.