Why bring your thinking forward?
It’s a remarkably interesting question that came up when discussing this subject with two thought-leaders for this post. One thought-leader is at such an early stage in sharing his thinking that he is reluctant for me to use his name. The other is Daryl Conner, a venerable legend in the Change Management Industry, who welcomes the exposure.
How each person wants to show up in this post relates directly to their unique stage of thought leadership development. Understanding why they are sharing their thinking with the world provides interesting insight for leaders who are wondering how one person can make a difference for their business and in their industry.
My early-stage friend is bringing forward a new financial model that is very disruptive. On one hand, it can help a lot of people, people like you and me be more successful with our financial planning. On the other, it requires the financial industry to change and adapt to account for it. In other words, it needs to be carefully introduced as to not have the industry squash it before it has a chance, but have enough exposure to all of us to show demand.
For Daryl, it was about “Claiming the Space.” Conner Partners, a leader in the Change Management industry for over 38 years had seen a rise in the popularity of blogs and then an eruption of content from a newer competitive landscape. Some of the newer competition was touting methodologies as their own without giving credit to Conner Partners. Daryl’s journey in publishing began by launching the Change Thinking blog to re-claim their leadership position within the industry. However, as time went by, and the goal of claiming the space achieved, it became about something much bigger. It became about promoting the profession.
For my early-stage friend, it’s all about disruption. Bringing this thinking forward had the potential to disrupt his current business, as it offered a distraction from the day-to-day management of the “Golden Goose” core business and, because of the costs associated with developing the model affected business capital. Being no different from any other new business model, it disrupts those that are satisfied with the stats-quo and can be met with friction, if not downright anger by the industry. However, in the face of all of this, it has inspired those who are dissatisfied with the status quo; the up-and-comers in the financial industry and all of us who want to have more control over our financial futures,.
For Daryl, it’s all about re-emergence. Bringing his thinking forward has resulted in the re-establishment of relationships previously lost. It has also allowed for Conner Partners to be seen as not only still in the game, but one of the powerful forces in that game. For Daryl personally, it’s been about being seen as an elder with wisdom to share with the industry. Interestingly enough, it has allowed Conner Partners to be seen as advocates for the advancement of the profession, not just the business, discussing domains of development previously never explored. In fact, Daryl has been able to create programs to help change practitioners from other organizations develop their practices with much success.
Finally, as you would imagine, their advice for anyone considering sharing their thinking is equally divergent based on where they are sitting in their thought leadership development.
Before bringing disruptive thinking forward, my early-stage friend offers:
- Make sure you carefully protect the “Golden Goose” which could be a business or allocation of capital that is going to fund the development of your thinking
- Be sure those closest to you know what you’re up to and that what you are up to will change over time
- Surround yourself with the right team of experts and advisors and don’t be afraid to change them up as your needs change
Daryl Conner suggests the following for anyone “claiming their space”
- Focus only on what you want to convey
- Write to satisfy only one person – you
- Make it pure substance — there is enough noise and streams of conciseness already
The underlying theme here that I see is to be clear about what you are up to. What are your intentions in bringing your thinking forward? Is it to disrupt an industry and bring a new and valuable model forward to replace one that is no longer useful, or is it to advance the development of your industry? What’s yours?
My reasons are simple. I bring my thinking forward to explore what it takes to actualize potential. For me, my writing provides provocations, frameworks and observations that invite us leveraging our best selves to make the biggest difference in our world. What I’ve taken away from writing this post is, as clear as my intentions are, sharing my thinking is an ongoing process. Each step is a chance to re-focus, assess and move forward with more and more clarity.
What is it you see for yourself as you bring your thinking forward? What impact do you want to have on others, your business or an industry when you share your perspectives?