How to develop Thought Leaders

These days many professional services and technology firms looking to differentiate themselves lean on an age old technique of creating thought leadership. But truly differentiated and provocative thought leadership is actually hard to come by. Most of the time, it is just interesting theory without any proof. Moreover, does the thought leadership actually drive the business and create sales or is it just content for content sake.

To get a better understanding of this space I decided to interview Bob Buday the co-founder of The Bloom Group whose firm specializes in the creation of cogent and well differentiated thought leadership. Bob is also the co-author of a new book Thoughts on Thought Leadership which is a great resource for anyone working to create thought leaders in their organizations.

How to develop Thought Leaders

About Bob

Bob Buday is a co-founder of The Bloom Group and has been a researcher, marketing strategist, and writer for consulting and IT companies for 15 years. Prior to launching The Bloom Group, Bob for 10 years was director of marketing communications at CSC Index. He played a leading role in making the consulting concept of “business reengineering” a household word, directing Index’s extensive publications, PR, and survey research activities.

From the development and marketing of reengineering, Index’s revenues grew from $30 million to $250 million in less than a decade. Bob was instrumental in the development and placement of two Harvard Business Review articles. He launched and directed the firm’s popular Insights Quarterly management publication, its annual study of information systems management issues, and its 1994 study of reengineering initiatives, which The Economist said was the most extensive study of reengineering to date. He also played a key role in promoting three best-selling books.

Transferring the lessons learned from marketing consulting concepts to the marketing of other complex products (particularly IT), Bob co-authored “Marketing Breakthrough Products,” published in the Harvard Business Review in 1999. His most recent Harvard Business Review piece, “A Consultant’s Comeuppance,” was published in the February 2003 issue.

Bob’s passion for research and writing about the business implications and applications of IT began in 1985, when he joined InformationWeek magazine as a senior editor. At InformationWeek, the No. 1 magazine on information technology for senior IT and business executives, he led coverage of the strategic use of IT and the software industry. Before joining InformationWeek, he was a business writer at The Orange County (Calif.) Register, where he wrote news and feature stories on companies in the real estate, consumer products, health care, IT, retailing and other industries. He has a B.A. in communications studies from Penn State University and did graduate work in an MBA program at California State University, Fullerton.

4 comments to How to develop Thought Leaders

  • Craig Stoltz

    One of my favorite aphorisms about the development of thought leadership–I’m not sure who I’m quoting here: “If you want to be a thought leader, first you have to have some thoughts.”

  • Doug - Velocity B2B marketing agency

    Excellent interview.
    Great to hear someone emphasize the ‘thought’ part of thought leadership.

    I’m sometimes guilty of publishing for publishing’s sake. This is solid thinking.

    Doug Kessler

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Craig – Amen to that comment – I tweeted it too!

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Doug

    I agree – it was very refreshing for me too to hear the emphasis on solid research based thought leadership – I loved his term “Blockbuster” content!

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