Making a Case for Thought Leadership in SharePoint 2010
Thought leader is a buzzword or article of jargon used to describe a futurist or person who is recognized among peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights – Wikipedia
OK, ok, I mentioned the “g” word (governance) in my last post and I’ll probably do it 100 or so more times in the coming year. Today, however, I want to throw out a term that I think will be almost as important with SharePoint 2010… thought leadership.
Having been in the knowledge management space for some time, I have seen all types of systems and theories around discovering experts. I have always contended that these systems seldom work because the expert does not want to be found. He/She is often hit with random emails or phone calls because some keyword matched his/her profile. There is no context. It makes for inconsistent and incomplete interactions. Forget experts; think thought leaders.
I’ve been a “thought leadership person” for some time. That means that I have a natural draw to people who do what they do well and can explain it simply to teach others (examples: some folks I follow on twitter - @andrewconnell for SharePoint, @b_bradley for brand protection, @pointbsearch for recruitment strategy). I also work very hard to be considered a thought leader. What does that mean? It is a commitment to my audience, the known and unknown, to provide value and originality in all the mediums I touch, big or small (speaking engagements, blogs, tweets, article quotes, etc.) and to do it regularly and with continued vigor and passion… because, over time, my body of work helps define who I am, my methodology and my approach. All of this based on what I have learned… that drives efficiency. What does have to do with SharePoint 2010?
I think that the new social computing features in SP2010 will allow it to more easily identify, promote and quantify internal thought leaders. From writing documents or articles to having a blog to tagging content to tagging oneself, a user will begin to develop an internal personal brand; one that can be fostered to more easily assist others (wherever they might be) in both what they are doing as well as what they have done. That’s cool stuff.
Some of this might not resonate right now but, trust me, when all of these social computing pieces start to come together the thought leaders will be more easily enabled (love that word) and organizations can then start to weight the content from these folks more strongly because their output is less about information and more about wisdom.