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March 1, 2012

Thought Leadership’s Importance in a Cluttered Market

by Angi Ramos

Needle in a Haystack [photo courtesy of Flickr user HikingArtist.com]

CNN Money recently posted an article offering advice to intrapreneurs, people who drive innovative ideas within large companies, and those who want to pitch a new idea to upper management. The reporter used Lockheed Martin and Apple as examples to illustrate the idea that usually one person’s big idea can lead to huge financial success for companies.

Gifford Pinchot III, Co-Founder and President of Nyhus client Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), was quoted in the article, “Will your company back your new business idea?”, as a thought leader on the concept of intrapreneurship. Gifford is credited for coining the term “intrapreneur,” which can be applied to a variety of industries, and is especially relevant in today’s business world that thrives on innovation.  Gifford is an expert on intrapreneurship and sustainable business, which led him and his wife to start the Bainbridge Graduate Institute almost 10 years ago. As a result of Gifford’s thought leadership, intrapreneurs passionate about sustainability are among the variety of students attracted to study at BGI.

When it comes to differentiating your organization or company from competitors in a crowded market, thought leadership is key.  An effective thought leadership program can boost executive visibility and ensure your message resonates with key stakeholders. If your employer or client has any leaders who are especially smart and connected on a certain topic, you should consider thought leadership as a communications strategy.

What companies do you think do a great job showcasing thought leadership? Some Seattle-based examples we can think of, in addition to BGI, are SEOmoz, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PayScale.

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