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iManage, Issue #36 - 3 Steps to Encourage Thought Leadership at Work
November 18, 2012


3 Steps To Encourage Thought Leadership at Work

Thought Leaders are those sought after experts that people want to follow - they have a lot to offer in terms of creativity and innovation and they inspire others. You can follow thought leaders on sites such as LinkedIn on the web.

Thought Leaders are just as important in the workplace as in cyberspace. Do you have thought leaders in your place of work? Here are 3 steps to building a culture that supports thought leadership skills and helps develop individuals who may have a lot to offer in the right environment.

Step 1: Create an interest in continuous improvement

If your employees have been doing the same tasks since the year dot, it is hard for them to be innovative and creative.

Take the time to meet with them individually in a un-interrupted setting. Listen to their ideas for improving the business either in their immediate work area or on a broader scale.

Small changes add up and can have a positive impact on the business. Discuss possible cross training or attendance at courses that will help change their perspective and learn new skills.

Some people are slower to embrace change so you need to take an individual approach and pace accordingly. Work towards having an individual learning and development plan for each team member.

Step 2: Have individuals present at team meetings

Get team members to research on relevant topics that are new and of value to the team and present to others in a supportive environment. Not only does this encourage learning and teamwork, but it also builds confidence - an important trait in thought leadership.

Arrange team meetings on a regular basis and rotate the presenter so they all have a chance to contribute.

Step 3: Get everyone involved in goal setting

Take time out from everyday tasks and explain your long term vision for the business to mixed groups of your employees, ideally between 6 - 8 people.

Work with them to get clarity around your vision and translate it into goals that they can accomplish and take responsibility for.

Getting people involved in strategic development really helps to foster creative thinking and new ideas.

You may have many potential thought leaders in your business - give them the chance to demonstrate and grow their skills in a climate that encourages and supports creative thinking. Set up continuous improvement processes for putting their innovative ideas into action.

For more ideas on practical management skills, join our webinar on Tuesday, 27 November at 7.30pm GMT. Details to follow!

For a comprehensive guide to managing people and yourself in the workplace download our Essential Management Skills Workbook Collection

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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