A thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.Thought leaders are commonly asked to speak at public events, conferences or webinars to share their insight with a relevant audience. The Oxford English Dictionary gives as its first citation for the phrase an 1887 description of Henry Ward Beecher as "one of the great thought-leaders in America." The term had earlier (1876) been applied to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was said to manifest "the wizard power of a thought-leader."
In a 1990 article in the Wall Street Journal Marketing section, Patrick Reilly used the term "thought leader publications" to refer to such magazines as Harper's .In the previous decade the term was revived and reengineered by marketers to emphasize an intangible quality of products and brands.
The term is sometimes used to characterize leaders of service clubs, officers of veterans' organizations, of civic organizations, of women's clubs, lodges, regional officials and insurance executives.
Despite being conceived as a laudatory description, the idea of thought leadership is seen to be inherently contradictory. Since the Enlightenment thinking has been taken to an autonomous activity, relying on logic and not on external authority. Max Weber noted in his studies on vocation that scholars and experts are not necessarily good leaders.Recently (2017) political scientist Daniel W. Drezner contrasted the thought leader to the public intellectual. According to his view intellectuals cultivate opposing views and ambiguities while thought leaders "develop their own singular lens to explain the world, and then proselytize that worldview to anyone within earshot".
In business and marketing 'thought leadership' usually refers to a potentially winning strategy. It is seen as a way of increasing or creating demand for a product or service. High tech firms often publish white papers with analyses of the economic benefits of their products as a form of marketing. These are distinct from technical white papers. Consulting firms frequently publish house reports, e.g. The McKinsey Quarterly,A.T. Kearney Executive Agenda, Strategy&'s Strategy and Business, or Deloitte Review where they publish the results of research, new management models and examples of the use of consulting methodologies.
The phrase "thought leader" is identified by some writers as an annoying example of business jargon,and appeared in Forbes magazine's 2013 annual "tournament" of "corporate America’s most insufferable" business buzzwords and clichés. Kevin Money and Nuno Da Camara of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation at the University of Reading's Henley Management College write that the nebulous nature of the phrase (the unclear nature of "what is and what is not thought leadership") contributes to its reputation among cynics as "meaningless management speak." Some writers, such as Harvard Business Review contributor Dorie Clark, have defended the phrase, while agreeing "that it is very icky when people call themselves thought leaders because that sounds a little bit egomaniacal."
New York Times columnist David Brooks mocked the lifecycle of the role in a satirical column entitled "The Thought Leader," published in December 2013.
A parody on the term was published in 2016 of Chris Kelly on Canadian television's This is That program. In the process of the discussion, imitating TED talks, Kelly elicits responses from the audience that exemplify the effect he describes as the result of applying well-known marketing techniques to achieve the impression of being an erudite speaker.
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A buzzword is a word or phrase, new or already existing, that becomes very popular for a period of time. Buzzwords often derive from technical terms yet often have much of the original technical meaning removed through fashionable use, being simply used to impress others. Some "buzzwords" retain their true technical meaning when used in the correct contexts, for example artificial intelligence. Buzzwords often originate in jargon, acronyms, or neologisms. Examples of overworked business buzzwords include synergy, vertical, dynamic, cyber and strategy. A common buzzword phrase is "think outside the box".
Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external advice and access to consultants' specialized expertise.
London Business School (LBS) is a business school and a constituent college of the federal University of London. LBS was founded in 1964 and awards post-graduate degrees. Its motto is "To have a profound impact on the way the world does business". LBS is consistently ranked amongst the world's best business schools.
McKinsey & Company is an American worldwide management consulting firm, founded in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, that advises on strategic management to corporations, governments, and other organizations. Under the leadership of Marvin Bower, McKinsey expanded into Europe during the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s, McKinsey's Fred Gluck—along with Boston Consulting Group's Bruce Henderson, Bill Bain at Bain & Company, and Harvard Business School's Michael Porter—transformed corporate culture. A 1975 publication by McKinsey's John L. Neuman introduced a scheme of "overhead value analysis" that contributed to a downsizing trend that eliminated many jobs in middle management.
Kearney is an American management consulting firm founded in 1926 as a branch of McKinsey & Company. The company became independent in 1939, and currently has offices in more than 40 countries worldwide. Kearney has consistently earned top places among global management consulting firm rankings, such as Vault's Consulting 50 and Consulting magazine's "Best Firms to Work For."
The Indian School of Business (ISB) is a private business school established in India in 2001. It has two campuses, in Hyderabad (Telangana) and Mohali (Punjab). It offers certificates in various post-graduate management programs. ISB became the 100th Triple Accredited business school in the world upon achieving AMBA accreditation on 12 May 2020.
In Search of Excellence is a book written by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.. First published in 1982, it sold 3 million copies in its first four years, and was the most widely held monograph in the United States from 1989 to 2006.
Robin Buchanan is a Director of companies and an adviser to family offices, private equity firms, businesses and voluntary organisations.
Change management is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support, and help individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. Drivers of change may include the ongoing evolution of technology, internal reviews of processes, crisis response, customer demand changes, competitive pressure, acquisitions and mergers, and organizational restructuring. It includes methods that redirect or redefine the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly change a company or organization. Organizational change management (OCM) considers the full organization and what needs to change, while change management may be used solely to refer to how people and teams are affected by such organizational transition. It deals with many different disciplines, from behavioral and social sciences to information technology and business solutions.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, speaker and author. He is a principal analyst studying disruptive technology and its impact on business at Altimeter Group, a research firm acquired by global brand management consultancy Prophet in 2015. Solis publishes annual industry reports that track technology and business trends and offer change management direction to companies. The author of several books discussing digital marketing, evolving business models, customer experience and brand innovation, Solis shares his research and insights as a frequent keynote speaker at technology, business and creativity events. His work is credited with influencing the early digital and social marketing landscape. Most notably, he is known for developing the Conversation Prism, “a visual map of the social media landscape,” in 2008 and revising/re-releasing it again in 2013.
John Hagel is a management consultant and author who specializes in helping executives to anticipate and address emerging business opportunities and challenges.
In 2011 Euvin Naidoo was selected by Forbes onto their Top 10 most Powerful and Influential Men under Forty in Africa list. He is currently a banking executive in Johannesburg, South Africa. A graduate of the Harvard Business School (HBS), Euvin Naidoo is also an alumnus of global international management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., having started his career at the Firm in the 1990s with a focus on growth strategies, turnarounds and engagements in Africa within financial services (banking/insurance), telecommunications, metals & mining and airlines/transport.
Corporate jargon, variously known as corporate speak, corporate lingo, business speak, business jargon, management speak, workplace jargon, corporatese or commercialese, is the jargon often used in large corporations, bureaucracies, and similar workplaces. The tone is associated with managers of large corporations, business management consultants, and occasionally government. Reference to such jargon is typically derogatory, implying the use of long, complicated, or obscure words, abbreviations, euphemisms, and acronyms. For that reason some of its forms may be considered as an argot. Some of these words may be actually new inventions, designed purely to fit the specialized meaning of a situation or even to "spin" negative situations as positive situations, for example, in the practice of greenwashing. Although it is pervasive in the education field, its use has been criticized as reflecting a sinister view of students as commodities and schools as retail outlets.
Smarter Planet is a corporate initiative of the information technology company IBM. The initiative was formed to encourage the ideas of business, government, and civil society leaders worldwide towards their path of achieving economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development, and societal progress. Examples of smarter systems include smart grids, water management systems, solutions to traffic congestion problems, greener buildings, IBM's goal and strategy is to use the capacity of these technology and process management capabilities and, outside the realm of technology, to advocate for policy decisions that, according to the IBM's management in, could "make the planet smarter.
Pankaj Ghemawat is an Indian-American economist, professor, global strategist, speaker and author known for his work in the study of globalization. He created the DHL Global Connectedness Index and the CAGE Distance Framework.
Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.
John Gerzema is an American CEO and columnist who focuses on social sciences and the impact of leadership ethics and corporate culture on consumer behavior and financial performance. He has a particular focus on female leadership traits and competencies in modern-day leadership. He is CEO of Harris Insights & Analytics, a public opinion, market research and strategy firms known widely for The Harris Poll. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of WPP Group's BAV Consulting, overseeing the BrandAsset Valuator, a consumer and brand survey. He was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Behavior 2014 by Trust Across America and was one of Forbes’ Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter 2014.
Vish Narain is a private equity investor in India and South-Asia. As Partner for TPG Growth,, he led billion dollar investments in India in financial services, healthcare, clean energy and retail sectors. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Pulsar Capital invests in India and South-Asia.
Punit Renjen is an Indian-American businessman who has been chief executive officer of the multinational professional services firm Deloitte since June 1, 2015. Previously, Renjen was chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and later, held the role of chairman of Deloitte LLP from 2011 to 2015.
Martin Roll is a Danish author, brand strategist and management consultant. Roll appears regularly in global television and print media. He holds an MBA from INSEAD where he is a Distinguished Fellow and an Entrepreneur in Residence. Roll's first book, Asian Brand Strategy, was named one of the "Best Business Books: Marketing" in 2006 by Strategy+Business. He is the founder CEO of Martin Roll Company, an advisory firm based in Singapore. He advises Fortune 500 companies, Asian firms, family-owned businesses and also served as a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company.