Businesses, especially those that have been around for years, often find themselves stuck in the same patterns. Case in point: Existing employees perform their jobs the way they always have, with little change or a desire to improve.
When new employees are hired, the focus may be more on the resume — in particular, work history and education — rather than on soft skills and their ability to think outside the box. Indeed, management more often finds themselves seeking to keep the status quo rather than rewarding creative thinking.
If your business has found itself stuck in a pattern like this, it’s time for a change.
Thought leadership is an innovative business idea that can have a big impact both on a business’s success and on that of its employees. Here’s a primer on thought leadership and how it can help you to improve your work culture:
We’ve all heard before that leaders need to “lead by example.” But if the example that a manager or business owner is setting is one of passiveness, following the same procedures, and fulfilling the same duties without innovation or a desire to improve, the employees of that company are unlikely to feel inspired to improve, either. Thought leadership offers an alternative. The term refers to the practice of leading through a deep understanding of the industry and a constant desire to innovate with unique ideas and viewpoints.
The practice of leading through innovation, with a focus on positive change and forward-thinking, can have numerous impacts throughout an organization.
Just as passivity bares passivity, innovation inspires innovation. When an employee sees a leader value new ideas, they’ll feel more empowered to share their own or to look for ways to improve their work. In the same way, thought leaders can give their employees opportunities to grow and expand their own knowledge. This means greater productivity and improvements to a business’s operations, all without any additional investment.
One key element of thought leadership is prioritizing innovative thinkers during the hiring process. This means seeking out prospective employees who are experienced and knowledgeable in their fields, as well as those who aren’t afraid to try new things and fail rather than sticking to the same tired policies and practices.
One way that businesses can encourage and practice thought leadership is by making sure they understand how it applies to their industry and by seeking out areas of improvement where new ideas and innovation could be most effective. Resources like those that Paladin offers can help your company implement thought leadership and reap its many benefits.
When implementing thought leadership in your business structure, another important consideration to keep in mind is ensuring the acceptance of new ideas goes both ways. If you want your employees to support new, innovative ideas from management, you should also give them clear and inviting avenues for voicing their own ideas.
While you don’t have to utilize every idea, employees should never be made to feel as though they’ll be punished simply for lending their voice to the conversation. This not only helps to foster healthy communication in the workplace but also ensures your employees feel supported, both of which are pillars to creating a happy work environment.
By prioritizing innovative thinking and rewarding creativity, businesses can improve their overall work culture through thought leadership. Whether your business is facing challenges you want to overcome or your work environment is suffering from a lack of inspiration, implementing these tips and strategies can help you begin making improvements and pave the way for a brighter future — for your business and your employees.
By: Patrick Foster
Living the digital nomad life and contributing to a wide variety of digital publications. I love writing about all things digital, from ecommerce and branding to social media and SEO.