A substantial piece of thought leadership will usually stem from some original primary research or a macro-study of a number of existing secondary sources. In order to be properly described as ‘thought leadership’ the research needs to lead to some new idea, or best practice or recommendations for change. This requires a certain level of research skills, as well as the ability to analyse research results and produce a well-written piece of thinking.
A good piece of thought leadership can be used in a number of different ways. It can be used to gain editorial coverage in relevant industry trade media and can help to establish the credentials of a company or organisation in a particular field. It can also be used directly to generate new business leads by sharing it with current and potential new customers.