And more effective.

Paul Hebert, 2015

Paul Hebert | Founding Member, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

Blogging; the navel gazing of the early 21st century. Citizen journalism. The “averaging” of writing in the business world. And yes. I’m a part of that. I’m a contributor to the millions of words zinging around the internet filling your inboxes and your brains with important and intelligent words that hope to move you. Not necessarily move you to action but move you to think “that was so smart.”

Thought leadership; the goal of almost every consultant, brand and person on the internet. If you’re not on a list somewhere as “thought leaders to follow on myspace” you aren’t doing your job. People will tell you that goal isn’t to be on the list – but they are being a bit disingenuous. They want to be on that list. They need to be on that list. If they didn’t care about being on the list – they wouldn’t share being on that list. Even when they say “I don’t care about being on lists but here’s one I’m on.” Yeah – we see what you did there. The humblebrag is strong in the thought leadership space

Thought leadership; the ability to take a study, a poll, or a true research paper (very rare – the Mew of thought leadership) – and spin the results in a way someone hasn’t thought of yet. Sometimes the leader of thought will use a business concept 2016-08-08 hrexaminer photo img pokemon mew on thought leadership article john sumser.jpg 125x70pxas the connector – sometimes it is simply a Pokémon metaphor (see Pokémon Mew image.) The net-net is thought leadership is about turning a phrase or turning a concept in a way that people see it as clever and smart enough to share with their networks.

We have a lot of thought leadership.

What we need more thought – doership. (See what I did there – I was clever – go share this please!)

Behave your way to results...

You’ve heard that before I’m sure. In fact, neuroscience research suggests that people act their way into believing rather than thinking their way into acting. Meaning – wait for it – thought leadership is less effective at changing behaviors – than simply changing behavior. Weird right? Much of the thought leadership out there is about branding, communications, executive discussions. Changing the way a company “talks” about engagement and less about what you can DO to drive engagement.

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We have a lot of thought leadership. What we need - more thought doership. Behave your way to results. In fact, neuroscience research suggests that people act their way into believing rather than thinking their way into acting.

Want to have engagement in your organization – try some thought doership. Change behaviors —tangible, actionable, repeatable, observable, and measurable behaviors. Create and encourage behaviors around empowering your employees. Help your employees collaborate more easily. Teach people how to have crucial conversations about performance and problems. Stop talking about what engagement is and start doing engagement things. If you’re a manager start – ENGAGING. Warning you may have to have a real –life, in-person, non-technologically-enhanced, face-2-face chat (lots ‘o hyphens in that sentence.)

Thought doership is instead of trying to improve customer service through signs urging employees to being nice – you focus your employees on “precursor behaviors (article here on Stratgey+Business) “seemingly innocuous behavior that reliably precedes the occurrence of problem behavior. Leaders had noticed that poor teaming led to poor customer service, so the company rolled out a plan to encourage better and more effective teaming within call centers. To accomplish this, they set up regular design sessions for improving practices. When employees felt they were part of a happy team, and sensed a greater level of support from colleagues, they began treating their customers better.”

See – no speeches. No posters. No messaging.


You too can be an engagement professional. You too can be a thought-doer.

And trust me – the ironic nature of writing a post about though doership in a format used for thought leadership is not lost on me. In fact it makes me smile.

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