The Relationship between Thought Leadership and Innovation: A Look at Strategy

Author(s): Hanan Alhaddi

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Abstract: Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position that involves making tradeoffs and executing activities differently than rivals. As a primarily organizational challenge, the development and reestablishing of strategies is a leadership function.  This creates an inseparable connection between strategy and leadership.  In its traditional form, leadership style can vary from charismatic to altruistic and transformational.  Different leadership styles are more effective than others based on the strategic "space".  Innovation (the creation of new ideas), in particular, mandates an additional form of leadership: Thought Leadership; the championing of new ideas.  A critical element to the success of the organization, innovation is becoming a strategic priority and core value to companies.  Based on the power of ideas to transform our way of thinking, a strong tie is established between innovation and thought leadership.  Therefore, the duo becomes a differentiator that enables organizations to achieve their strategic position in a competitive environment.  In light of that, this paper suggests the importance of thought leadership in developing strategies geared toward innovation. Therefore, this work addresses leaders and strategic managers of reasoning to ensure the presence of thought leadership capacity if they are to succeed in developing effective strategies for innovation.

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