Archive for wisdom

The Story of Wisdom

Posted in brand, creativity, wisdom with tags , , , , on June 21, 2010 by wisdomlondon

We have been asked plenty of times why Wisdom London is called Wisdom London.  Good question.  So here’s the story…

I was scooting home one day in December 2009 when a careless minicab driver drove into me.  All very dramatic – ambulances, police  and A&E, but fortunately nothing broken. That was my epiphany moment – I was going to do what I loved doing: communicate.

So the idea for a communications consultancy was born but I needed a name.  I started to write down the words that meant most to me, and Wisdom was the first one. I thought about what Wisdom meant to me and to my fledgling business.  It was this:

  • In business, we are all selling wisdom.  Whether it’s the know-how to do something, the insight to solve problems or the foresight to see what will be big…it’s all some form of wisdom
  • Wisdom London is about helping businesses tap into, harness and share their individual and collective wisdom through brilliantly thought-out marketing communications
  • Wisdom is an amazingly powerful asset and businesses often don’t recognise it in themselves, or are somehow unwilling to use it
  • Everyone’s wisdom is different...and therein lies the beauty of it. It’s all relevant
  • Wisdom London is passionate about connecting with people through communications, and often wisdom is the gift that we offer to make that connection – from tweets to sharing ideas over coffee to advice
  • Hence, wisdom is – to me – the best of thinking: being wise, thoughtful, well-judged, analytical, pragmatic and honest

Wisdom wouldn’t go away – it was absolutely my first and instinctive choice, and I loved it more when Drew Creative Branding helped bring it to life through their beautiful brand treatments. The ‘London’ bit was partially practical (trademark reasons) and partially emotional (the city about which I am beyond passionate).

I still have that scribbled page in my battered Moleskine notebook.  I never fail to smile when I look at it.  And I do, especially when I need to make a big decision – instincts are rarely wrong.

Kate Spiers is the proud founder and CEO of Wisdom London, a creative communications consultancy.  She is more in love with wisdom now than ever.

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Thought Leadership: The Real Deal

Posted in thought leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by wisdomlondon

Thought Leadership is a pretty well-used phrase these days and I fear its true meaning may be getting a little lost. Content alone does not equal thought leadership and many businesses would do well to remind themselves of what makes their content genuinely thought-leading.

I’m a big believer in the power of well-conceived and brilliantly orchestrated thought leadership. For the corporate world especially, it’s an excellent way of sharing collective wisdom, making superstars of their subject matter experts, and wrapping value and credibility around their brands.

But it’s no easy task. For an organisation to maintain a coherent message and gather momentum in the thought leadership stakes, they need a plan. What they want to say, when, by whom and how. And that should, of course, reflect the genuine wants, needs and interests of their target audience.

That’s not to say organisations should play lip-service: thought leadership should inform but also provoke and encourage debate. It’s fine to ask questions, even if you can’t give a definitive answer to them yet – the potential for dialogue is key. Great thought leadership inspires, generates ideas and develops a concept further.

What’s the difference? Thought Leadership v. Content

Thought Leadership IS:

  • A blend of knowledge, wisdom, ideas and interpretation
  • A different take on a subject – suggests new perspectives
  • An invitation for discussion
  • Attached to a person or people – it’s a human activity, not a ‘corporate’ one
  • Being curious, thought provoking and considered
  • Accessible, agile and current

Thought Leadership IS NOT:

  • …necessarily directed from the top
  • Unsynthesised facts and figures
  • A one-way street: it’s a basis for discussion and sharing
  • A sales pitch, disguised thinly or otherwise

I hope that the above might serve as a useful checklist for thought leadership development.  But that’s just the start.  Once you’ve got something thought-leading to say, make sure you say it!

Make the most of the channels available – thought leadership can and does exist on micro-blogging platforms as well as on the speaker podium and in print. Share the best of your thought-leading ideas with your clients by bringing them together in a roundtable debate. Integrate it in your media relations planning. Make sure you have passionate and articulate thought leaders ready and willing to enter into the debate.

Take your wisdom to a new level by applying about some thought leadership rigour – the business world will be a richer place for it.

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Kate Spiers is founder and director of Wisdom London.  (And a thought leadership freak.)