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Thought Leadership

State Bank of India via edX


As a business-related term, Thought Leadership is of recent origin – may be just two to three decades old. Although it has existed for a much, much longer period, it has not been studied or researched systematically (much less published) as a concept, as it should have been. That is the reason the concept still remains somewhat vague for most students and business practitioners.

The term Thought Leadership means creation and dissemination of ideas that have a direct bearing on the business, ideas that tend to bring in a value addition to the business, and result in growth of business, performance and ultimately, profitability. It is much broader a concept than innovation in business. Most successful businesses of the world have practised Thought Leadership for success, even if they did not specifically use the term. For examples, the concepts like Total Quality management (TQM), Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and even technological tools like cloud computing are the direct outcome of Thought Leadership. Some of the highly successful companies such as IBM, PwC, McKinsey, Deloitte, BCG have used this concept for their own growth as well as their clients’.

As a business tool, Thought Leadership is becoming more and more popular with companies all over the world as its contribution to business growth and wealth creation is recognised by modern businesses.

The course is designed to give clarity on the concept of Thought Leadership, how it works and its usefulness, with examples. The course will be useful for all those who want to be business leaders with an edge over their competitors.


Module 1: Thought Leadership: The Concept

1.1 What is Thought Leadership?

1.2 Who is a Thought Leader?

1.3 Background and importance

1.4 What Thought Leadership is not!

Module 2: Thought Leadership: Types and Formats

2.1 Types of Thought Leadership

2.2 Forms and examples of Thought Leadership

2.3 Thought Leadership: Life Cycle of an Idea

Module 3: Thought Leadership: The Mechanism

3.1 Sources of Thought Leadership

3.2 How Thought Leadership works

3.3 Components of Thought Leadership

Module 4: Thought Leadership: Strategy and Planning

4.1 Why strategy?

4.2 Contents of a Thought Leadership strategy

4.3 Planning models

Module 5: Thought Leadership: Dos’ and ‘Don’ts

5.1 Elements of success

5.2. Constraints and mistakes

Taught by

Subrat Kumar Sundar Ray


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