Liz Alexander

Dutch School of Thought, October 1, no comments

Ph.D., Co-founder, Leading Thought

I take B2B clients through a four-part process (‘the 4 Es’), to help develop their thought-leading idea and deliver it to the right people, the right way. I use that process here to show how true thought leadership is developed.

People and organisations self-label themselves ‘thought leaders,’ but the originator of that term, Joel Kurtzman, was very specific about what it means:

‘Thought leadership should deepen the conversation between the company and client in a way that the client has never thought about before. And it should cause a reaction like, “I need to have a deeper, closer relationship to that firm because these guys are smart…have thought about my problem…how to solve it…and can really help me.”’

A UK consulting firm was interested in trends around the workplace of the future. Assuming that clients and prospects had likely not anticipated these changes, they crafted an article that discussed the implications of Millennials joining the workforce, tele-commuting, shorter working hours and other relevant topics. They then spoke with a select group of clients to check if a more robust analysis would be of value.
Told ‘yes,’ the firm conducted in-depth research and analysis to produce a detailed report outlining the actions companies needed to take now so they would not be blindsided later on.

The report prompted deeper conversations with media partners, existing clients and new prospects who had previously not considered these issues; the firm secured new business as a result.


Before embarking on thought leadership, think about:

  • The relevance of this topic to your market (‘client-centric’) and your strategic direction.
  • The extent to which your point of view is differentiated, by stirring debate or challenging existing paradigms.
  • Who you might collaborate with to add credibility and broaden the conversations.


Dr Liz Alexander’s gift and passion is transforming individuals and organisations from experts to recognised thought leaders. She works with clients in Europe, the US and India as a strategic consultant and global book strategist. She has written 16 books, including the award-winning Transform Tomorrow: Awakening the Supersaver in Pursuit of Retirement Readiness (2013), and Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Guide to Building Trust, Inspiring Respect and Creating Long-Lasting Business Relationships (2015). Liz is based in Austin, Texas but is originally from Scotland.

Connect with Liz:; Twitter (@LeadThought); LinkedIn (


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