B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2099 · 2 months ago

How to Find & Package Ideas to Drive Change In Your Industry

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Matt Church, author of Thought Leaders and Thought Leaders Practice about how thought leaders can find, validate, and package their ideas to drive change in their industry. 

Yeah, welcome back to BBB growth. I'm danSanchez with Sweet Fish Media and I'm here with Matt Church who is theChairman of Thought Leaders and the author of the books, Thought Leadersand Thought Leaders Practice, which I have with me here and I finishedreading it a few months ago. So Matt, welcome to the show. Hey dan, thanksfor having me, awesome to be here. Absolutely. As you guys know, we'vebeen doing a deep dive on the topic of thought leadership marketing over themonth of june and I've been interviewing multiple practitioners.Thought leaders, Thought Leader Thought Leaders and a variety of differentepisodes about the ideas around thought leadership market. Now very excited totalk to matt because it's one of my favorite books on the topic so farbecause he had a few unique ideas on how to not only find ideas about how topackage them so they're actually useful later on and we'll be diving intomultiple ideas he's expressed in his book and it's always a selfish interestfor me is I get to go in and go a little bit deeper with the questionsthat I had from the book itself. So to kick things off matt, can you tell us alittle bit about, like how did you get into the topic of thought leadership?Like what even brought you here? Because it's uh always find thatthere's an interesting story about that. Yeah, well, we were talking just beforewe hit record about the reticence to talk about myself and I think, You knowthis and you know, how long have we got? Right? I'm 52, so I've been doingversions of this for a long time, but I was 17, I graduated with a black beltin a martial art and started to teach kids and from that space, the idea ofbeing a teacher uh and sharing ideas and helping you know, being fully selfexpressed. So training myself and then being able to share those ideas withothers was the start of the journey. I've loved reading books, I've lovedlistening to audio recordings back in the day, it was cassette tapes and Iremember the first set of cassette tapes I was given and then youraudience might be a bit young, but...

...that's like a playlist, you can'tchange, right? And we were doing mixtapes and in the eighties and Iremember getting brian Tracy's psychology of achievement where he waslaying out these principles, it was classic eighties, nineties motivationaltour, personal development stuff. And that began my journey and then later inScience and Education director of the Australian Council for Health, and thengetting into corporate wellness performance, leadership training. Itwas all just for me this this space of what do you know? And is there a wayyou can share it with other people that adds value and utility to their worldor life? And that's, that's pretty much what thought leadership is. We can talkabout it as a, as a marketing strategy for growth and it is, but essentiallyat its core essence, there is something, you know, an insider and expertise andthat if you can share it with others in a way they value, everything getsbetter, Business grows personal development life improves in whateverdomain. So I'm kind of just, I know that's my jam and it's it's where Ilove to live, so to be able to think and speak and write um and be paid todo that. It's just like Nirvana for me, yes, I love, I've been falling in lovewith this topic. I was talking to Grant Butler, who's another guy, not not toofar from you in Australia, but he was telling me yesterday that like,journalism is a record of the past while thought leadership is really arecord of the future or what you're hoping the future will hold, write arecommendation for where to go, which I thought was kind of a unique and funconcept. Considering your as a thought leader, you're you're throwing outunique ideas and trying to steer steer a bit of the future in your particularniche or industry with your expertise. So it's a fun topic. And I could see, Iknow your your black belt came to play and lots of the book as you talk aboutthe different levels of uh thought leadership. But let's go back to likethe beginning, if you are an expert or you're working with experts, I find thehardest part, even as I'm working with...

...experts is they don't feel like theyhave a lot to contribute, right? They kind of know everything about the topicand they're just like, oh I feel like everything's been covered already. I'veheard this multiple times from people like as you're working with your ownclients and working maybe with your own ideas. Like how do you go about findingtopics that are both unique and helpful for people to kind of call theirthought leadership ideas? Well, I'm really big on insight driven, thethought leadership that doesn't mean it's evidence informed, which is one ofthe fields of thought leadership and it doesn't mean it's opportunity seeking.So for me, thought leadership doesn't come from a gap in the market nowrealizing the B2B conversation, that might be exactly what thoughtleadership is doing. But in from my point of view, working with individualswho might end up writing books on a matter or doing ted talks on a matteror whatever it might be, It really comes from deep contemplation andinsight. So it's almost like if meditation was disciplining the mind tonot have thoughts that mindfulness was filling the mind with sensors.Contemplation is the third choice and you can almost see it as a left brain,right brain and the inverted triangle. And so contemplation or insightdeveloped. Thought leadership is where it begins. And I often like to think ofit as a commercial PhD and I think that the academy and the whole idea ofacademia has some really powerful stuff and I think it's also a little messedup. So so one of the things that makes the academy really, really powerful isliterature review. And so that before you do a piece of work, like a thesis,you want to be across the body of knowledge and however you choose to dothat when when I work with individuals, I go, look, you've got a topic you'rewanting to write or blog or talk on or whatever it might be, I say, can youget three books for me? Can you find the classic bestseller on that? Can youthen? And that means like 10 years or more, can you get the contemporarybestseller on that book? And that's like five years or less? And can yougive me the current best seller? That's...

...the book that's popped this year andnow I'm not suggesting that's an exhaustive literature review, but whatit gives us is it gives us the past, the recent past and the present. And soyou get an idea that it's very quickly and those three sort of reads whetherit be a get abstract with a four page pdf of each or inaudible on two times.Listen. And as you're listening to those books, a couple of things willstart to happen. Let's imagine you were reading a book, classic old school,right? And you're a student, you read it, you highlighted paragraph and yougo, yeah, that's cool, I hope I can remember that. As a teacher, you readit and you go, yeah, that's cool, how could I share that? But as a thoughtleader, you read it and you go, that's interesting, what do I think about that?And you pause And you pause and you ask yourself two questions. Do I want torefute or extend that idea? And you're moving into the path of contributionwhich is you read something, you go, yeah and in the finance sector thatlooks this way or in real estate that looks this way or in banking that looksthis way or in software service that looks this way, so you may be goingyeah and and making it relevant or you're going yeah, but and what you'redoing is actually contradicting it and you're going yeah but that does notrelate to small business or that does not relate to globally distributedcompanies. So at contribution and contradiction you start to if you like,capture your insights and I think you can do this with, you know, with quoteswith uh with the abstract on a piece of research with just a really cool mantrayou hear someone say or something that's on an instagram post and theseare the butterflies of ideas that should float around and that you kindof want to take them and then work them. Um Probably just one more thing not toextend the answer to make it too long, but I think there's a four step processand I think people start at the top and...

...you don't want to, you want to start atthe bottom. Uh The first thing you want to do is imagine you're an art galleryand you're the curator and what you're gonna do is you're gonna go, there'ssome cool stuff on, let's say service experience, your or or customerusability or something, whatever it might be. You know, there's some coolstuff on this and you just start curating it, just putting it up on thewall with really strong reference. The artist of that is the artist of that isletting giving good references. Then what you do is you start to promotethose that really resonates. So let's say you're on behaviour change, you'dprobably get James clear and his book atomic habits. You might get Professorfog from the stanford behavior and influence clinic and the work on tinyhabits. And you'd be talking about promoting those as authors. If you'reencourage, you might be, you know, talking about Brown a brown, right? Soyou start with curating and then what you do is you propagate. So you sort ofshare other people's ideas. Um, then what you do is you aggregate and theaggregation is where you go. So and so said this, so and so says this and I'mwondering it makes me think about this. So it's like one to me, one to me andyou share your insight. And then once you've done those three things, whichis almost enough, what you can do is you can think, okay, now here's myunique insight that I'm going to contribute. But if you spend all yourtime trying to be terminally unique, you don't engage with the conversationthat's already present in the marketplace and you kind of, it'sdisrespectful because obviously we're all standing on the shoulders of giantswhen it comes to developing ideas and it's really good to be able to joinyours back to source, you know, what, where was some of the original thinking?I love how you kind of pulled it back to academia because it's kind of theprocess that phds go through, right? I have a friend who's in a robust PhDprogram and he's telling me about all the reading he's doing and of course heread broadly. Now he's going to do his niche topic and reading every book everwritten on like a specific, he's going...

...to do a dissertation on a specific manin history that only has one major paper written on on the man's life. Sonaturally he has to go and read every book about that man, the man's work,like every good friend demands had, you know, it's kind of like he's gotta gounderstand the conversation that's already happened in order to evenunderstand what he could add. That's new to the conversation that I alsokind of like that in your process, you have to um essentially, I mean moderndays, it looks like posting on social media. Um but it could also be ifyou're in the academia world posting to journals and things as you're sharingout different peoples insights but allows you to actually build acredibility as people get to watch you learn and watch you grow. Um and Ithink that's an important thing. I certainly have phds contact me to be onthis show and it looks like they've been published in Forbes andentrepreneur, but I've never heard of them and I don't like maybe their ideasuseful, but I'm like, I have no idea who you are, I'm not going to have youwant me to be growth, even though it looks like you have the makings of allthe credibility you would need, but by publishing it and kind of sharing itout there in those stages that you mentioned, you can kind of buildcredibility with the industry over time. Yeah. And I think, I think the thingwhether you ever publish a book or not, and I realized that a lot of youraudience might be directors or VPs or in house B two B marketers and they'relike, it doesn't hurt to go imagine I'm writing a book, you don't have to, but you just thinkabout it as a book. And then anybody who is writing a book, I say don'twrite a single book, write a series. Now, you don't have to write the books,you don't have to actually publish them. It's just such a useful way to kind ofcatalog your thinking. And uh, and I'd almost encourage people go, what's thetitle of your book? If I read the back page, what would it say? Give Me theTable of Contents. All right, just give me the top 50 words of every chapter.And then I go, I don't need the book, I'm good, thank you. Now and now isthere a diagram that summarizes the whole book? Can you give me somecircles, squares and triangles, shove...

...them together in some way? So I get asnapshot and is there a metaphor that explains your book? Because then thecontents almost irrelevant, isn't it? The 40-70,000 words that goes into abook becomes irrelevant because you've given me the insights and you've givenme the architecture of the framework of your thinking. So I always love to sitwith thought leaders and go what your current book project, I don't even carewhether they publish them. And you know that all my books are digitally free.So I believe that our job is to not be just in the idea business, but to be anexperienced business. To your point about those academics, it's one thingto know something, but it's another to be known for knowing something. And Ithink that's the fundamental distinction between linking thoughtleadership and say B two B growth or growth versus just your friend who'sgoing deep on one person as a contribution to a body of work insociety. And I go, okay, that's cool. But I'm interested, I have a biastowards utility. Can someone grab this and use it to make life or businessbetter? And so everything in my world excuse that way. So if you walk through your process andyou started to share other people's ideas, share your opinions on otherpeople's ideas and throw out some new ideas, how do you then go aboutvalidating whether those ideas like, hold like are going to be something,maybe you would put a book behind or push out there with your name attachedto it in the public sphere, knowing that people are kind of kind ofruthless on things like twitter and facebook, right? They'll tell you apart,But I'm like, no, it's completely bowl and I'm not buying it. Right? So how doyou go about validating idea or kind of getting to that point? Well, my answeris, you don't have to, the market does. That's an extreme capitalist point ofview, and I'm not a capitalist, I'm a classical libertarian, so I'm notsocialist, not capitalist. I sort of sit in this third choice, which is youdo whatever you want, as long as it doesn't stop me doing whatever I want.And when I think of the, you know, I'm...

Australian, right? So I look withadmiration at, like, say, Aaron Sorkin's version of America and theWest Wing, and I look at and I go, oh, yes, I love that. And the whole idea ofemancipation, that's meant to be in the constitution. And And so for me, and I don't mean likethe invisible hand of economics and the invisible hand of the market, becausewe know that's a flawed, flawed model, if we just look at 2008 and even morerecently, right? So but to some extent I go, well are people buying your ideaand they buy it with their money is the lowest form of currency, right? Likeare they buying it with their time? Are they buying it with their energy? Andare they buying it with their identity? Because I think money is the lowestcommitment. You can join the gym by paying the money, but that doesn't meanyou go you got to put in the time, you've got to put in the energy andthen when you ultimately think of yourself as a cross fitter, then youcan't not train, you know what I mean? It's like all these uh middle agedaccountants who ride Harleys and identify as bikers. So it's like onceidentity starts to take over things work. So what I find is people gatheraround an idea and so the validation for me is in that Is there an audiencefor that idea? But we are in an outrage culture. One of the things that Ireally like is Professor cal Newport's work on deep focus and I really likethe idea that thought leadership is the result of deep focus. Not 142 280characters on Twitter and followership. So there's a distinction for me betweenthought leadership and being an influencer on social media. And Ireckon the heart of your question around validation is probably in that.So I'm not looking for the superficial validation of likes. I'm looking forthe significant validation that people identifying around a story and around aset of memes and insights and that...

...being the ultimate validator. I findthat most people when they approach validation are looking for some kind ofmathematical or scientific approach to apply to ideas. But some ideas are easyto do to do that with. And you might be a research body and you have all thedata and you just pull insights from that data. It's it's more but not all,not all insights are like that. Some of them are times, they're just epiphanieslike oh well I noticed this and I noticed this and you mix them togetherand all of a sudden bam we have a whole different approach that seems to beworking for a lot of people And sometimes can be hard to validateunless you have 10, 20 years of experience doing it. Then people tendto buy it. But sometimes you don't know if you wanna wait that long to produceto publish an idea. Maybe you just hold your idea open handed and be like, hey,this is something that's worked for us. It may not work for you. Well,obviously there's so many domains for thought leadership, Right? So there's,there's a thought leader that I work with, which is the individual soloconsultant writing books and getting on the ted stage right there and theycould be members of institutions, but they're like Harvard professors whothen want to go out and be a brand in their own right. So if it's your namedot com, um, that's sort of the Worrell might come from. So I think that's oneof the benefits of being on your show is you've got this unlike Wasabi, youwouldn't make a meal out of it, but it will make the fish taste better or thesushi tastes tastes better. So coming from that outside world view, my, myvalidation is if people aren't reading your books, if they aren't followingyour posts, if they aren't engaging with the conversations and applying itthen there's your validation. It's real close as real immediate because you'reso close to the customer. But if I was an entrepreneur so I was a thoughtleader within a large organization, I was using it to say buildorganizational agenda or customer engagement or or just classic salesgrowth. Then yeah. I think the key is if the this is probably probably moreimportant than the algorithm is to move...

...from convincing yourself through dataand algorithm that it's a good idea and more having the conviction that thatidea solves a problem that someone has. And I think that when experts developempathy they are more able to become thought leaders. So they go from I knowsomething to actually they figure out that part in which they know that isuseful to someone else. And then the validation disappears because people gothat is my problem. I have been looking for a solution that sounds like thesolution and they start to engage with it in that kind of self directed selfinterest orientation. Um You know when you when you when you thoughtleadership is expressed in service to others, you get rewarded for thecontribution. And so that's like this magic Venn diagram that kind of bringsit all the life. I do like the way you describe people buying into andactually believing it actually acting on it. I think anybody who's doneconsulting knows that it's it's kind of disappointing even when people, theypay you good money for your ideas, they say thank you so much. This is sohelpful. A year or two goes by and you're like how did that go? Andthey're like oh we never did it. But it was really good. You're just kind oflike what they're like can we hire you again? You're like okay sure. If you want to keep justpaying me money for ideas you don't implement right? I think I willconsultant at some point. So I think you're right. I used to think ofdollars is the way to validate something but really buying change anda true adoption of the idea is really is kind of like the final final goalpost, right? Yeah. I love what you just did there that whole it's almost likethere's a continuum right? And on the left, I'm inspired but on the right Iimplement and you go, well what what is it that help someone move along thatcurve and I feel it's a series of decisions. And so the mistake we makeas thought leaders is we come in with...

...the solution. So someone asked us forthe time and we tell them the history of clocks when in fact perhaps the wayof looking at this is not that they're fools for paying you and not taking onthe idea and I know you didn't put it that way, but rather than we haven'tdone the work of walking them on the journey. And for me it's really whatare the three decisions that someone needs to make to move from turned on toyour idea, inspired to actually doing something with it? What are the threethings that stand in the way? So for example, let's say you were workingwith small business owners, like I know you're not, but let's say you go, youknow, and that you want to teach them that turnover is irrelevant like whatyou turn over, who cares, It's what you take home that matters. So get themoney out of your business and into assets or something like that becausethey're small little businesses that are never going to be sold orstatistically unlikely to be sold. So this is such a good sort ofhypothetical to talk about because we can all look at it and go, all right,what's the biggest problem they've got and its cash flow, what's the secondbiggest problem? They've got its staff and what's the third biggest problem?It's time they never take some time off. And so what you want to do is you wantto talk about cash flow staff and time not take home and youcome in as the expert going, let's talk about take home and they go, you knowwhat, I just need my cash flow up. And so the idea is help them with a seriesof decision gates that helps them move from just simply being turned on bypossibility to actually implementing things practically. And I love that theword decides, it's from the same Entomology as suicide homicide,Regicide. So all of the kill off words and and you know, homicide as I killanother suicide as I kill myself, Regicide is I kill a king or a queen.Um but but to decide means to kill off choice and I think that's what happensat the inspiration and everyone's got unlimited choice. And what you want todo is narrow it down to a series of decision gates where people are movingfrom the convergence of possibilities.

So the divergence of possibility to theconvergence of of decisions and like, wow, we could do everything. Yeah, butlet's do one thing, we could do everything. Yeah, but let's do thisthing and that kind of out and in because because when we when we developour thought leadership it's very divergent. You were talking about yourfriend doing the PhD reading everything on a topic, you got to go reallydivergent, but at some point you have to converge down onto one person at onepoint in history and he'll probably end up talking about one quality orcharacter attribute that person has and that is the fundamental difference. Sothis whole expanding and contracting I think is why people don't adopt greatideas is they don't know where they are and they they, you know, output. Andbali wrote a great book. Uh such a good book is called before our next meeting,read this. And he basically says there's two types of meetings,brainstorming meetings and you want beanbags and muffins, you know, orcupcakes and then he goes and decision making meetings where you want anagenda and everybody standing up and we keep running our meetings confusedbetween those two and I think that talks to that idea eating nature andthat deciding nature and you've got to get that balance just right. My head'sswimming with all the ideas and thoughts that you, just from what youjust said. I am. I've often thought like a lot of thought leadership isreally the work of simplifying things for people. But you made it evenclearer by saying like Snow did the work of deciding is by eliminatingchoice and essentially just giving people an easier and smoother path togo down there, desired to get to their desired end goal and just make iteasier for them to get there. So you're as a thought leader essentially, likejust foraging new new paths to get there. Now for the implications for theaudience. Often think of like 22 major audience members, right? We have ourservice providers and we have people who sell a product of some kind oftenassassin tool. The service provider is...

...actually kind of benefit from them notbeing able to fully implement it themselves. I mean that's sweet fish asa B2B podcasting service provider, I do try to make it as clear as possible sopeople want to start a podcast but at the same time it's like, well, like ifthey like the advice, they liked the idea, if they want to do it, they couldalso just pay us money and we could do it for them, you know, and that's kindof the thing. But if you're on the sas side, if you're selling a software, youtrying to you and usually your, your software, your system, um your yourproduct has an idea baked into it the more you can actually do what mattsaying and making it easy for them to make decisions to actually get toexecute the idea that your tool actually helps them do. The more useyou're going to get out of it, the less turn you're going to have with yourproducts and the more revenue you're going to make, the more you're going tohave positive word of mouth. Um so that really has legs to it now once they'vevalidated their ideas and have tested it with the market and um probablytested it over time in small ways and gotten more and more adoption with it.It's picked up steam. One of my favorite parts of your book talks aboutwhat's called building an I. P. Snapshot and you kind of hit on itbriefly when you were talking about developing a book. So tell me likewhere did the idea for? Like why, why was how did you even come up with thisidea? What's the story behind it? And then how does someone actually likeimplement an I. P snapshot? Look, the casual name for an ip snapshot is apink sheet. The formal name is an IP intellectual property snapshot and it'sbasically, can you summarize an idea on one page and you could almost imagine, well theprinciple that sits behind this is full spectrum thinking the reason I'mpausing is this is such a big piece of work and I'm trying to find the mostsimplest access point and then sort of step us through two levels of depth. Soit's like we're sitting above the Mariana trench, the deepest part of theocean. And we're on the surface on a...

...boat and then we're about to go downinto a submarine and then we're going to drop down into a deep divedecompression chamber and then we're going to end up in a jules verne cityon the base of the Mariana trench or lit up somehow. So this concept beginswith everything you would want to say exists at multiple levels. But at leastthree. There's the thing, you're sharing the stuff, there is the point, you're making theconcept and then there's the big picture that it nests within. And whenyou can travel across those three levels of abstraction from concrete,through the abstract, what you start to do is you start to fully form ideasbecause I think a lot of ideas are half baked and they're not fully formed. Sojust giving it a backbone. Do you know what I mean? Like a concrete example,and that might be some numbers that back it up. Very left brain or it mightbe a narrative that brings it to life very right brain. So I like to think ofit almost like a cross hair or or a compass with the north, south, east andwest. Uh and at the south is the concrete stuff like the numbers andnarrative at the north is the abstract stuff. And I think that, you know, theleft brain abstract is some sort of model or diagram squares, triangles, circles, geometryshoved together some way. Um you know, the consultant to buy to, you know, thexy graph, the Venn diagram that the three by three matrix that you know,concentric rings that, you know, the pyramids of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.You know, all these sort of things are geometry and metaphor of course, whichis, you know, some kind of short symbolic myth, a poetic narrative thatdoesn't need a story to go with it and that communicates rich meaning, whichmight be it's like the tip of an iceberg is like turning a battleship,it's a plane that's off course, or...

...indeed a compass. So all of all ofthese tools, whether it's the numbers and narratives, which are the concretetools, or is the models and metaphors, which are the abstract tools, they siton this level of concrete, abstract and from analytical tour motive, which isessentially left brain, right brain. Uh and I realized that all the left brain,right brand stuff is in itself a metaphor. And, you know, whilst thereis a corpus callosum that joins them, there's been some interesting researchto debunk the left hemisphere right hemisphere game, but I do love JillBolte. Taylor's ted talk on that a neuro anonymous out of Harvard who hada stroke and then talks about what happens when you only have access toyour right brain. So all of that sits to me on a piece of paper with like abig infinity sign or a figure eight over it, you know, and you go there'sall the, you know, the big picture and then there's the all the detail andit's sort of all brought together like a circle with a belt, like an eight.It's all brought together in the middle around, you know what's what's yourpoint? And I try to work with thought leaders to get them to go look. Thenumbers can make a lot of points and a story could make a lot of points. Themodels could make a lot of points and the metaphors could make a lot ofpoints. So what we need to do is have a piece of paper where the top of thepiece of paper might be the same across 12 of them. And the bottom of the pieceof paper might be the same across 12 of them. But the point you're making isuniquely differentiated. So where the figure eight squeezes in the middle andso the pink sheet process or the snapshot is that and it's been, youknow, it's it's yeah. Is it me sure? Is it what we do with thought leaders?Absolutely. But is the idea of abstract concepts sitting above I guess as oldas time. If you want to talk about tactics and you want to talk aboutstrategy if you want to talk about meta and matter. Uh if you, you know, youknow, context and content, these ideas have been around forever. So what we'vedone is sort of if you like, put it...

...into a template that enables thoughtleaders to capture their insights because and this is at the heart of itif you have a thought and you capture it in application, so as a speech as aworkshop as a slide or as a blog or as a and you capture it in its application,it is baked into that application and it loses its insight mobility, whichmeans that idea can only be used as a speech or as a book or as a post or asa tweet. I go, no, no, no, no, we need to leverage this stuff. So you want tocapture your insights agnostic of how they'll be delivered or shared with themarket in the world and then look at them as a body of work. And that's howyou go from not just one snapshot but to like a filing cabinet full ofsnapshots and almost like in the movie matrix you can have filing cabinets onfiling cabinets slapped into an inception movie, you know going on andon into time and you can develop your thought leadership that way I like Ilike to think of it as a never ending journey of capturing insights andputting them on this piece of paper. This take a snapshot of them and thengo okay I got that and I can draw that out at any time and like a deck ofplaying cards like in poker or something, I can lay them in front ofme and go, you know what that one and that one are really good for thisclient. And the idea is think before you speak, think before you write,think before you sell and capturing them on the intellectual propertysnapshot is the tool we use and the practice we use to take you down. Thatcontemplated path to take you down into deep inside development around an idea.It's honestly one of the most powerful ideas on um thought leadership thathave come across in all the reading that I've done so far. I still havemore books to read. But it really got me to start thinking differently as Iwas thinking about my own ideas or spins or different things and it forcedme to sit down and actually flush them out to actually explore them a littlebit. And most people don't do it until...

...they go to write a book about a topicand then they do. The problem is you can do, you can create a lot of usefulideas without having to write books about them. Or if you are going towrite a book, it's a great it's a great place to start because if you can'tflush it out on a piece of paper, you're sure it's going to be beatingyour head against the wall if you can't, you're not going to write a whole bookon it. Um So now every time I think I have a unique idea, I'm like, oh that'sinteresting. I try to describe it in a sentence and then maybe I describe itand I like make a paragraph to kind of like if I had to do that and then Imight give it a name. So even if I'm kicking around internally, we're notthinking like, oh that one idea you had last week. Yeah. Yeah, that one. It'slike, no, let's talk about that idea of content based networking, which is oneof our c E O s books, right? But it has a name. Content based networkingwithout the name. It's hard to even refer to the idea that could bedocumented somewhere. So now I even started working with multiple employeesbeing like oh that's a good idea like let's sit down and put that on like aone page google doctor even know to access that later. Usually I put it ina blog post. Um You can really start to do its its powerful that you can builda whole portfolio with it. Right? And you were talking like a filing cabinet.I come from a graphic design background where it's all about the portfolioright? Here's my logos, it was my print work, here's my website and you coulddo that as a thought leader. And as an intern if you're an internal thoughtleader of content marketer you could do that for your comfort. Be like whereare all the unique ideas you have about this topic that you guys deal with?What about this topic? You can have like a collection a portfolio aroundall those unique ideas. So it's it's certainly changed the way I approachthought leadership even with Sweet Fish. But even our our employees who aredeveloping some of their own thought leadership themselves in small ways isgetting them to think about cataloguing their ideas. Um And I certainly likedlike thinking about it like logically what's our um with research andfindings and then the right side brain right? Uh With a metaphor with thediagram with the story. It's a great way to like really encapsulate an idea.If you can get it on one page at least...

...it's been helpful for me. I love theidea also just to extend that a little bit like we're giving people achecklist, right? And and for me it's like people say, what, what businessare you in? And you know, if I'm in a mildly playful mood, I'll go I'm aproperty developer and they go, I like you buy condos, do you and me? Are youdevelop property? I don't know, I'm an intellectual property developer andjust like you would find a plot of land and design a blueprint and build abuilding and you would go to work on the design and architecture andlandscaping of that. It's the same process is just we're doing it with theintangible of ideas versus the tangible of real estate. But you do want todevelop it, you do want to, you know, is it a well formed one? Is the onethat's going to fall down, Is it well built? Is it, you know, is it, you know,weather tested is a climate appropriate? You know, in the southern hemisphere,does it face north? In the northern hemisphere, does it face south? Youknow, it's you know, you want to get all these different orientations goingum And so yeah, I get that's a metaphor, which is only partially useful, butit's but it doesn't hurt to realize that you don't want your ideas only inapplication, you want to have them application agnostic. So you want tohave them as this is like insite mobility. And for example, if I was toread, You know, you were talking about one of your directors and and thecontent, networking, content-based networking, I go, okay, well I betthere's like 24 ideas in that, and I bet four of them have got nothing to dowith networking and nothing to do with content. And I go, well what are theyand now I can take them and repurpose them somewhere else because I thinkrepurposing content is the leverage of thought leadership. We just think onceapply often and find all the different ways to deliver and apply thoseconcepts. Um yeah, it's super cool, super cool. So if you're working withpeople and thought leaders on this, do you find that you have them packagedtheir ideas and then use that as a starting point for their contentmarketing for their speeches. Um How do...

...you usually take their their oneshooters provided that they flushed it out? It's good, they've validated it tosome degree. Like how do you then turn it into more? Well there's a three step process andyou've alluded to this because it's the subtitle of the blue book, all my booksare like jelly beans, they're color coded, so you can choose in that way.But the blue book Thought Leaders has a strap line that says capture packageand deliver your ideas and we're really getting from packaging in thisinterview now to the delivery question which is around how do we go to marketand how do we share them? I've been for if you study law and you go into law,you kind of learn that dialogue and conversation has sort of threedirections to it. It has a declarative direction which is you make statements,it has an instruct development where you give process and steps and it has aquestioning element where a space is created in the conversation throughquestioning and you could summarize this as tell show us and when you'retelling people stuff, you're making a point and then sharing concreteexamples. So whether that's in a book or a speech, but when you're askingpeople stuff, it's the exact opposite your you're establishing a context likea framework and they're having a conversation into it. So, in fact, thecontent comes from the market when you're in a facilitation mode or an askmode, and so we split that into six delivery modes, speakers, authors,that's the telling modes, trainers and mentors, that's the instructive mode,or the show mode, and facilitators and coaches, and that's the asking mode.Now, obviously I'm teaching people how to do that and to go to market asconsultants using those six delivery...

...channels, but they translate into everyorganization as well, because they're answering six primary questions. Youknow, if we just look at authorship, it's could you please give us astrategy and can you document it so we can follow it? And if you look atspeaking, it's basically can you share that strategy and give us a vision? Soif someone says, do you have a strategy and you have a vision? They're sayingare you being a speaker and an author and that's how it turns up in anorganization. So I think what you want to do is take one pink sheet or one ipsnapshot and then figure out which bit of it to use around whether you're in atelly moda showy mode or an asking mode. And that way the one pink sheet can goto market in six different ways and that translates to not just consultantswho are writing books and getting on the being executive leadership coaches.You know, it also translates to those who are trying to deploy their ideaseither internally to their audience. That's internal. So people understandlike value propositions and points of difference and how we work orexternally out to market, where you're like the rainmakers for the businessand you're starting to bring in people who are attracted by the depth andquality of the thinking within your organization. I like how you break itinto three different sections. Most people when they think of thoughtleadership, they think of just the, you know, the speaking, the broadcasting ofthe idea, but there's so many different ways to express an idea I think isuseful and I think Is just fun to have more applications of thought leadershipthan just broadcasting, publishing a white paper or a webinar or speaking onstage, which is what is the most common for B2B marketers. But I want to linkit back to your observation that getting people inspired is not the sameas getting them engaged. And if you said to me travel me through thatinspiration to engagement, I go, well, the telly stuff, which is everythingyou just identified is very good for inspiring people. But if they actuallycome into your funnel for one of the better term or into your process oryour pipeline or into your workflow,...

...what you want to be doing is movingfrom talking at them to talking with them and you want to be moving to Howdoes this idea replies? So you go from tel to show to ask and in fact thoughtleadership should run, not just at the attraction growth marketing phase, itshould also be deeply embedded into how you do what you do and the experiencethat your customers and clients get. As a result, I just blew my mind. I waslike holy cow applying it to the thought leader that way. I mean I wasthinking about in terms of different business models, but to think aboutthose stages of thought leadership, I haven't heard anybody talk about as faras like telling on the front end of the funnel, having a conversation in themiddle and then asking questions, which is like perfectly mirrors the funnel.And that's how I thought leadership can really be echoed all the way throughand not just be top of funnel, which is how it's usually referred to. Yeah,yeah, yeah, yeah. And it should be that's not thought leadership, that'scurating content as a way of differentiating your products andservices and that's that's not deeply embedded and baked into your valueproposition. But, you know, the minute it is, I believe that everything beginsto hum and it's you know, when, when we silo anything in an organization, we'rein trouble, and what we do is we compartmentalize for. E So let's putfinance over there. Let's put marketing over here, let's put sales over there.But an integrated system of course, is what a high performing organization isand it operates in service to each other. Um So we see that in a lot ofindustries that disintegration and silo going, whether it's market silo going,whether it's employee tears, silo going and it's not an effective way to run ahigh performing organizations. So do you find that there is usually at leastfrom the people I'm talking to about that leadership and they're on thispodcast talking about that leadership because they do it usually do itremarked fairly well. Otherwise I wouldn't be talking to them about it,but I've just never heard of somebody actually working it into their usuallyit's kind of like they're pulling from...

...their own subject subject matterexperts, the ideas and therefore the subject matter experts are kind of likeit's kind of already their thing. So you would hope that it's baked into thewhole process. But usually there's just some gaps like the sales people mightnot be fully in line with what the unique idea that the organization istrying to present is so try to bake it in that way is interesting. I can'tremember if this is part of the book and I have to go back to check, but doyou actually lay out a framework for how to how to how to bring thoughtleadership into the asking part? Yes enough. The in the blue book, ThoughtLeaders, which is the first book we wrote on it, there is a chapter aboutTell Show Us And it talks about the six delivery modes and how they work inorganizational entrepreneurial and personal consulting practices. So it'skind of light. But the ask bit, I'm actually working on a new book in thatspace, which is looking at was a book called deliver, which is going to beacross all of these three directions. Tell Show Ask, but they ask stuff isreally exciting because I think it's it's where we get to do. The deep workof engagement may be a reference for your listeners that will take them downa rabbit hole. Is I love Forest Landry's work on ephemeral groupprocess, which is essentially a collective decision making. And it'show does a town has a let's imagine a bridge goes down and you get the wholetown together to talk about. What are we going to do about the fact there'sno bridge connecting us to the mainland and you go, well, do we even want abridge or do we want to barge? Do we want to build the same kind of bridgeor a different kind of bridge? Do we want to hire? Lower? Do we want to open?So there's a lot of questions that go into the collective decision makingaround whether a community is going to build a bridge. So forest begins withthat and he begins with that as a line of inquiry and says, how do we now geta bunch of people together to make a good decision? And it's a really coolprocess. And it reminds me of Owen Harrison's work on open spacestechnology, which is some of the...

...original. How do we how do we get selforganized learning environments? And his story in his book, open spaces wasthree weeks before he was dumped. This association conference where he had3000 delegates coming, but no speakers have been booked and no sessions havebeen organized and he goes holy great, what am I going to do? And so he says,well there's no way I can get speakers or sessions, so I'm just going to getthe 3000 people to self organized around topics that interest them. Andin the heart of those two things Forest Landry's work, there's a lady calledlinda must show Hamilton as well who's Azan none but also an organizationalconsultant. And you can understand like zen is about sort of sitting in paradox,sitting in ambiguity, sitting in the space of uncertainty and not rushing inwith a slide deck and a pithy answer. It's and so I reckon in those threepeople you might have three really good reference points to get you off andrunning on this stuff about facilitation coaching or asking as amodality versus telling and what it's done is it's flipped diagnostic selling,so diagnosed, you referred to consulting earlier on in this podcast.So in diagnostic selling the basic premises of course is if we understandyou enough we'll do business together. So I want to ask you enough questions.But you know, let's say you were in a large pursuit in a like in the SAs corpor something like that and you were you were looking for a large piece of work.Sometimes. What you want to do is you want to not do diagnostic selling. Iknow this sounds uh controversial but you want to use the content basednetworking that you're sort of proposed, which is kind of like here's what weknow, here's the kind of person we work with if that's you, let's do business,which is very different to let us understand as much about you aspossible. Ah look at these insights that we've created now let's dobusiness. And so it's almost it's kind of flipping the game and for me it'smoving from an orientation of selling...

...others to an orientation of creatingthe conditions where people will buy. And for me, what thought leadershipdoes is it creates the conditions that attract people so they'll buy what youdo and it's giving them the agency to go, no, thank you. Um Seth Godin wrotea book. He's written a lot, but one of the books I really love one of the bestin my opinion was permission marketing because it took us from a game of,let's interrupt the hell out of people to a game of earned the right to talkto them, you know, and if you read permissionmarketing alongside tribes, which says, you don't need a lot of people, youknow what I mean? You just need to find your people, what you'll actually findis to me, I think this is where I thought leadership as a, not just amarketing strategy, but a full business development process can really go totown. That was certainly two books that were fundamental in my early career. Uhone of the first ones I've read, content based networking is close. It'sactually an idea that you can use something like a podcast. Like I am nowto build relationships with people like I am sitting here talking with you now,but oftentimes from a B especially BTB perspective, you can buildrelationships with your ideal buyers and it's not that you finish theepisode and then give them a pitch because then there, it's not going tofeel great for them and they're gonna walk away, not having a bad taste intheir mouth, right? But you build a relationship with them naturally,they're going to check out your website and see who you are. And uh if they'rein the market for what you offer, chances are you've just spent an hourtalking to them showcasing their best thinking, they're probably gonna thinkabout you and when they're in the market, you're probably gonna be in theconsideration. That's kind of the idea behind it. But I have implicationsbeyond B two B sales. I mean if you even if you're job hunting and justinterviewing hiring managers on the marketing manager podcasts, chances areyou're going to land a job really soon because you're building relationshipsby creating content together. That's...

...kind of the idea behind that though, Icertainly buy into the idea of it's certainly what we do is sweet fishmedia and that we have a very particular methodology, thatmethodology of content based networking through podcasting. And we present thatit's like this is kind of our thing. You just need an audio editing shop.There's a lot of people cheaper in us shoot. I wrote the whole blog post onlike all of them with all their prices on it. I'll give it to you and you cango like there's better providers for you. I will help you find it or evengive you the advice to do it in house if you if that's what you want to do.So. But I've we've certainly found that it works better. And I like the idea oftrying to blend your thought leadership and essentially having a point of viewand then just presenting that to people and asking them the question. I thinkthat's what you're trying to get at. Two is having letting your thoughtleadership present itself and be like, this is the way we do things. If you'dlike to work with us, that's fantastic. But if not, then maybe we can help youfind the right place. It's swagger. You know, it's like brain surgeons don'tget built, don't do billboards, Cosmetic surgeons might, but a brainsurgeon doesn't what a brain surgeon, If you're going to put a scalpel in mymind, I'm not I'm not doing it from search engine optimization. I'm goingto talk to my general practitioner, I'm going to talk to someone who's hadsurgery. I'm going to read who is the best surgeon who has published the moston it, Who's written a book who trains the other surgeons. And I'm going to go,right, that's who gets to open my head with a scalpel. You know, I'm going tofind the person who's, who's got that reputational positioning. Look, theother thing about this content stuff is it's deeply respectful. It's deeplyrespectful of who you are and what you do and not trying to be all things toall people. It's deeply respectful to who they are. And the fact that theyshould have freedom of choice. And I think that from, You know, the 90s and80s and before there was a little bit of an ugly process around business,which and the ugly process was if we're...

...clever enough, you'll do business withus. If we can trick you enough, you'll do business with us. And I think any ofus who live in the current era go, you know what? Our authenticity filters areso strong. You know, we've seen so many people in positions of authority justfall from grace that we go, hey, you know what to show me your stuff firstand let me decide whether I want to do business with you. And so I think theother thing about this content based networking is how is how deeplyrespectful it is and that, that can't be a bad thing, can it like to buildlong term trusted commercial relationships around respect? I go,that's got to be a good thing. It's been working well for us. We've beengrowing just through sheer relationship building because even if we knowsomeone's in the market, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna try to like persuade themto be in the market. Are you kidding? Like if they like us and they're like,no, we're just not looking at the podcasting right now, you're like, cool.And then they quit that job, go to another job and they're like, hey, thiscompany is, and then they call us right, It just works. Um, and still, I lovepodcasting particularly because then I can use it as a way to meet fun peoplelike yourself. You know, I love meeting the author's behind the books I readbecause you get a, such a different perspective when you get to read it,wrestle with it. Maybe wrestle with a few others on the topic and thenactually ask them yourself. Like what do you mean by this? Tell me more? Youknow, uh, one of the true delights of my job and this, this episode hasactually been a delight. It's been fun to kind of kick around a lot of ideaswith you. Um, and I have to ask one last question, is there any so manytopics we've covered and I've wondered if there's anything else that you wishyou would have added that maybe we missed? Oh no dan, we could go to somany places. I do believe that standing up and speaking in front of a targetrich audience is such a, it cleans you up really quickly. If you stand infront of 1000 potential clients and you bomb you learn really quickly reallyquickly. It's like this rapid fire...

...crucible of personal development andmaybe just exploring what it's like to be a good speaker. I see too manythought leaders doing death by survey. I see too many thought leaders doingdeath by PowerPoint and I think what you want to do is you want to create anengaging conversation with people rather than just delivering apresentation and and that that comes down to just not what you're saying,not just what you're doing, but also who you're being as you turn up as themessenger for a particular message. And I think doing some work on that, it'slike personal development, public speaking thought leadership. They allcome together to help you sort of stand in a place of conviction. Thoughtleadership is about you, standing in your conviction and therefore nothaving to convince anybody of anything. And that's why it integrates so well inB2B growth, that's why it integrates so well with marketing and sales divisionsand why it should be integrated and baked into the whole service offering.So I love that idea. I'm going to be probably thinking about this allweekend and thinking about how we can be better incorporating our own thoughtleadership into the rest of our process. Um so I have a lot to think about nowmatt. This has been a fantastic time. Learning from you, flushing out theseideas if people want to learn more about you and from you like I have inthis episode, where can they go to find you online? Uh so my personal locationis matt church dot com. So M A T T C H U R C H dot com. Maybe download mybooks, they're free, have a re see how that works for you and then we'llconnect and for those who want to be Thought leaders themselves, writingbooks and speaking, go to Thought leaders dot com dot au and you canbegin a journey there. Fantastic again. Thanks for joining me on GDP growth.Thanks dan. Also,...

...for the longest time I was askingpeople to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts, but I realized thatwas kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leavinga simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit. instead of asking you toleave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to beauty growth in applepodcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and justtap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy.And I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want to copy of my book, contentbased networking, just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'llsend one your way, text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8.

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