Sharing expertise as a thought leader

By Dodge Communications on September 9th, 2010

I attended the Healthcare Billing Management Association (HBMA) conference in St. Louis this week and one of the speakers made an interesting comment. He said it didn’t matter if you thought of yourself as an expert in your field – but only if others regarded you as such.At first blush, this seems like a “Wizard of Oz” type of statement: The man behind the curtain isn’t all his image portrays.But I don’t think that was the point. Most of us who have been in our respective fields for a number of years have accumulated a certain level of experience, knowledge and, yes, expertise. It doesn’t mean we are “the” expert, but certainly “an” expert.And, probably, those who are least comfortable with the label “expert,” are the ones who have the requisite humility necessary to speak with greatest authority. We know what we don’t know, and how much there still is to know.

That is the philosophy behind thought-leadership opportunities – a key component of a strategic communications program. We often bring our clients the chance to byline a column, appear behind the podium at a professional conference or submit a blog posting. Their perspective is important. They have an identifiable point of view. Insight into a specific set of problems and solutions. Experience with certain strategies and tactics, which may or may not have produced the desired results.And, in these areas, each of our clients certainly is an expert.  As thought leaders, clients share their opinions as an assist to those who may be facing similar situations. Their successes and failures are invaluable as industry colleagues determine which path to take themselves. Shared knowledge, like the tide, elevates us all.