This week I attended an event on thought leadership and ROI. An often complex balance that I have grappled with throughout my career. Heavily discussed at said event, it certainly gave me food for thought - why does it often seem like it is ROI or the highway? 

Now don't get me wrong, ROI is certainly important, and I love thought leadership (and the impact it can make) - but when it is used in the right way. 

Sometimes the desire for ROI enables a weak thought leadership strategy, and even worse - content that falls flat. It is important to remember that for a piece of content to be considered as thought provoking, it has to then have thought or analysis that is in itself game changing. Otherwise, it isn't thought leadership. 

A clear distinction needs to be made between impactful content and easy content;  in the hunt for tangible ROI it is all too easy to shift to short-term campaigning in order to pick as much low-hanging fruit as possible.

The right thought leadership has a long-term effect, with long-lasting benefits for a person, or brand.  It is only when we stop to focus on and measure the long-term value of thought leadership that we can truly begin to see the full ROI picture.