Thought Leadership

Thinking Out of the box

What constitutes a “thought leader”? Mary’s definition is a little bit outside the mainstream. She believes that thought leadership comes from being ahead of fads and providing deep insights into what’s coming. She believes thought leaders have a strong theoretical base for opinions and ideas, and diverse, influential social networks (real ones, not just 10,000 Twitter followers) that give them access into the insights and wisdom of other great thinkers from a variety of disciplines in order to keep their own ideas fresh and useful.

By this definition, Mary is a thought leader. Here are some of the ways she’s been ahead of the herd over the past 30 years:

  • She wrote a book, Leadership and the Computer (1991), about the use of computers for leadership when most CEOs weren’t even dreaming of touching a keyboard. It was hailed by Fortune Magazine as a “seminal work” in the area of Knowledge Management and was required reading for new members of the U.S. Congress the year it was published.
  • She participated in an online executive level education program using threaded discussions working from the C: prompt before Windows was popularized.
  • She was an expert in teleconferencing over 20 years before Cisco began selling Telepresence.
  • She wrote a book, Managing Interactively (2001) about how to lead and manage in a networked, complex environment using collaborative communication tools long before social media became popular.
  • She has been writing about complex adaptive systems for over two decades.
  • In 2001, she did one of the very first virtual book launches that included a webinar with a graphic facilitator using a tablet application and follow-on threaded discussions.
  • She has been designing hybrid meetings for over 20 years.
  • She has been designing and facilitating unconferences for over 20 years.
  • The Harvard Business Review article she wrote with Dave Snowden in 2007 received an Emerald Citation award in 2011 as one of 50 most influential business articles over the past four years, based on the number of citations by other publications and It was also selected for inclusion in HBR’s September 2015 OnPoint Decisionmaking issue. These ideas were first developed around 2000 and are still considered leading edge in the 2020s.

Mary’s perspective and insight as a well-connected thought leader will lend valuable perspective to your work with her.