Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson

There's never been a greater need and opportunity for HR professionals to become thought leaders, a leadership and branding specialist says.

In an HR Daily Premium webcast, author and speaker Mark Hodgson draws on leadership models from the About my Brain Institute to demonstrate the passing of the "information age", where knowledge equalled power, and the dawning of the "imagination age", where ideas take centre stage.

Leaders are now called on to be "creators", to be vulnerable and authentic, and to recognise the value of feedback from every level within and beyond their organisations, he says.

"A lot of leaders, a lot of policies, procedures, products – everything – have been successful under an old paradigm, we now need to move to a new paradigm, and that's a big shift."

There's never been "a greater need and opportunity for thought-leading individuals and organisations" to step up, Hodgson says, warning that failure to do so means "risking your tenure and role".

Contrasting the slow management of the past with fast future leadership, and a big-picture view to a focus on detail, Hodgson says HR leaders need to move from being custodians and "computers" to influencers and activators.

"Your future's over on the right-hand side. Top right, this is big-picture and future-focused, leading and fast. That's where we need to be: influencers.

"Why activate 'brand you'? Because you need to become an influencer. It's not enough to be an expert... we need to be future-focused: we need to go from the status quo to asking, 'what if?'; we need to go from experts to thought leaders; we need to go from conservative to rebel; we need to go from now to next."

Watch this short excerpt from the webcast to understand the business case for thought leadership and how to "play in the right space".

In the full webcast, Hodgson shares practical ways leaders can start making the shift. Premium members can click here to watch, and free subscribers can upgrade here for access.