In Part One of this blog series, I introduced the concept of true thought leadership and the underlying maturity model that becomes the basis of a thought leadership roadmap. I referenced a scorecard that helps organizations determine their readiness across several dimensions of thought leadership. This post gives more detail about the scorecard and how it helps to build a roadmap.

The scorecard considers the following aspects of thought leadership:

  • Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Credibility
  • Inspiration
  • Culture

For each dimension, the scorecard presents a series of questions across a ‘crawl, walk, run’ continuum. For example, under sustainability, it prompts discussion around such things as: topic selection methodology, relevance filters, content planning, resource planning, SME identification and training, and long-term conviction. In contrast, the section about credibility probes around voice, differentiation, partnership with influencers and content performance.

For each question, the user rates their organization on a 1-5 scale according to their maturity or capability presented in each question.

The process determines how well best practices are being applied and provides insights into how to get to the next level. Ultimately, the information provides a basis for:

  • Objectively defining the current state
  • Determining the appetite for specific thought leadership strategies
  • Identifying the delta between current and future state
  • Pinpointing the functions and roles that need to collaborate
  • Allocating budget to the program
  • Creating meaningful KPIs for the program
  • Testing thought leadership assets for differentiation and alignment with overarching strategy
  • Analyzing the culture for thought leadership readiness

The scorecard helps organizations build a plan to get them to the desired point on the thought leadership maturity progression. Contact us if you would like to take the free assessment.


Cheryl Treleaven

Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.