Framing Issues and Painting Pictures

by Britton Manasco | Jun 26, 2008 | Positioning

Who are today's top business gurus?

That's the question asked in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. It was an intriguing piece because it shows us who is framing the high-level issues that influence today's boardroom discussions and managerial concerns.

According to the study (conducted by longtime friend Tom Davenport), the top 3 most influential business thinkers are Gary Hamel (an author and consultant), Thomas Friedman (a columnist with the New York Times) and Bill Gates (the mega-rich founder of Microsoft).

These are the types of people that identify and articulate today's "mega-trends."

Based on his findings, Davenport believes that "time-strapped managers are hungry for easily digestible advice wherever
they can find it. Today, the most pressing themes include globalization,
motivation and innovation."

Given the dizzying pace of change in today's markets, one could say there's a growing demand for guidance and perspective. "The demands on all of us for decision-making have grown exponentially," says
Susan Flygare, a sales-strategy executive at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of

Indeed, sense-making is in an increasingly vital role as business becomes increasingly complex and disorienting. "The world we're working changing so dramatically
and so fast," says Mark McDonald, a group vice president at technology consulting firm Gartner Inc. "People have a natural
desire to look for some kind of framework or a way of explaining what's
going on."

The challenge for B2B marketers today is to take these insights to the next level -- making them more specific, relevant and applicable to the prospects we are courting. While the top business "gurus"  may be framing the issues, it's our challenge to paint a vivid and compelling picture.