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What I’m Reading Now

What I’m Reading Now

By Rick Grant

Thought leadership is a term we see tossed around a lot in the business world, especially by marketing departments that work for companies that sell to other businesses. What does it really mean? It’s like beauty, in that it really comes down to what you’re looking for. I find that, for most of us, thought leadership is material that leads us in the direction we already want to go.

This is because as leaders, we are predisposed to continue working down the track we’ve committed ourselves to. Our concept of success is tied to the achievement of that worthy goal. Anything that distracts us from that path is generally ignored. Many of the world’s greatest leaders have operated in this manner and who am I to suggest they should have done otherwise?

Even so, I find that if we can keep an open mind, we might find that ideas that don’t fall directly on the path we’re already walking can really give us that spark that ignites genius and leads to true innovation. So I make it a practice to read as broadly as I can and I encourage others to do the same. If only we had more time.

Since we’re all busy, I’ll use this space to share some of the things I’m reading now in case you feel the material would be worth your time to investigate.

Tracking the trends that matter

Leaders track trends and make decisions based on the environment they are competing in. What separates the best from the rest often comes down to which trends they are tracking. In this LinkedIn article by Exceleras president Michael Harris, he talks about one of the trends he’s following now.

Trending TRID risk

One trend that many of my connections are currently tracking has to do with current issues that may contribute to increased risk of non-compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. No one I have found is tracking this as closely as Ernst Publishing. They write about it in this TRID risk article on the Ernst Publishing website.

Finding ways to cut loan origination costs

Another issue that continues to come in very high on the list of things that keep mortgage loan originators awake at night is the high cost to originate. The MBA has scoped out where these costs come into play, but no one is sure about where to cut. Some line items make more sense than others, but according to this LinkedIn article by Appraisal Logistics Vice President Dennis Ashcroft talks about a calculator that actually shows lenders how much they can save.

Defining content marketing

As a former trade journalist who is now a brand journalist (nicer term for a PR guy and ghostwriter), I’ve been amazed to see the blending of the marketing and PR efforts of businesses. What used to be a marketing function is now providing PR benefits and vice versa. A great case in point is Content Marketing. But what exactly is that? My friend Brian Rieger, principal at True Impact Communications, asks financial services companies the important question: what’s in your content marketing?

News I noticed

And then there were some interesting news releases I noticed this month. Here are just a few.

Mortgage Cadence teamed up with Finicity to shave up to 6 days off the origination cycle, on Businesswire.

Visionet release a title production platform with a direct integration to Alexa, on National Mortgage Professional.

And Housingwire Editor-in-Chief Jacob Gaffney talks about new ways to market your mortgage lending business (video).

Thought leadership is where you find it. I’ll let you know about new places I’m finding it in my next post.