Reinventing yourself, Reinventing your company

With Paul Stewart, North America CEO
I've been a part of a technology company now for 3 1/2 years. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with the North America CEO, Paul Stewart, sitting just down the hall from me, and have been able to meet several of the C-levelers from across the pond. In my first year at Atos Origin, (and my first trip to Paris) I met then CEO, Bernard Bourigeaud at a marketing communications meeting. he was very cordial, had no real speech... just stopping by. 
Paris 2007, Just before Beijing Games
I met our newest CEO Thierry Breton when he first took his position in 2009. Naturally I admired his curly locks. I even had to google him to see if I was the first one to mention his fabulous hair (I wasn't). He offered a lot of news regarding the financial side of the company. He had a swift presence that let you know big changes were coming, and the change would be good.
This year, I was able to meet Gilles Grapinet (yes he has nice hair too). Mr. Grapinet attended our Global Marketing meeting in Paris back in April. He spoke after our Sales Director Hervé Payan with a quick speech on how marketing will play a large part in helping change the company in a way I had never thought of before.
His voice was soft, capturing attention of 20 chatty marketeers. He started with the story of evolution for television. He explained how they were easy to sell-all TVs had the same technology, and we all wanted one. Instead of becoming a commodity, and being a simple choice of price, the TV kept reinventing itself. Now, nearing 100 years later, the television is still being reinvented.
Mr. Grapinet says Atos Origin should follow this model. There will always be services that are contingent on price, but us marketeers will be the ones to help promote the newest most advanced solutions to become an "enhanced business function". He used an example of cellphones, and how companies offer them for free, yet we wait in line for hours to spend over $400 on the latest smartphone. So true!
So, what am I getting at? I'm trying to say that (besides being a great speaker), Mr. Grapinet really has a point here. As marketing managers, we don't create the technology, but we must be able to utilize the "best of the best" thought leaders. We must make sure other companies know about our solutions before they even know they need it. It is our job to make sure those innovative thinkers get their time in the spotlight.
It has been 3 months since this meeting. We have implemented thought leadership into our Facebook account, the marketing department has dove into ways of working more strategically with our partners, our CIO/CTO Atos Origin Blog is more popular than ever, more training and a new way of thinking is afoot.

Stay tuned folks, Atos Origin has an entire community of smart folk, and we're not afraid to use it.