The Water Cooler: Leadership, Sustainability, and Diversity Are Winning Topics on LinkedIn

February 27, 2020

LinkedIn Water Cooler

With more than 675 million members, LinkedIn has become the Water Cooler of global business. Every day on the platform millions of professionals discuss and share content that’s important to them.  

In this edition of the Water Cooler, we’re taking a look at the articles that garnered the most shares on LinkedIn in January. Even though we shifted into a new decade, many of the same themes — leadership/work culture, diversity, and sustainability — continue to dominate the discussion on LinkedIn.

The most shared story of the month falls in the category of work culture; it discusses the new prime minister of Finland’s exploration of a four-day workweek for the country.

The next most shared story is about Goldman Sachs’ embrace of diversity in its declaration that it would no long handle IPOs for companies with all-male boards.

Also in the top five most shared stories were two articles covering sustainability: one on Microsoft’s pledge to be carbon negative in 10 years, and the other on a new sustainable design for a toothpaste container. 

Top 10 Articles Shared on LinkedIn in January

  1. Finland's New Prime Minister Wants Her Country on a Four-Day Workweek by Michelle Cheng, Quartz
  2. Goldman Sachs Will No Longer Do IPOs for Companies with All-Male Boards by Thomas McEnery, New York Post
  3. Investing in 2020: A Year to Be Selective
  4. Microsoft Will Be Carbon Negative by 2030
  5. A Sustainable Toothpaste Packaging Design that Thinks Outside the Box — Literally!
  6. Great Leaders Understand Why Small Gestures Matter by Bill Taylor, Harvard Business Review
  7. Hidden in Tom Hanks's Emotional Golden Globes Speech Was the Best Career Advice You'll Hear Today. Here It Is in One Sentence by Justin Bariso, Inc.
  8. The Giants Just Hired Alyssa Nakken — the First Full-time Female Coach in MLB History by Courtney Connley, CNBC
  9. The 20 New Leadership Books for 2020 by Adam Grant
  10. I am Harvard Law's First Deafblind Graduate. Here's what College is like for Students with Disabilities by Haben Girma, CNBC

Lessons for Marketers

The top 10 list for January delivers a few key lessons for marketers. One enduring lesson from this list is that professionals on LinkedIn are constantly curious about leadership and business culture. If you provide an interesting, useful take on leadership, you are likely to find an audience on LinkedIn.

Another lesson: Even though in some quarters there is a backlash against sustainability, businesses and businesspeople tend to remain supportive of and interested in stories about sustainability.

Similarly, the business world at large remain committed to diversity. Three of the top 10 stories on LinkedIn — Goldman Sachs’ stance on all-male boards, the hiring of a female coach by a major league baseball team, and Harvard Law’s first deaf-blind graduate — all involved a commitment to diversity in some way. Perhaps this interest reflects the broad diversity of LinkedIn members.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the posts that are attracting the readership of professionals on LinkedIn, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.