Keith Swenson's Reviews > Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business

Empowered by Josh Bernoff
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's review
Jan 11, 11

Read from December 11, 2010 to January 04, 2011

Are you responsible for the success of business in today's market? Is it important for people to know about you and your product? Is it important for you to know what your customers are thinking? Is your reputation a factor in your business?

If "yes", then "empowered" is a "must-read" because it highlights the dangers of web 2.0, as well as the benefits if you are wise enough to prepare for it. Ignore it at your own peril. To be completely honest with you: I can't really say yes to all the above. Still, I found "empowered" engaging and illuminating about how social media is transforming the world and fundamentally changing the way that organizations interact withing themselves and with their customers.

Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler offer a collection of insights into adoption and use of social technology. I was most interested in the section of the book that covered how IBM Software Group VP wanted to teach sales teams to be more productive. He identified a motivation for change: Salespeople were frustrated by how much time they spent seeking people and information.

He appointed someone who started by identifying 100 people in the organization that already had a blog or used wikis, and were already familiar with the benefit and potential. From those 100 she hired 6 of them as full time staff to drive change. She leveraged the rest of the 100 as fans of the new way of doing business, and they became the core of an ambassador program of 1200 volunteers throughout the organization to help train and introduce the new technology to 400,000 employees. See my blog post that expands on this:

They introduce a clever acronym “HERO” which stands for Highly Empowered Resourceful Operatives. Social technology makes these early adopters far more effective than they would have been in earlier years at spreading information and influencing opinion. The point of the book is to leverage the HEROs within your organization to make you more effective, and to respond quickly to HEROs outside the organization to make sure they are pleased with your service.

Felt it was good enough, I bought the earlier book "groundswell" by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff. I am hoping it will be as good.

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