Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business [NOOK Book]


It's the new normal. Now all of your employees are Twittering away and friending clients on Facebook. Not to mention customers--who feel obligated to update your Wikipedia entry with product complaints.

In this new world, dealing with empowered employees and customers --Insurgents -- is only going to get more challenging. Employees are using this technology in the workplace ...
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Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business

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It's the new normal. Now all of your employees are Twittering away and friending clients on Facebook. Not to mention customers--who feel obligated to update your Wikipedia entry with product complaints.

In this new world, dealing with empowered employees and customers --Insurgents -- is only going to get more challenging. Employees are using this technology in the workplace and customers are using it in the marketplace, and neither obey the rules you set up.

This chaos is your future as a manager. You could try to shut it down and shut it off. Or you can harness it and reap the business benefits.

According to Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler of Forrester Research (the organization that brought you Groundswell), your defense against insurgents is to enable them. At its heart, this is a book about how to scale the management of insurgency, both the innovation of insurgent employees and the energy of insurgent customers. The key is a process Forrester calls E Triple S, for the four elements of managing insurgents effectively: empowering, selecting, scaling, and socializing.

While it's based in current trends, the core concept of Managing Insurgents -- that the next management and innovation challenge is harnessing individuals empowered by mobile, social, and connected technology -- is a new idea. In the wake of Groundswell, dozens of social-technology-for-business books cropped up. And there are plenty of books on improving your customer service. But there's no serious business book about management, marketing, and innovation in the throes of this trend. When Insurgency hits, it will be perceived not just as a sequel to Groundswell but as the start of a new management philosophy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a worthwhile book for anyone in business to read, not just for marketing or innovation, but also for strategy." – Journal of Consumer Marketing

"…is a well-written, useful guide to how companies can empower their employees." - Ad Age

"If the future sounds scary, Empowered describes it in reasonable, even methodical terms. The book Empowered is a milestone for where things are headed, both for the business manager and the IT manager." - InformationWeek

"…this book is a practical explanation of how social influence marketing, which is having your customers create customers for you—works! Loaded with lots of easy to understand cases, this is an information packed book demonstrating that social technology has become universal." Chief Executive

Library Journal
Two vice presidents at Forrester Research (Bernoff is also the coauthor of Groundswell) offer a rare thing: a book about using new technologies that actually goes beyond jargon and offers practical solutions. In addition to providing examples of how today's consumers have empowered themselves through social software, the authors suggest that the best way to deal with such customers is to train and support empowered workers (or HEROes, "highly empowered and resource operatives"). The most valuable part of the book is its second half, which describes how HERO employees, management, and IT staff can and must collaborate to make the system work. The focus on the whole organization makes this a good read for employees and managers alike.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422162330
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

JOSH BERNOFF is the coauthor of the Business Week bestseller Groundswell, the "best book ever written on marketing and media" (Advertising Age). He is senior vice president, idea development, at Forrester Research.

TED SCHADLER is a vice president and principal analyst in Forrester's IT Research Group. His work over thirteen years at Forrester has focused on disruptive technologies and how senior decision-makers should harness them.
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Table of Contents

part one: HEROes

1 why your business needs HEROes 3

part two: what HEROes do

2 employee HEROes and their projects 21

3 peer influence analysis 37

4 delivering groundswell customer service 57

5 empowering customers with mobile applications 75

6 amplifying your fans 93

part three: the HERO-powered business

7 do-it-yourself technology fuels the HERO Compact 113

8 is your company ready for HEROes? 131

9 leading and managing HEROes 145

10 helping HEROes innovate 155

11 helping HEROes collaborate 163

12 keeping HEROes safe 177

13 supporting HEROes with technology innovation 191

14 becoming HERO-powered 205

notes 215

acknowledgments 229

case indexes 231

index 237

about the authors 251

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How to get the buzz buzzing

    In his previous book Groundswell, Josh Bernoff defined strategies for engaging customers on Twitter, blogs and other online social technologies. Since then, a growing number of businesses have connected with their customers using these online tools. But what effect does that engagement have on companies? And what "management challenge" does this new trend present? In this book, Bernoff and his Forrester Research colleague Ted Schadler examine these pressing questions. With great precision and enthusiasm, they detail why and how companies should change the way they run to "unleash" their employees' technological potential, so they can reach out to customers and solve their problems. getAbstract recommends Bernoff and Schadler's book to all managers and marketing professionals. Its concepts and strategies are vital knowledge for modern businesses.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Groundswell for your corporate culture

    I have seen Josh present on this topic earlier in 2010 and I'm pleased to see that it was just a small taste of was to come in this book.

    I was initially concerned that this would be just another social media guru book - happily it is not. You can take away lots of insights from social media hits and misses (e.g. Maytag, Best Buy, Zappos, and others) but the real power here is in the way the authors recognize the need to update your corporate culture by fully utilizing (empowering) your human capital.

    Customer delight is always a top priority - regardless if it's average Joe or a new media maven/influencer. That is a given and you need to be where the communications technology takes us over time. What is critical for break-out performance is the ability to innovate quickly and efficiently to beat the competition. Fail fast and frequently, give people the incentive and infrastructure to succeed on their own, and put in place the ability to score and launch empowered HERO projects.

    Buy a copy of this book, pass it on your leadership team, and be ready to respond when they ask you to make it happen at your company.

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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Putting the "Boom Boom Pow" Into "Empowered"

    I read "Empowered" over the September 11-12 weekend (it was already in my local B&N store). Although I was already familiar with many of the concepts through "Groundswell," the "boom boom pow" of this edition was the HERO Compact: IT, managers, and highly empowered and resourceful operatives (HEROes). In the authors' words, "technology populism" is not a fad: employees (and their end customers) are mastering new aspects of technology every day. Left unchecked, this innovation could result in chaos. The authors correctly note that "it must align with corporate strategy . . . leadership has to communicate its goals and strategies more effectively or there will be a lot of wasted innovation." Pulling disenfranchised, rogue and locked-down employees into the HERO employees quadrant (acting more resourceful and feeling more empowered) is more than just pop psychology: it's a value generator and competitive differentiator (especially with Customer Service, where less than one in five employees are HEROes). Another telling statement: "innovation is about speed (fast, cheap experiments and high velocity), collaboration (feedback from across the organization; a business strategy: a way to improve the productivity of people and teams and accelerate the flow of information throughout the company), and systems (software that supports innovation). The "aha" moment was showing how the groundswell technology trends of smart mobile devices, pervasive video, cloud computing services, and social technology empower and serve customers, and develop workers in the process. To quote the book and Malcolm Harkins, chief information security officer at Intel, we need to "run toward the risk so [we] can shape it" -- and resist the urge to treat these fundamental shifts in the way business is conducted as a fad or a dot-com-like "blip" in the Information Age. As great as "Groundswell" was, this book has eclipsed it in terms of sheer business value. Read it, share it, put it into practice. Your customers are already doing so.

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  • Posted September 14, 2010


    Josh Bernoff has done it again! Empowered is a fascinating look at how employees with great ideas in your organization can be encouraged to innovate and transform your business to better serve customers. As it says in the book, with the rise of social technologies, customer service is the new marketing. And by following the clearly-outlined process in this book, managers can work with employee innovators (HEROs, they're called in the book) and IT stakeholders to allow customers to be better served, so they talk about your business in positive ways online. I loved all the case studies and practical examples that show how this can work in the real world.

    I'm a social media consultant. I was in a meeting with a client only yesterday, and I found myself referencing and pulling this book out multiple times, referencing the handy checklists, charts, and questions. My clients can't wait to get their own copies! Truly, this is a resource that every business person needs.

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