Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World

Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World

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by Jamie Notter, Maddie Grant

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A practical guide for realizing the true potential of social media—not for marketing, but for leadership.


Knowing the tools of social media is a must for successful marketing these days, but the real promise of social media is the way it can teach us a whole new way of doing business. Humanize takes the principles underlying

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A practical guide for realizing the true potential of social media—not for marketing, but for leadership.


Knowing the tools of social media is a must for successful marketing these days, but the real promise of social media is the way it can teach us a whole new way of doing business. Humanize takes the principles underlying social media’s growth and applies them to the way we lead and manage our organizations. Leading organizational consultants Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant help you change your organization, from the culture down to individual behavior, in ways that make it more human—and more effective. Drawing on their extensive experience, Notter and Grant help you make management innovation real and doable. Regardless of your title or position, this book can help you:


·        Build a more trustworthy, open, generative, and courageous organization by embracing social and human principles.

·        Change organizations from the inside out.

·        Address critical elements of organizational behavior, process, and culture.

·        Move beyond the social media buzzwords like transparent, decentralized, and open—and actually make them happen.

·        Promote forms of “generative” success that go beyond profit and loss.

·        Learn how to get started–you, personally, today, right now!


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Humanize offers practical content and insightful thinking that will help businesses make the deep changes needed to thrive in today’s social world. “

—Mike Smith, author of Matchpoint and President of

“Companies need to be social, and worry less about doing social media. In this timely and important book, Grant and Notter provide a detailed model for making the humanization leap. Social media success is about people, not logos, and embedding that attitude in your company isn’t easy. But armed with this book, you’ve got a fighting chance.”

–Jay Baer, co-author of The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social

“I like how-to.Which is why I like this book immensely. It gets beyond theory (which is interesting) to give you something you can actually act on (which is far more useful)! Think roadmap, not research. In other words, you won’t finish reading this book and go, ‘Now what...?’”

—Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, and co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks,Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

“The days of controlling your message are dead. Born is the human organization where people buy from people, not companies. This is not another social media book. Notter and Grant dispel the notion that your leadership and your culture can continue to be self-centered and two-dimensional.With additional reading recommendations and worksheets, they’ll have you well on your way to creating a sustainable shift inside and outside of your organization.”

—Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich and founder, Spin Sucks Pro

“Our organizations have been modeled after mechanistic machines,where the human being is often treated as a cog.We know better.We know humans matter. It’s time for a change. And this book illustrates how to be change agents as leaders, and for our organizations.”

—Nilofer Merchant, author of The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy

“In 2002,Malcolm Gladwell released The Tipping Point, and changed the way we looked at influence. In 2008, Seth Godin released Tribes, and showed us how small groups of people could take Gladwell’s influence model and become leaders. Now, in 2011, Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter take these seminal books to their natural evolution. Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World shows us how leadership and influence of your internal and external customer starts as all businesses start–with its people. This book strips away the myth of strong-arm leadership and offers solid, actionable paths that actually work. This is your compass for the direction your business needs to travel if you want to stay alive.”

–Danny Brown, CEO of Bonsai Interactive Marketing, award-winning marketer and

blogger at, and author of The Parables of Business

Humanize is a deep dive on the impact of social media on leadership and the challenges of harnessing the power of engaged people.Wherever you are in the organization, this book helps you figure out what you need to change and dares you to make it happen. Stimulating and well done!”

—Mark Sanborn, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Fred Factor

“This is a systems leadership book hidden inside a social media book.We work with clients who encounter major challenges when we start helping them incorporate social media into their business practices, but those challenges are not solved with solely social media tactics

and those hurdles are not cleared without digging deep inside the organization. By helping our clients figure out how to make their organizations more human, we get them on the path to success more rapidly. This book is an amazing first step and is a great tool for businesses

as they venture into the social space. I can’t wait to share it with our clients!”

–Shelly Kramer, CEO, V3 Integrated Marketing

“This book defines the new human quotient within organizations around the world. Large and small business alike should heed the call being screamed from the rooftops and shouted down the hallways.Maddie and Jamie make me want to be more human.”

—Kyle Lacy, author of Branding Yourself and Twitter Marketing for Dummies

“Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant have produced a real rarity among management books: truly insightful thinking that is both brilliantly fresh and actionably disciplined. First, they comprehensively reframe the problem of leadership in organizations. Next, they draw out and organize the resulting insights into a system that hangs together of its own accord. Finally, they explain to any manager at any level what this means in a practical sense, and how to profitably adapt and act on it.”

–Jim Stroup, DBA, author and management consultant

“Social media is not only changing how we communicate with key constituencies but it is challenging the very structure of our organizations. Historically, organizations have been structured to optimize efficiency for themselves, but not for their customers and markets. The open dialog organizations are now having with their markets is exposing how inefficiently those organizations work in the context of their larger ecosystems. Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter take a crack at pulling apart this puzzle and providing guidance in how to make concepts like trust and authenticity apply not only to people but to the organizations with which they interact.”

—Rachel Happe, Co-Founder & Principal, The Community Roundtable

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Pearson Education
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Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Social media provide a venue for human behavior: creating, connecting, sharing and interacting. In the social digital world, companies’ hierarchical systems, opaque structures and rigid processes – business practices that have worked for the past century – can become organizational death traps. To thrive in the digital age, your firm should be attuned to the same human-based principles that fuel social media. As management consultant Jamie Notter and social media expert Maddie Grant explain, this requires overhauling your business’s culture, processes and behaviors to include the human qualities of being “open, trustworthy, generative and courageous.” The authors do a good job of explaining why this is important, but are less attentive to explaining how to achieve it. getAbstract recommends this book’s insights to managers seeking to understand how social media can help them shape tomorrow’s successful companies today.
PiperJJP More than 1 year ago
"As the Internet has become more central in our lives, we have begun to witness a revival of the importance of being human." Page 3, Humanize. From that point forward, from that beginning, this book underlines and asterisks--as the subtitle says--how important being people-centric is for organizations to succeed in a social world. Chapter 4, "Challenges to Socializing Business," was particularly helpful. it walks through the major hurdles such as culture, hierarchy, risk, process, and more, providing helpful insights and solutions businesses and social media professionals can apply. Most importantly, it provides great instruction about the importance of and how to be open, trustworthy, generative and courageous. The easy-going yet professional tone, appropriate lists, and useful subheads make it very readable, even if you have to do it in short spurts. For any business or individual about to get more social this is where they should begin to keep themselves human, because that's who the social world wants to connect with. And if it's too late, and they're already down the wrong road, this book can bring them back.
L_Scherer More than 1 year ago
Let's face it; I often find myself picking up a book about business only to become bored before I'm halfway through it. Not only is the subject matter commonly overbaked but the writing falls short. Humanize does neither and in fact, takes social media and gives it the human face that it deserves. If you recognize that organizations are nothing without their people, give this book a read. And then read it again. And tell your friends to read it too. It's a well written book that incorporates a novel approach.
Tinu More than 1 year ago
In the beginning, we created the machine. And it was good. And we modeled so many things after the machine for this reason - for example, the organization. This book deals with the fall-out of that decision in a post-industrial, pre-robotic world. Is the modeling of  the company after the machine still relevant?  If not, how do we change?  Humanize is a must-read for anyone, in any company or organization seeking to do more than pay lip-service to these thoughts, and contains practical exercises that can help transform a company from the inside.  This may seem to be a book about social media, and it is, but only in the sense that social media starkly and profoundly reflects how the  business landscape is changing, and accelerating the pace at which companies and other organizations must respond or die.  It's a manual for how to change a 20th Century company into one ready for the 21st, and the ability to adapt to the many changes it will continue to bring with it.
BrianCarter More than 1 year ago
Why is there such a big difference between our lives and our work? Why do organizations struggle to make Social Media work? For the same reasons... we don't bring our humanity to work, and big organizations institutionalize inhuman activities. Customers don't like being treated like a number. Authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter unravel these dehumanizing forces and recommend solutions in their new book Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. I interviewed them to help you get a sense of the importance and power of this book. Also, the book is hardcover, so if someone at your company doesn't "get it", you can hit them on the head with the book until they do.
johnhaydon More than 1 year ago
"Humanize" is not a book about social media tools, strategies and tactics. It's a book that addresses what really creates online success (or failure) for organizations: Heart-centered leadership. I've worked with hundreds of nonprofits on various aspects of online marketing strategy, and often been in situations where I know that the organization will not succeed with even the best tools and strategies if they do not change their culture first. Humanize addresses these core problems in a way that is easy to follow. Get this book if you want to avoid wasting a whole lot of resources on yet another failed social media campaign.
AMvandenHurk More than 1 year ago
Humanize is a must read for organizations. It is so much more than a social media book. It is a book in leadership for today's new world. It gives you the framework needed to make your organization more human less machine.
ginidietrich More than 1 year ago
Technology, the web, and social media have turned our worlds upside down. For eternity, we've been pushing messages to our customers and prospects through marketing, PR, and advertising. The only time we've had the opportunity to really listen to what our customers have had to say is if we spent money (a lot of money) on market research and focus groups. Today, though, we can listen to what our customers have to say with one Twitter search, Google alerts, or a quick online search. The problem remains, though, that we continue to push our messages through the social channels, as if it's just another place to do it. Humanize teaches you how to be HUMAN in your communication. Notter and Grant teach you how to start internally by empowering employees and then reaching externally to empower brand ambassadors, loyalists, and even critics. This is not another social media book. It is a leadership book that teaches you how to be human for lasting effect that results in more loyal customers and higher profits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago