Announcing our next book "Harnessing the Groundswell"
by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler
We've begun work on Forrester's next book about how technology changes business. While "groundswell" is in the title, the new book is not quite a sequel. Instead, it focuses on individuals empowered by technology -- both employees and customers -- and how businesses can efficiently turn them into a force for better performance.Here's a short description:
Who are these empowered people? They're employees using simple technologies to solve business problems -- but in ways management hasn't sanctioned. They're customers, armed with a sea of ambient information and friend connections, who redefine your brand. Either way, empowered individuals are a problem for locked-down and unprepared managers stuck on control. "Harnessing the Groundswell" explains how to enable, select, scale, and socialize this energy -- that is, how to embrace empowered individuals and use them to drive your business forward.
Harvard Business Press will publish "Harnessing the Groundswell" in summer, 2010. If you don't know Ted Schadler, he's a long-time, accomplished Forrester Research analyst and vice president in our IT business.
As you read the table of contents below, ask yourself: do I know a company that's doing this well (or poorly?). We're looking for case studies, and not just successes. So if you know a company that embraces its technology problem solvers or its fans, let me (Josh) know and we'll follow up. I look forward to your comments.
PART 1. Why Empowered People Are Driving Your Management Crazy
Individuals will always get the latest and best technology and services first. Why? Because that's the simplest path to market for device makers, publishers, social entrepreneurs, and other individuals. Because many of these technologies are mobile, they get into the enterprise regardless of corporate policies. This changes the dynamics of technology-led innovation forever.
Chapter 1. The forces that created empowered individuals
Chapter 2. How to act empowered (and how to manage people like that)
PART 2. Harnessing Empowered Employees
Individuals in the workforce bring their personal devices and experiences to work. The result? Innovation erupts in a thousand incremental, and sometimes disruptive, ways. With computing power available so cheaply in the Internet "cloud," employees can often create solutions with a budget they can charge on a credit card. Managers can either erect ever-higher walls in a fruitless effort to contain this disruptive energy or identify and harness the power of these improvements.
Chapter 3. A framework for managing empowered employees
Chapter 4. Empowered innovation [Leadership]
Chapter 5. Selecting and scaling solutions [IT]
Chapter 6. Socializing the enabled employees and solutions [Management/Collaboration]
Chapter 7. Hiring and retaining an empowered workforce [HR]
PART 3. Harnessing Empowered Customers
Your customers are using technology to gather any information they want. They have every Web site in the world to draw on, as well as their peers in social environments from Facebook to Twitter to blogs to customer ratings. And it's all coming to the mobile devices they take with them everywhere. A business that depends on the ignorance of its consumers is doomed. And in this environment, any service flaw is magnified and repeated endlessly. As a marketer, your best alternative is to become one of them – provide them with the very tools, information, and peer support they crave – and generate positive word of mouth through this enablement.
Chapter 8. A framework for managing empowered customers.
Chapter 9. Empowering customer service problem solvers [Customer Service]
Chapter 10. Empowering the mobile customer experience
Chapter 11. Selecting and scaling fans
Chapter 12. Socializing empowered customers: collaborating on innovation (10 pages)
PART 4. Leading the Empowered
Empowered people challenge management. The hierarchical management of large companies gets its power from standardization, rewards, and scale. But leadership in this new era does not mean being out of control. It means creating an environment where everyone knows the end goal and feels empowered to contribute, where attempts are lauded along with successes, and where scaling innovation is the true advantage.
Chapter 13. Leadership among the empowered
Chapter 14: The future
I can't wait to read your reaction.