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Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 14. September 2010

5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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"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

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Wie schon bei Groundswell ist den Autoren wieder ein sehr leicht zu lesendes, überzeugendes und sehr fundiertes Buch gelungen. Alle Aussagen jedes Kapitels werden immer an Hand mehrerer Praxisbeispiele oder Statistiken illustriert. Die zentrale These lautet: "Der erfolgreiche Umgang mit gestärkten/ befähigten (empowered) Kunden fordert auch gestärkte/ befähigte (empowered) Mitarbeiter." Im Buch wird dazu durchgehend das Akronym HEROs verwendet, das für "highly empowered and resourceful operative", also etwa "hoch befähigte und einfallsreiche Agenten/ Mitarbeiter", steht. Inhaltlich geht es weniger um konkrete Technologien als vielmehr um praxisnahe Strategien zur Analyse als auch Veränderungen von Unternehmen. Wer sich aktiv mit der Neuausrichtung seines Unternehmens in Zeiten von Social Media auseinandersetzt, dem sei dieses Buch ausdrücklich empfohlen, idealerweise aufbauend auf Groundswell.
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HASH(0xa30ac40c) von 5 Sternen Articulate and credible, left me wanting more. 8. Oktober 2010
Von Gil Yehuda - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Note: this review is an edited version of a longer book review found on my blog at [...].

Empowered is a welcome follow-up to Groundswell Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. It takes the perspective of the individual within the company who steps up to the challenges posed by organizational realities (and nonsense), to do the "right thing" for the company and/or the customer. Bernoff and Schadler call these people Highly Empowered Resourceful Operatives -- HEROs. The message is: you need HEROs. So let's talk about how the book tells this story, and what it might mean to you.

The book starts with the bold assertion that you need HEROs in your company to fix the flaws in the way you interact, ignore, or infuriate your customers. Moreover, you need to support your HEROs, even if this means breaking a few processes here and there. This assertion is then supported by a series of wonderful stories about the impact that influential customers and heroic employees have on huge multi-billion $ companies. You'll recognize the brand names throughout the book (such as Maytag and BestBuy), and you may already know some of the stories. You may also recognize the gracious mention of many vendors in the Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 space. The big take-away in the first section is the clarification of the 4 technology drivers that amplify changes affecting marketing, customer support, and corporate technology. These are: mobile computing, pervasive video, cloud computing, and social technologies.

The analysis is on-target and crisp; highlighting the issues and implications of each. Note: At this point the careful reader might ask if the assertion "You need HEROs" is truly supported by the stories. I'd suggest another question is "who is the 'you' that the authors are talking about?" So let's read on and see.

The next section addresses some of the projects that HEROs create and provides a worksheet for how to predictively evaluate the value of the effort. This section is full of great stories from Zappos, ETrade, Intuit, UPS, Ford, Microsoft, and a few other familiar brands. Unfortunately the authors do not show how they would apply the worksheet inputs to any of the cases -- they only refer to the output. So you get a worksheet that seems reasonable and helpful, but I'm not sure it had been battle-tested. But, you can help battle-test the worksheet by using it. And you can find it on the website associated with the book (at [...]).

The section continues with more well-written stories of companies that allowed HERO-ic individuals to do the "right" thing in the face of corporate challenges. There is also a decent amount of supportive data that Forrester collected to add quantifiable scope to their assertions. You'll probably recognize the "United Breaks Guitars" story. Each story add a slightly different angle to the main point of the book - that being: Corporations get in their own way of great service, great marketing, and great employee engagement, but new tools and behaviors, along with a HERO-empowering mindset can help fix this.

The final section focuses on the impact that HEROs have on the organization. And thankfully the authors address the fact that not all change is going to go over well. The reality is that HEROs make mistakes. But the authors argue (effectively) that mitigating the extent and negative impact of the mistakes is usually pretty achievable, and the benefits usually outweigh the risks. The authors take a clear stand, even though they disclose that companies will struggle taking their advice. They did not present the anti-case studies of failed HEROs or of employees who get themselves fired by trying to be HEROs 'cuz they read about it in a hot business book. As with most HERO epics, the story has a hopeful ending.

As I closed the book I felt this was a great read, well written, and worthwhile. The stories carried the message. Forrester's data supported the message. And the practical advice throughout provided tangible value to the message. But for some strange reason, I could not give it 5 stars. Perhaps because I have over-inflated expectations based on my familiarity with the authors and the topic. Sorry if that's unfair.

Here's where it fell short for me. My expectation was that the authors would take a sharper edge at the Pollyanna syndrome where we get so dazzled by Social Media that we forget to challenge the stories. The fact that someone might have a few thousand twitter followers, is alone, not enough to say that a few thousand people actually read tweets from that person. Many twitter follower are non-people, or are people who don't read your tweets. The fact that someone you admire really hates some brand and blogs about it might make for fun reading -- but to what extent does that really impact sales or stock price? I believe 100% approval usually mean "boring". You probably want to have a least 5% of the people in the world upset with you -- otherwise you are not doing enough. So I expected to see the hard data demonstrating the extent that Maytag (or United, etc.) really suffered from some negative blogs. Maybe it actually benefited from this book mention? Maybe sales are really impacted by the impression we have of the salesperson in the store, not the articulate blogger who had a some random bad experience. So I expected more data, and more critical perspective on the proof-points. It was present, I wanted more.

I also hoped to see a very clear articulation of the three areas that the book covered -- 1. brand impression 2. customer service, and 3. employee collaboration. These all benefit from HEROs, but the cases are very different, and I hoped the authors would delineate these in a very crisp manner. Again, it was present, but I wanted more.

I also hoped that they would make very clear to whom they target their message. Let me take a stab: these authors typically speak to, and about, $1B+ companies. So if you are the CMO in such a company -- this book is your task list and you have to read it. There are many such companies: banks, airlines, tech-giants, utilities, media properties, big-box retailers, and others. But let's say you are the CMO of a small business that runs a chain of auto-repair shops? or you run a dry cleaner? How does the HERO message work for you? Do you have a brand that could be impacted by a blogger? Do people think that the best way to get your attention is to tweet? Maybe. But we'd all understand that the approach would differ substantially.

We love reading about heroes, since they give us something to admire, and aspire to. But I wonder if the book would have been even better if the lasting message was how to make sure that HERO behavior becomes more viral and pervasive than hero stories. After all, there is no Superman. We each have to be the HERO in our own little corner of the world. Companies don't need the solo, inspirational social media HERO that we can use as case studies for great blog posts and business books. Companies need everyone to be a hero. "Empowered" is the next needed step -- but I suspect there's more to this story.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa017a9c0) von 5 Sternen Outstanding! 14. September 2010
Von Jennifer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
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.
10 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0083d5c) von 5 Sternen Predictable. 24. September 2010
Von Brad J. Ward - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Amazon should read:
"If you like Mashable, you'll LOVE Empowered!"

Pretty standard book if you keep up with the social web at all. When the author says "Stop me if you've heard this one" and proceeds to tell the United Breaks Guitars story, it should have been my cue to put down the book.

There are some good concepts, but I think they way they try to build off of the POST strategy by forcing another 4-letter acronym into the picture doesn't work for me.

I was also struck by the high amount of "popular highlights" on the Kindle version. Typically, you see popular highlights once or twice a chapter. The first portion of this book was a literal dartboard, which was also a cue to me that this book might be more beginner-level. Seriously, the most popular highlight in the book is "To succeed with empowered customers, you must empower your employees to solve customer problems." What a gem...

As far as my highlights and main takeaways, I enjoyed the tidbit that "people who talk about airlines are twice as likely to use Twitter", as well as the last 2 paragraphs of the book. If I had read those two items alone, I'd be content.

I'm thankful to the authors for offering this book for free on Kindle, because I would have been disappointed in paying $10 to read it. It will sit on my e-shelf next to Socialnomics in the "do not recommend to anyone with experience" area. If you're talking to a newbie, however, point them towards this and Groundswell as a great primer and intro.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0083b40) von 5 Sternen Putting the "Boom Boom Pow" Into "Empowered" 14. September 2010
Von ANDREW M. O'HEARN - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I read "Empowered" over the September 11-12 weekend. 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.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0081b04) von 5 Sternen Empowered Delivers 29. September 2010
Von Ian Wolfman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Josh Bernoff's and Ted Schadler's, Empowered, is a nice balance-enjoyable read and an informative, thought-provoking challenge to businesses and brands. You get access to some of Forrester's industry-leading technographic research along with a compelling narrative that inspires you to think about the opportunities available in some new and exciting ways.

The point of Empowered is transformation-innovative people harnessing widely available, low-cost tools and technologies across the social and information landscape to revolutionize their business. And the authors use a lot of well-described examples to point out some of the low-hanging fruit already in the baskets of some smart, quick-thinking companies. But more importantly, Empowered shows businesses how to unleash HEROs (Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives) within companies to maximum effect. It is a framework for embracing the potential of resourceful people who are probably already working within your organization. And for all of you geeks out there, the authors make a strong case for empowering IT-the critical link in the chain that routinely gets dumped on and expected to deliver the magic.

If you're not interested in evolving your business or brand there's no need to read the book. But then again, if you're organization is not invested in change-constant, pervasive and always accelerating-you probably won't have much of a business to worry about anyway before long.

As an added bonus, it's a pretty easy read. Easily conquered over the course of a weekend or a couple of plane rides.

Ian Wolfman, cmo, imc²
Twitter @IMWolfman
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