[Updated 7-27-2010: We've finished the book, picked the final name, and said a lot about in other places (like here and here).]

Josh Bernoff and I have begun work on Forrester's next book to be published by Harvard Business Press on September 14th in the Fall:

Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, Transform Your Business

Groundswell Heroes: Harnessing The Power Shift In Your Workplace And Marketplace


Customers blog and Twitter and YouTube and Facebook to be smarter than ever about the things they buy. That information makes them powerful. And they’re just getting more powerful because with smartphones they now have the Internet and their friend networks with them everywhere. They can immediately share what they’re experiencing and learning from wherever they are. Social technology, accelerated by smartphones and video, is shifting information power to customers


Customer-focused firms (which of course includes governments and healthcare providers) have to respond by empowering their employees to solve customer problems, often using the same technologies as customers are: social technology, video, smartphones, and cloud Internet services.We've talked to dozens of HEROes — highly empowered and resourceful operatives — and charted their stories about the impact of these technologies on customer service, marketing, sales, and product development. We've seen the creative and courageous embrace of employee-provisioned tools, including Web 2.0 software in the enterprise, mobile applications, video enablement, and cloud Internet services.



The implications for CIOs and the IT organization are far-reaching. How can IT say yes and support these business-led initiatives using employee-provisioned technology? When must IT say no because of legitimate security or regulatory concerns? What determines which is which?


Harnessing the groundswell power shift starts with leadership and culture, but it also requires a different execution model based on shared goals, clear policy, rapid scaling, and managed risk.


If you have a story to tell about how your organization supports or blocks the creative and innovative use of social technology, we would like to hear about it.