Customers have more power than ever, thanks to groundswell technologies that give them unprecedented amounts of information and connections. As a result, companies must empower their employees to solve customers’ problems using the same technologies — social, mobile, video, and the Internet, according to the new book from Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press). Written by veteran Forrester analysts Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler, Empowered provides advice for IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders who want to generate more creative solutions from their teams.
Bernoff co-authored the 2008 bestseller Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business Review Press), which offered strategies for connecting with customers in a world transformed by social technologies. Empowered picks up where Groundswell left off, addressing the new management challenges that have occurred as companies engage with their customers in the groundswell.
“In a world where a single tweet can torpedo your brand, corporations need to unleash their employees to fight back,” said Bernoff and Schadler. “You can build a strategy around empowering employees to solve customers’ problems — but it will challenge your organization from the inside. Freeing employees to experiment with new technologies, to make high-profile decisions on the fly, to build systems that customers see, and to effectively speak for the organization in public is not something most corporations or government agencies are accustomed to doing.”
Empowered offers unique Forrester data, practical tools, and 25 case studies of innovative companies and leaders who use technology to solve customer problems. According to Bernoff and Schadler, customer solutions in the new business model are not coming from management but from employees on the ground in marketing, sales, and customer support. These highly empowered and resourceful operatives (HEROes) are behind customer service initiatives like Best Buy’s celebrated Twelpforce and Comcast’s game-changing Digital Care Team. Empowered guides managers on how to encourage innovation, contain chaos, and build a HERO-powered company.
“Forrester has established itself as a leading voice on the impact that social technologies have on businesses and how professionals in IT, marketing and strategy, and tech industry roles can leverage them for success,” said Dwight Griesman, CMO of Forrester. “This book goes beyond outward-facing, customer-related social strategy; it’s now about the employee. The ideas in Empowered are relevant to all managers because the process of empowering an organization impacts virtually every member of the workforce. Building from the book’s foundation, Forrester also has new Empowered-related solutions to help guide our clients through the management challenges of this transformation.”
“Our personal and business worlds have changed; Empowered is the blueprint for digital immigrants and natives to successfully participate,” said Stephen Gillett, executive vice president, chief information officer and general manager, digital ventures, Starbucks Coffee Company.
Josh Bernoff is a senior vice president, idea development at Forrester Research and is responsible for identifying, developing, and promoting some of the company’s most influential and forward-looking ideas. Ted Schadler is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. His work over 13 years at Forrester has focused on disruptive technologies and how senior decision-makers should harness them.More information about Empowered and Forrester’s related offerings, including an online tool that allows organizations to evaluate the value generated and effort required to implement a HERO-based project, is available at www.forrester.com/empowered.