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


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Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business + Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422155633
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422155639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About the Author

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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Customer Reviews

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This will be a must read for all marketers.
M. Clarke
While it is an easy and enjoyable read, I found myself putting the book down and "chewing the cud" on their thoughts and insights.
Jeff Hurt
"This book is great - packed full of interesting and useful research and great case studies of empowered HEROs.
Jayme Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gil Yehuda on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Fong on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ANDREW M. O'HEARN on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brad J. Ward on September 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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