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Putting the "Boom Boom Pow" Into "Empowered",
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This review is from: Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business (Hardcover)
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.