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Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World Hardcover – September 26, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Humanize offers practical content and insightful thinking that will help businesses make the deep changes needed to thrive in today’s social world. “

—Mike Smith, author of Matchpoint and President of Forbes.com


“Companies need to be social, and worry less about doing social media. In this timely and important book, Grant and Notter provide a detailed model for making the humanization leap. Social media success is about people, not logos, and embedding that attitude in your company isn’t easy. But armed with this book, you’ve got a fighting chance.”

–Jay Baer, co-author of The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social 


“I like how-to.Which is why I like this book immensely. It gets beyond theory (which is interesting) to give you something you can actually act on (which is far more useful)! Think roadmap, not research. In other words, you won’t finish reading this book and go, ‘Now what...?’”

—Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, and co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks,Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business


“The days of controlling your message are dead. Born is the human organization where people buy from people, not companies. This is not another social media book. Notter and Grant dispel the notion that your leadership and your culture can continue to be self-centered and two-dimensional.With additional reading recommendations and worksheets, they’ll have you well on your way to creating a sustainable shift inside and outside of your organization.”

—Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich and founder, Spin Sucks Pro


“Our organizations have been modeled after mechanistic machines,where the human being is often treated as a cog.We know better.We know humans matter. It’s time for a change. And this book illustrates how to be change agents as leaders, and for our organizations.”

—Nilofer Merchant, author of The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy


“In 2002,Malcolm Gladwell released The Tipping Point, and changed the way we looked at influence. In 2008, Seth Godin released Tribes, and showed us how small groups of people could take Gladwell’s influence model and become leaders. Now, in 2011, Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter take these seminal books to their natural evolution. Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World shows us how leadership and influence of your internal and external customer starts as all businesses start–with its people. This book strips away the myth of strong-arm leadership and offers solid, actionable paths that actually work. This is your compass for the direction your business needs to travel if you want to stay alive.”

–Danny Brown, CEO of Bonsai Interactive Marketing, award-winning marketer and

blogger at dannybrown.me, and author of The Parables of Business


Humanize is a deep dive on the impact of social media on leadership and the challenges of harnessing the power of engaged people.Wherever you are in the organization, this book helps you figure out what you need to change and dares you to make it happen. Stimulating and well done!”

—Mark Sanborn, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Fred Factor


“This is a systems leadership book hidden inside a social media book.We work with clients who encounter major challenges when we start helping them incorporate social media into their business practices, but those challenges are not solved with solely social media tactics

and those hurdles are not cleared without digging deep inside the organization. By helping our clients figure out how to make their organizations more human, we get them on the path to success more rapidly. This book is an amazing first step and is a great tool for businesses

as they venture into the social space. I can’t wait to share it with our clients!”

–Shelly Kramer, CEO, V3 Integrated Marketing


“This book defines the new human quotient within organizations around the world. Large and small business alike should heed the call being screamed from the rooftops and shouted down the hallways.Maddie and Jamie make me want to be more human.”

—Kyle Lacy, author of Branding Yourself and Twitter Marketing for Dummies 


“Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant have produced a real rarity among management books: truly insightful thinking that is both brilliantly fresh and actionably disciplined. First, they comprehensively reframe the problem of leadership in organizations. Next, they draw out and organize the resulting insights into a system that hangs together of its own accord. Finally, they explain to any manager at any level what this means in a practical sense, and how to profitably adapt and act on it.”

–Jim Stroup, DBA, author and management consultant


“Social media is not only changing how we communicate with key constituencies but it is challenging the very structure of our organizations. Historically, organizations have been structured to optimize efficiency for themselves, but not for their customers and markets. The open dialog organizations are now having with their markets is exposing how inefficiently those organizations work in the context of their larger ecosystems. Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter take a crack at pulling apart this puzzle and providing guidance in how to make concepts like trust and authenticity apply not only to people but to the organizations with which they interact.”

—Rachel Happe, Co-Founder & Principal, The Community Roundtable

About the Author

Jamie Notter is a Vice President at Management Solutions Plus, where he leads the consulting division. Jamie brings twenty years of experience in conflict resolution, diversity, leadership, and management to his practice, including seven years running his own consulting firm.

Maddie Grant, CAE  As the chief social media strategist for SocialFish, Maddie draws from more than 10 years of experience in marketing, communications, and international business operations to help associations large and small build capacity for using social media to achieve business results. Maddie is also the lead editor for SocialFishing, one of the most visited and respected blogs for the association/nonprofit industry.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (September 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789741121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789741127
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,315,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Atinuke Abayomi-Paul on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A business book that starts with a quote from the Matrix. I was sold from the first page. But I held back from my review, wanting to wade in more deeply before snapping to judgement.

And with each page I am just more invested in finding out what comes next.

The quote that starts off the book is relevant because it is a parallel to one of the central theories of the book: that humankind has created a machine that is ruling how she/he behaves. That machine, is the organization, the company, which, when broken down is a collection of humans.

It posits a strategic mission, should you, of course, choose to accept it.

And you can, armed with Humanize, no matter what level of organization you're at, it is for both the minion and the maker of any organization or corporation. Because it seeks to empower YOU, dear reader, to transform your organization to a more people-centric ecosystem.

In the chapters that follow the introduction, we see the status quo, the problem with that state, and the concrete work needed to change it, step by step. Both practical and theoretical, through this book we are informed that the status is not... quo. But through some free help that is provided in conjunction with it, we are shown the way through.

Work? Of course, yes. But the promised end result sounds so much more like the world we ought to be living in.

Yes, this is, in part, a book about social media, a strategic one. But it's not one with rapid decay, one of the ones that is obsolete by the time the hardcover edition arrives at your house.

No. This is one of those books that will be relevant for years to come. Centuries in internet time.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Personally, the most awaited book of all time.

OK, that part isn't true about Humanize. What is true is that it is good. Damn good. That's the good news. Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter do a very nice job stepping through what they call their "trellis", the four human qualities that company's SHOULD have: Being Open, Trustworthy, Generative and Courageous.

They suggest, after setting up their "collision course", a proper corrected course that companies can follow to change the very way they do business.

The bad news is, through no fault of the authors, that most of corporate America is not prepared to undertake the kind of heavy lifting that is necessary to make this kind of dramatic change.

Too bad. Humanize is solid work in the right direction. The authors have done some heavy lifting, even offering worksheets for companies interested in tracking their progress towards becoming more human.

It's a good piece of work. Buy it confidently.
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Format: Hardcover
Why is there such a big difference between our lives and our work? Why do organizations struggle to make Social Media work?

For the same reasons... we don't bring our humanity to work, and big organizations institutionalize inhuman activities. Customers don't like being treated like a number.

Authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter unravel these dehumanizing forces and recommend solutions in their new book Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. I interviewed them to help you get a sense of the importance and power of this book. Also, the book is hardcover, so if someone at your company doesn't "get it", you can hit them on the head with the book until they do.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Humanize is talking about change that is coming. Social media is giving individuals more than a voice, it is changing how we think about things like organizations. Jamie and Maddie lay this out clearly and provide great examples and recommendations for using this information. Their "Trellis," the four crucial elements organizations should look to incorporate, is a clear starting point for change. It won't be easy, but this book will make you think about it.

I'm recommending it to leaders in many different types of organizations and everyone who wants to lead in this changing environment.
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Format: Hardcover
"As the Internet has become more central in our lives, we have begun to witness a revival of the importance of being human." Page 3, Humanize.

From that point forward, from that beginning, this book underlines and asterisks--as the subtitle says--how important being people-centric is for organizations to succeed in a social world. Chapter 4, "Challenges to Socializing Business," was particularly helpful. it walks through the major hurdles such as culture, hierarchy, risk, process, and more, providing helpful insights and solutions businesses and social media professionals can apply.

Most importantly, it provides great instruction about the importance of and how to be open, trustworthy, generative and courageous.

The easy-going yet professional tone, appropriate lists, and useful subheads make it very readable, even if you have to do it in short spurts.

For any business or individual about to get more social this is where they should begin to keep themselves human, because that's who the social world wants to connect with. And if it's too late, and they're already down the wrong road, this book can bring them back.
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