Groundswell technology comes to consumers first. At home, we get social, mobile, video and cloud services pitched to us 24x7. Empowering technologies will always come to consumers first because it's a wide-open market. A single developer can build an application that changes the world from a broadband-connected bedroom. All this technology puts tremendous power directly into the hands of customers and they often have more information than your sales or services team does. You'd better make sure you give customers better information than they can get elsewhere. The only way to do that is to empower employees to directly engage the needs and expectations of customers. Fortunately, they are not standing still. Your innovative employees are already building new solutions using these same technologies to solve customer problems. In fact, 37% of US information workers use do-it-yourself technology to get work done. It's covert innovation – your employees solving your business problems at the ground level. The challenge is to support this innovation while keeping the company safe. That takes a whole new way of thinking and acting. It takes an empowered IT organization working under a new set of principles. Empowerment is chapter 3 in the Internet story. Chapter 1 was the Web. Chapter 2 was Social Computing. It has that feel of inevitability. Companies like Best Buy that empower employees to solve customer problems will win. Companies that don't will lose.
Josh is SVP, Idea Development at Forrester Research and is responsible for identifying, developing, and promoting some of the company's most influential and forward-looking ideas.
Josh is the coauthor of the BusinessWeek best-selling book "Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2008), a comprehensive analysis of corporate strategy for dealing with social technologies. Abbey Klaassen, editor of Advertising Age picked Groundswell as "the best book ever written on marketing and media," and Amazon's editors put it in the top 10 business books of the year. Josh's newest book "Empowered: Unleash your Employees, Energize your Customers, Transform your Business" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2010), written with fellow Forrester analyst Ted Schadler, tells how to manage your company in the age of empowered customers and employees.
With 23 years of experience, Ted advises clients in a wide variety of industries on the effect of technology on workforce productivity, including collaboration tools, mobile devices, and cloud computing. He is the coauthor of Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business, (Harvard Business Review Press, September 2010).
In 2009, Ted launched Forrester's Workforce Technographics®, the industry's first benchmark survey of workforce technology adoption. His 13 year tenure at Forrester also includes serving as vice president of Forrester's Consumer Technographics business, as vice president and principal analyst focused on consumer devices, and as an enterprise software analyst and research director.
Ted regularly appears as a technology industry expert on television and has been quoted in publications such as BusinessWeek, The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. His blog is located at http://blogs.forrester.com/ted_schadler.
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