Apr 13, 2009

Groundswell Blook Report:Chapter Nine – Embracing the Groundswell

Groundswell is broken down into three parts. Part two (chapters 4-9) focus on tapping the groundswell. The authors provide advice and a strategic framework on how to do this.

Chapter 9: Embracing the groundswell

FriendFeed Room: Chapter Nine reference links and case studies from the book. Join the room and start a conversation.

Feature Video: Procter & Gamble VP Patrick Arlequeeuw talking about using innovation and embracing crowds to create the next $23B brand

This video is from September 2007 and it’s called “Blogging for Business”. This is a very interesting case study on how P&G is transforming itself from being a slow gigantic corporation to an innovative, responsive and collaborative organization.

What I learned:

1) If you reach a level where you can embrace your customers do it! You have willing participants who want to help you shape your company and your products and services.

2) Culture kills Groundswell initiatives and it will kill innovation. If you don’t encourage open communication, sharing and taking risk by putting your ideas “out there” then embracing is not for you.

3) That companies must have succession mechanisms in place in order to ensure their Groundswell program is sustainable. Your management team must be a “groundswell team” and champion all efforts. Don’t leave it to one person to champion. I’m starting to see that some of the companies case studied in the book haven’t continued with their Groundswell initiatives. Loblaws, Credit Mutael and Snausages are three examples in particular. This appears to be because the key Groundswell leader left.

4) Embrace people within your company as well as from the outside.

5) You will start to see interesting ideas evolve and natural cross collaboration begin to take place. People will start to connect the dots with ideas and thoughts that you’d never dreamed of seeing. This is where innovation really starts to come to life.

6) Make sure your online groundswell activities are tied to in real life ones. Case in point. I can rank Presidents Choice products online but when I go to their stores I don’t see any signage identifying their products as “Consumers Top Choice”. What I see instead is “Even Lower Prices”. What exactly is Loblaw positioning their Presidents Choice Product Line as?

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