Empowered by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler is a great book.
The book starts out by answering the question “Why?” Then, they go on to answer “What?” Finally, they give detail what’s possible when you’ve empowered HEROS in your organization.
Why? Why do you need empowered employees? The story of Dooce and Maytag or David vs. United (United breaks guitars) are just two examples of why you need empowered employees. The old days of having very few people with the ability to influence a large audience are long gone. Just about anyone who has reached the end of their rope has the ability to influence the masses. Doubt that? Check out the reviews on Amazon.com. Sure, some of those are professionally written, paid-for reviews. Most, however, are just written by your average consumer who was either so pleased with a product that they had to tell someone, or they were so disappointed that they had to voice their frustrations to as many people as possible.
Real world example that came up as I was reading this:
Papa John’s Example
What? What is an empowered employee? The short answer is that they’re customer focused and motivated to find or create the tools that they need to make the customer happy. The empowered employee isn’t locked down by rules and regulations. No; instead, they’re likely to be the ones out there bending the rules trying to find ways to gather the tools they need or access those web sites that are blocked by the company’s firewall. They’re using their own tools and their own personal technology (cell phone/tablet/laptop) gadgets etc to get the job done. In an empowered workplace, these employees are supported by IT and management. They help to shape the tools, processes and ways that employees interact with the customer and client.
This book made me realize just how handcuffed I am at work and I’m a HERO! Hell, my department’s mission is to build the tools needed by HERO employees. From a typical employee standpoint, I have access to tons more tools and resources than the average employee at my company because I’m one of the few who have admin rights on my pc and I have the know-how to get around blocked web sites. They must feel completely hamstrung. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be.
I recently said (several times) – in regards to a multi-million-dollar project for which I manage the online data collection, “Imagine how cool this project could be today if they’d have given me free reign to implement my ideas on this project over the past 4 years.” Instead, I’m unable to serve the customer (survey taker) or improve the quality of the product that the client is paying for. It’s frustrating.
Since I’m in IT and I’m a HERO (by this book’s definition) I have the greatest opportunity to make a significant impact. I’m going to do just that. This company needs to be shaken and if that shaking has to come from the bottom up, then that’s what I’ll do. The book goes a long way to pointing me in the right direction as to how I can make a difference and implement change and create an environment that empowers each HERO in the organization. My next step is to open the eyes of those who hold the keys that have everyone locked down. I’ll do that.
- If you are an IT manager at a company that locks down employees laptops and restricts web sites, you need this book.
- If you’re a manager at a company that locks down employees laptops and restricts web sites, you need this book.
- If you’re an executive at a company that locks down employees laptops and restricts web sites, you need this book.
- If you’re an excitable employee who’s constantly looking for ways to improve the customer experience and you’ve had a hard time getting management to listen to you, you need this book.
- If you’re someone concerned with the direction of your company and you’re watching missed opportunities to make social media work on the company’s behalf you need this book.