Engaging with the groundswell: Transforming your Company

Shifting your organization to one that is led by the groundswell sounds like a simple enough plan. However, this is usually not the case. A company needs to undergo a mental shift that requires a well designed plan to make this transformation a reality. Chapter 12 focuses on how companies can work with their customers in terms of groundswell thinking. There are three steps for the transformation (Li & Bernoff, 2011):

  1. Take it step by step – A mental shift will require time and practice
  2. Each step leads in a natural progression to the next step – A plan and vision is needed. Communicating within the organization will create talk and the embrace of new ideas. 
  3. Executive support – In order to get your ideas to flourish, communicating your plan to upper management effectively is crucial.

One example of a company that is described in the text is Unilever. They are the parent of well known brands such as Axe, Lipton, and Vaseline. They have demonstrated themselves as leaders in brand marketing by taking big risks and executing them at the right time. Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty in 2004 aimed at going against industry beauty standards and it caused a radical outreach. Unilever had “measurable success metrics that were tied to key marketing goals” (Li & Bernoff, 2011).This example stood out to me as a I can recall watching this ad when I was in elementary. During this time, it was not common to see viral ads come out exposing what media defined as “beautiful”. Watching this at a young age changed my perception of the media and I can still remember the ad vividly. They utilized the three steps by proving to upper management that lower cost alternatives can make an impact and changed their marketing focus.



image retrieved from: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiu1_r53J3SAhVD22MKHTaHCeQQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FLifestyle%2Fdad-asks-dove-real-ad-campaign%2Fstory%3Fid%3D24882508&psig=AFQjCNHVyL0TFbscaC1GGyz8AWPUDkpBew&ust=1487647411936996

There are five steps to ensure a company has the best chance of succeeding:

  1. Start small
  2. Educate executives
  3. Get the right people to run your strategy
  4. Get your agency and technology partners in sync
  5. Plan for the next step and for the long term

To align this method to the HR industry, these concepts need to be understood and how it relates the success of the organization. The human resource department needs to closely align themselves with the marketing department and decide what exactly they want to change. The vision and plan needs to be considered and approved by all departments in the organization. By doing this, communication is used effectively as there is constant feedback as to what plans can be finalized by upper management. Once the approval by executives is accomplished, this philosophy can be spread throughout the organization to utilize a groundswell mindset.

References: Li, C., & Bernoff, J., (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press



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