Connecting with the Groundswell to transform your company

Hello again everyone!

Closing this week, along with some rain outside, involved reading about the topic of ‘how connecting with the groundswell transforms your company’. The main point to take home from this chapter is that when an organization begins to engage and embrace ‘groundswell thinking’ along with a social strategy, it tends to create a change within the organization (Li & Bernoff, 2011). As well, it begins to transform the organization’s marketing approach and the way it works with customers, placing the customer in the center of the organization.

To assist with this concept, Li & Bernoff (2011) go into great detail about how two companies, Dell and Unilever, transformed as a result of this kind of thinking. To make groundswell thinking happen, three important elements contribute to a successful transformation:

  • Taking it step by step – A mental shift takes time and practices to allow for the organization to adjust. Changing too many things all at once may lead to change fatigue within the organization.
  • You need a plan and vision – A solid foundation is needed for progression in any organization, thus a vision of where the organization wants to go, and how it will get there must be clear, concise, and reasonable.
  • Executive support – For groundswell thinking to become ingrain into an organization, support for from upper management is vital and necessary to aid in the growth of new ideas.

In addition to the elements mentioned above, the following aspects were presented as being vital to successful transformation within an organization:

  1. Start small – Changes takes time. You only have so much power so pick your battles and aim for having a series of smaller successes that have impact.
  2. Educate your executives – Some may be ignorant, believing it has no purpose. Change this thinking with showing them research. If possible, get them active in the groundswell.
  3. Get the right people to run your strategy – A passion for building customer relationships is vital to successful utilization of the groundswell and the social strategy so you will want people running your strategy that openly engage with the customers.
  4. Get your agency and technology partners in sync – Get them to invest the time and resources to learn the groundswell, if not change agencies.
  5. Plan for the next step and for long term – as with any plan, there must be a vision, you will want to know where the groundswell and your strategy/plan is going to take the company.

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

Putting these concepts in perspective, many large organizations seem to be embracing and utilizing the benefits of the groundswell more each day. For example, WestJet, and from my previous blogs, the Royal Bank of Canada, use many forms of social media (i.e. RBC’s Twitter, WestJet Twitter) daily to keep closely connected and listen to what the public is saying, maintain a connection with customers, share a variety of information, while even providing an alternative account specifically for question via @AskRBC or hashtags like #OwnersCare.

2017-06-18 (5)

Cheers until next week,

Jordan Fewer

Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell expanded and revised: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.



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