Chapter 12 of Groundswell changes up the perspective, and moves away from the external groundswell and focuses instead on the groundswell inside your own company. I haven’t (yet) worked for an accounting-focused firm, but I have been involved in organizations that have attempted to use this internal groundswell idea. They have set up internal intranet sites for us to visit every morning and check up on what has happened since we were last in the office, and there is a section for every department to post information about their inner workings and projects they are focusing on currently. As well there is a general social listings area where anyone in the organization can post that they are selling bookcases, looking for a good recreation league to join, running a fund-raising campaign for their child’s school field trip or extra-curricular activities. It is a great start for that organization, but it doesn’t really allow for employees to share their own individual views, as all content has to be forwarded to the Communications department and then edited for clarity and focus.
Chapter 11 of Groundswell was hard for me to relate to my accounting industry experience, but the one thing that I did take away from it was this: start small. The best example that I can think of, of a member of the accounting industry who is trying out this step is the U.S. arm of Deloitte. They started a twitter account called Life at Deloitte, where each week a new employee takes over the reigns of the account and posts about their work and non-work life; so far all of the tweeters have been employees of the U.S. side of the firm, so maybe I can convince them to open this up to Canadian employees too ;).
Most of the employees so far have been very interactive with their followers, tweeting back and forth, talking about different aspects of their day, listening to the public asking for information about Deloitte and the general industry. The current and most recent employees have unfortunately not been quite as talkative with their public, or perhaps their positions and daily tasks haven’t been as interesting as others, but this exercise has certainly been interesting. Deloitte has dipped their toe into the groundswell as they realize that many of their potential employees and clients are likely Joiners who are already in the groundswell, so they might as well try and be accessible to them. They are attempting to transform how they access their markets, and perhaps by being more accessible and open with the public, they can reduce stereotypes of the accounting industry and add more value to their offerings.
Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Wining in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA, USA. Harvard Business Review Press.