POST Process

This week I read Chapter 4 in Groundswell.

According to Groundswell, the ideal way to think about and plan your company’s strategy is to use the POST process (Li & Bernoff, 2011). This acronym stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

People signifies your customers and really thinking about what they want to see from your company, what are they ready for, and how will they react to the changes you implement (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67). The Social Technographic Profile  which was discussed in Chapter 3 helps businesses identify where their customers fall in the technographic ladder (creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives).

Objectives is all about your own company’s goals and where you see your company in the future (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67). The 5 main company objectives include:

  • Listening – “Using the groundswell for research and to better understand your customers” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).
  • Talking – “Using the groundswell to spread messages about your company” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).
  • Energizing – “Use the groundswell to supercharge to power of [your customers] word of mouth” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).
  • Supporting – “Set up groundswell tools to help your customers support each other” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 69).
  • Embracing – “Integrate your customers into the way your business works, including using their help  to design your products” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 69)

5-objectives

Nixon, B. Key roles and their groundswell objectives. [IMAGE]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bnixon/groundswell-post-process-presentation

Strategy answers the question of “how”. The author describes questions like “how do you want relationships with your customers to change? Do you want them to become more engaged with your company” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).

Technology signifies the applications that you want your company to use such as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, wikis, etc. (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).

In summary, I found this image to be very helpful:

Post Process.png

Nixon, B. The four-step approach to the groundswell. [IMAGE]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bnixon/groundswell-post-process-presentation

It’s important to think about the process in the order that it is described. Technology should be your last step. For example, the author describes that “many clients go about this strategy backward. They start thinking about technology. But technology is shifting so quickly – chasing it is like trying to jump on a speeding merry-go-round. The resulting dizziness is what causes groundswell approach-avoidance syndrome” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67). To overcome this syndrome, you have to “take a step back” and consider the other three important factors of people, objectives, and strategy for your business (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).

Other points to remember:

  • “Create a plan that starts small but has room to grow” – Don’t try to map out your entire business strategy, but do it in small increments as time progress and you begin accomplishing one goal after another (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 72).
  • Think through the consequences of your strategy…imagine how the groundswell will change your company” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 72).  What does your company really want to accomplish at the end?
  • “Put somebody important important in charge of it” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 72). Choose someone who is responsible and you have full trust in to guide and steer your business in the right direction. 
  • Use great care in selecting your technology and agency partners…you’ll want to make sure you’re working with people who’ve multiple applications before and understand your brand and your company” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 73).

Currently, I work at the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation where I fund-raise for different hospital campaigns. It’s important for us to evaluate who our target market is, and what they want to see from us. If our customers donate, then they want to see their money go into something useful as well (which would be buying hospital equipment or carrying out research on life-threatening illnesses). Those people that would like to donate can go onto the hospital website to find out more information about why the Foundation is currently fundraising for a certain cause and how it will benefit patients in the future. We also send brochures to past donors in the mail about our current campaigns. Objectives include the Foundation identifying its own purpose. The objective that matches perfectly with this organization is “talking”. At the end of the day, we aren’t just informing the public to donate, but we want them to know about what the Royal Alex is committed to provide (which is quality care), the risks of certain health conditions, and the benefits for the entire hospital with the programs we support (such as raising more money for a device that can help with women’s breast and ovarian cancer). Our strategy is to inform community members by talking to them on the phone and in person, and communicating to them the goals of our programs. We rely on the help of the community immensely to also get the word out there and create a positive name associated with the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The Royal Alexandra Foundation is actually pretty active on social media. This non-for-profit company is consistently posting about events, health, employees and patient stories on Twitter and Facebook. The company also creates YouTube videos to promote its brand throughout Canada on its channel.

I’m currently in my fourth year of the Accounting degree program at NAIT. After I graduate I want to work at an accounting firm, ideally in the auditing department. All accounting firms generally do the same type of work (such as tax, audit, and consulting), but the scale of their clients is different (whether they are large and located international rather than being small and local). The people would be the firm’s clients and how you want your company’s name to stand out in front of them. Do you want to deliver top quality and honest service so they continue to provide you with business in the future? Do you really care about the growth of your clients? Again, it’s not just about the money. It’s about providing genuine and helpful advice to your clients about their business practices. Other factors to consider is what services do these clients want to see from you and how can you improve your services for them? An accounting firm’s objectives would be understanding a client’s business strategy providing services to clients while also remaining neutral and give honest opinions, especially during an audit. Therefore, the ideal objective that aligns with accounting firms is “listening” – using skills to “better understand your customers” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68). In addition, a firm may want to ask itself if it want to expand in the future and open its branches in more locations. If the answer is yes, then the employees will want to develop a strategy on how they can make this possible by a certain time-frame.  I’ve noticed online, most big firms are very active on social media by posting tips for clients to enhance their business techniques and reporting on the effects of certain economic conditions (in times of recessions or positive growth).

For example, PwC posts videos about trends in new technology that business should adapt in their workplace today that can help it to run efficient practices. In the video below, the company explains facts to the public about wearable technology:

 

Local accounting firms that aren’t as active online should consider making a Twitter page because that’s the best way in my opinion to get your voice heard to many people interested in your company and the work that you perform.

The reading this week was very informative about how a business can become more organized developing its strategy using the POST Process. Thanks for checking out my blog post

-Asma

References

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

Nixon, B. The four-step approach to the groundswell. [IMAGE]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bnixon/groundswell-post-process-presentation

Nixon, B. Key roles and their groundswell objectives. [IMAGE]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bnixon/groundswell-post-process-presentation

PwC US. (2014, October 16). Spotlight on the wearable future. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjECnGgxAmw

 

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