Ethan McCarty Cheryl Burgess IBM Connect C
It’s been a little over a week since I returned with my partner, Mark Burgess (@mnburgess), from IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando, and I think my head is still spinning a little bit from all the exciting conversations, panels, and breakaway sessions in which we were able to take part. It seems as if there’s always something exciting going on at IBM, which of course is one of the main reasons we were so excited to profile their culture of engaged IBMers in our book The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013).

During our research for the book, one of the IBMers with whom we spoke extensively was Ethan McCarty (@EthanMCC), whose “bag of marbles” metaphor captured our imaginations as we were writing and heavily influenced our vision of what the social employee was all about.

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Because of this, it was a great honor to share the stage with Ethan on day two of the event during a panel titled “The Social Employee: Branding From the Inside Out.” Naturally, I was especially thrilled to see him kick off our discussion by sharing his “bag of marbles” concept with the audience. There is just something about that image that is able to set the tone for any discussion on social employees—whether it’s through the expanded connectivity through increased surface area or the “safety net” afforded employees through a brand’s comprehensive and carefully considered social media policy.

Ethan shared with the audience my personal favorite video, IBM’s Social Business POV where he explains, along with Tami Cannizzaro (@tamicann), the “Voice of the brand is it’s employees.” It’s embedded in our presentation, but since our presentation is a bit long, you may want check it out here:

Of course, that was just the kicking off point of our discussion. Other touch points we hit included the value of trusting and empowering a brand’s workforce, using social data to improve connectivity both internally and externally, and building buy-in for social initiatives in the C-Suite. We even took some time to discuss one of the other exciting metaphors in The Social Employee, the Möbius strip! For the full conversation, watch the video above. For more detail on our presentation and other highlights of the IBM Connect 2014 Conference, click here.


Below are recent endorsements for The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) by Tom Peters and David Aaker on their social networks, but if you want to see more of their endorsements click here.

Tom Peters CROP_W Favorite Biz Book Nov


Tom Peters (Twitter) attribution PPT

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In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

See what others are saying about The Social Employee and order your copy today!


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“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand


Amazon_agold-bookThe Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.

FORMcGrawHill_RedEWORD by David C. Edelman, Global Co-Leader, Digital Marketing & Sales Practice, McKinsey & Company

AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company and The Atlantic

Download ~> Free Chapter 3 – “Brands Under Pressure”


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