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A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting the wonderful country of Australia to deliver a talk at the 10th annual Amplify Festival (@AmplifyFest). The event was the centerpiece of a nearly two-week trip that found me meeting with and learning from a variety of social business leaders in both Australia and New Zealand. It was a whirlwind of excitement, and I am very grateful to all the organizers at #AmplifyFest for bringing all of this together (for more details on Amplify, see my original post).

When we talk about creating a social business that resonates with positive internal collaboration and boundless innovation, we begin to understand what makes the Amplify Festival so successful. Through the lens of their speakers and attendees, they explore the need to rewire and energize organizations from closed to open systems, leveraging new technology in an era of digital transformation. In essence, AMP is the fire that lights the path to innovation, helping us to adapt as fast as the world in which we live and do business. Annalie Killian (@maverickwoman) embodies the magic of human potential to make corporations more meaningful and their employees more fully engaged.

And so, it was an honor to deliver my speech, “Rethinking Employees, Rethinking Brand, Rethinking Culture: The Priceless Power of Socially Savvy Employees”:

Amplify Fest Cheryl Burgess Keynote Cartoon

Here are some key points from the speech, which drew from and expanded from many of the concepts found in our best-selling book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013):

  • The term “social” has taken on a dramatic new meaning with the rise of social media. We are now connected all the time, expected to perform all our work smarter, faster, and cheaper.
  • To echo Tom Peters, each of us has become our own brand, and we have a responsibility to maintain those brands for both our own career development and to more authentically represent our parent companies in the digital bazaar.
  • Peer recommendations are 10 times more powerful than traditional marketing. Brand advocacy through social channels isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential for success in the 21st century.
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you don’t have an engaged workforce, your business goals are going to run into a lot of roadblocks that could have ben avoided.
  • Creating an engaged employee culture—one in which the personal brand and the corporate brand walk hand-in-hand—is a win-win for both parties.
  • Empowering employees isn’t the same as giving them free reign. In social businesses like IBM and Adobe, employees are invited to participate in creating social computing guidelines that will benefit everyone.
  • Becoming a social business doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s important to start getting involved now. The organizations waiting for the “perfect opportunity” risk missing the boat entirely.

We are at a crucial turning point in the social business conversation. Plenty of organizations have shown that it can be done, and plenty more want to throw their hats into the ring. But there’s still a lot of confusion about how to take that first step. In our book The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013), we make the case for how to get started and how leading organizations have transformed their culture. Make no mistake: the @SocialEmployee Revolution is here.

Stay tuned for more video from my trip!

IBM Book Club Banner FINAL 2015

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!


Please check out @SocialEmployee media buzz! Click Here

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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 journalist for The New York Times, The Economist and Vanity Fair.

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




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