Planning Makes Perfect!

The POST method is a four-step planning process, which creates the foundation of groundswell thinking (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.67). The acronym POST stands for people, objectives, strategy and technology. Each of these steps helps assemble a plan to effectively introduce your organization to the groundswell. Objectives need to be put in place to help this plan succeed. The text defines five objectives, which have proven to be the most effective when pursing the groundswell. The listening objective is to help organizations better understand their customer base where as the talking objective focuses around reaching a larger target market. Energizing is based around scouting out enthusiastic customers to push forward word of mouth marketing. Where as the supporting objective allows an organization’s customers to support one another online, and the embracing objective include customers in the designing of products. Organizations need to choice an objective before they start their implementation process; this allows them to have a clear focus of what their strategy to succeed will look like.

Lately Human Resources departments have taken to using the groundswell when they are recruiting talent. It is a great way to get information out to the public and attract suitable candidates. By utilizing websites such as LinkedIn, organizations are able to gain a better understanding of the industry and the employment situation. Before an organization can implement the groundswell they need to have a concrete plan in place to ensure success. The POST method works as a systematic framework for assembling a plan (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.67).

The first step in the method is to look at people and ask the question, “what are your customers ready for?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67). In a Human Resources department you need to look at the industry as a whole and understand if the groundswell will be well accepting by potential candidate. It is important to understand the target market you are trying to draw into your organization and find the best groundswell approach to reaching them. The second step is objectives and they answer the questions such as “what are your goals?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67). By analyzing the five objectives I talked about above the recruitment department of Human Resources are working towards achieving the talking objective. Through this objective they are targeting a larger market of people and spreading the positive word about the organization and why you would want to work for them. The third step in the plan that needs to be completed is the creation of the strategy. The question to ask yourself is: what strategy do you need to implement to best reach your goals?   For the Human Resources department they would need to implement a strategy, which allowed potential candidates to become more engaged in the company. They would also need to “create a plan that starts small but has room to grow” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 72). When structuring the plan you need to create tools to measure its progress and by having short time frames you are able to focus on the step-by-step changes and easily revise your plan to suit the organizations needs. Another key part to have in your strategy is executive buy in. By gaining their support and having them on board with the transformation will be what makes the positive impact on the organization and customers. Through determining the direction of the groundswell implementation you can then plan ahead for any issues that may arise while also being prepared to deal with resistance from other employees or candidates.  After setting the foundation for the purpose of the groundswell you than can look into the type of technology you would like to use. Many organizations fail with their groundswell implementation because they think that the initial step is to identify the technology and make that the main focus of their plan. When actually if you have not identified your target market, goals and strategy for implementation the technology will quickly become an ineffective and expensive undertaking. For a Human Resources department looking to utilize the groundswell in regards to recruiting they would best benefit from utilizing social networks, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. For the type of industry they are in LinkedIn has become a well known website for connecting quality candidates with companies.  Twitter has also proven to be successful for it allows relationships to be formed through direct communication between the two parties.

The failure rate for implementing the groundswell into an organization is high. That is due to people not utilizing the POST process properly or at all. An example of a failed social networking was JP Morgan who’s objective for using Twitter was talking. When they tweeted out that they would be hosting a Q&A session with their vice chairman Jimmy Lee they did not get the responses they were expecting (Moth, 2013). They ended up cancelling their Q&A session the day before tweeting out: Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 4.27.30 PM This is a great example of how trying to switch from their objective of talking to listening without properly utilizing the steps in the POST method failed their groundswell. By being prepared and following the POST method steps an organizations will be able to see great success with its groundswell. References: Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusettes: Harvard Business Review Press. Moth, D. (2013, November 23). The top 16 social media fails of 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from Econsultancy:


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