Nielsen: Empowerment

The following is a weekly Healthcare Leadership blog by Dan Nielsen. You can reach him at


Empowered:  Unleash Your Employees – Energize Your Customers – Transform Your Business.

All healthcare leaders can benefit from reading and careful study of a new book entitled Empowered: Unleash Your Employees… Energize Your Customers… Transform Your Business.  The book was written by Josh Bernoff, Senior Vice President, Idea Development at Forrester Research and Ted Schadler, Vice President and Principal Analyst in Forrester’s IT Research Group.

The authors created a new term for people who are using low-cost, highly accessible technology to connect with customers and build innovative new solutions.  The authors call these people HEROes: Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives.

The goal of the authors is to explain how to transform your business and organization by unleashing the force of HEROes.  The authors provide names and examples such as Best Buy, which built an army of 2,500 tweeting employees to reach out to customers online.  Another example is John Stadick, who equipped 600 sales staffers with iPhones and increased profits at his company.


You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with healthcare?”  My answer… everything!  Healthcare workers, like all information workers, already use commonly available technologies that their organization does not sanction.  Empowered provides a prescription for embracing and leveraging this covert innovation.

The book features tools and information necessary to move your organization ahead of the competition.  As the authors say:

“With an arsenal of valuable new technologies, your employees are already transforming the way you do business.  You can lead them or block them – it’s your choice.  Empowered will help you make the right decision.”


In future columns, I will comment on specific content and recommendations within this book … and relate the content and recommendations directly to healthcare.  I will also interview senior healthcare executives regarding specific content and recommendations within the book.  I will then write summaries of those interviews and publish them in this column and elsewhere.

Want to get a jump on your competition?  Read and carefully study Empowered: Unleash Your Employees… Energize Your Customers… Transform Your Business.  The book is published by Harvard Business Review Press, 2010.

Copyright © 2010 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership

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