Chapter 4 of the Groundswell was a great read after our Sept. 25 discussion. The chapter stated out by giving a scenario of “Charlie,” a Sears competitor, who wanted to engage with its customers similarly to the way Sears started communicating with its customers. The author advised to take a step back and ask: “What are my customers ready for?” and “What are my objectives?” After what we discussed in class, I would disagree slightly with this statement and stress that companies first have to ask what their business goal(s) is (are) before they think about their customers, because the business goal will influence the types of technologies to use in order to help a company reach out to its customers. The chapter went over the POST method, which was a good refresher of the four-step planning process: people, objectives, strategy and technology. In terms of technology, the author mentioned that companies think of technologies first, similar to what we mentioned in class. This thought is super valuable to those learning about the groundswell because it prepares us to as the simple question: “What is your business goal?” I also liked that the author addressed the groundswell approach-avoidance syndrome because I had that feeling when we first began learning about the groundswell, but with all the strategies and tools it becomes easier to understand. This chapter also highlighted the fact that many companies identify they should be a part of the groundswell, but they are unsure of how to dive into the groundswell. The most important point the author made in this chapter is, “You cannot ignore this trend. You cannot sit this one out. Unless you are retiring in the next six months, it’s too late to quit and let somebody else handle it.” As a class, we have to remember that even if certain concepts become difficult to understand, it is important for us to keep moving forward as best as we can.

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