How Connecting with the Groundswell Transforms your Company

This week’s reading outlines with how organizations can master three key elements of groundswell thinking to transform how their companies work with customers. The fundamental basis is to keep the customer at the center of your organization and so far we have learned some of the ways and methods to tap into our customer base and listen to our customers. An organization goes through a mental shift – we realize our customers’ needs and wants and want to become a part of it. This leads to transformation – to start with a few key employees and then making it into an organization-wide movement. There are three essential elements to this transformation: First is that it’s important to incorporate groundswell thinking step by step into your organization, a mental shift takes time and practice as well as building shared success. You will gain more support for groundswell thinking if you can show a series of successes that have impact. Second, each step along the way to build the movement leads to a natural progression. It is important to have a vision and a plan, ideally the vision of the kind of conversation you want with your customers. Third, you have to execute support by building leaders into the plan. You have to sell someone in upper management on groundswell thinking if you want your efforts and ideas to become a reality in the organization.

If you are reading this, you could be the person to start your company on the path to benefiting from the groundswell. Here’s what you should do to make sure you and your company have the best chance at succeeding.

  • First, start small. The change will take time so pick your plans strategically.
  • Second, educate your executives. A great place to start is to launch internal blogs, social networks, and show them the technologies to demonstrate the benefits for your company.
  • Third, get the right people to run your strategy. Pick the person who has the most passion about starting a relationship with your customers.
  • Fourth, get your agency and technology partners in sync. If they don’t understand the groundswell, get them to invest the time and resources, or change agencies.
  • Lastly, plan for the next step and for the long term. You want to know where this going to take the company.

In the industry, accountants must improve customer service skills or risk losing clients. Usually this has nothing to do with their lack of knowledge or professional service. It is mainly due to the lack of ability to communicate effectively on a personal basis and understand the needs of clients. Firms need both entrepreneurship and management to be successful. Entrepreneurship takes place by influencing how the elements of groundswell can transform your company and management can craft a plan. In return, firms reduce risk, increase innovation and learning, and provide clients with a new kind of accounting service.


Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review.


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