Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's 7 lessons for radical innovators.

Umair Haque scores with another worthwhile read on lessons learned from Obama's winning campaign. I'll post a couple of tasty appetizers below, but recommend you read the full text here.


1. Have a self-organization design.
What was really different about Obama's organization? We're used to thinking about organizations in 20th century terms: do we design them to be tall, or flat?

But tall and flat are concepts built for an industrial era. They force us to think - spatially and literally - in two dimensions: tall organizations command unresponsively, and flat organizations respond uncontrollably.

Obama's organization blew past these orthodoxies: it was able to combine the virtues

of both tall and flat organizations. How? By tapping the game-changing power of self-organization. Obama's organization was less tall or flat than spherical - a tightly controlled core, surrounded by self-organizing cells of volunteers, donors, contributors, and other participants at the fuzzy edges. The result? Obama's organization was able to reverse tremendous asymmetries in finance, marketing, and distribution - while McCain's organization was left trapped by a stifling command-and-control paradigm...


7. Remember that there is nothing more asymmetrical than an ideal.
Obama ended his last speech before the election by saying: "let's go change the world." Why are those words important? Because the world needs changing. A world riven by economic meltdown, religious conflict, resource scarcity, and intractable poverty and violence - such a world demands fresh ideals. We must mold and shape a better world - or we will surely all suffer together. As Obama said: "we rise or fall ... as one people."

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