What can business leaders learn from Barack Obama's improbable victory? A great deal, says this brief, readable book, which spells out the lessons of the Obama campaign and goes on to illustrate them, citing companies that have used similar techniques to succeed. Obama ran a nearly flawless campaign that stayed on message, attracted tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers, and collected a record flood of dollars from donors large and small. But his triumph was also to use social networking to create a vast online community that has changed politics forever. And that's precisely what businesses need to do. In a soundbyte, Obama's threefold approach was (1) to keep his cool, (2) to apply to politics the social technologies of the Internet, including blogs, texting, and viral videos, and (3) to embody in himself the change that he meant to bring to the country. None of these goals are as simple as they sound. Barack, Inc., not only spells them out clearly but offers actionable lessons that businesspeople can apply, beginning tomorrow. "Change" has become a tired political cliche, but Obama gave it new life by persuading a solid majority of voters that he could lead them to a whole new kind of politics and government, transcending the petty partisanship of recent years. And he himself embodied that change. "We are the ones we've been waiting for," he told his rallies. "We are the change we seek...Let's go change the world." Just so, says this important book, business leaders must embrace change and become the change they offer. Only then will their constituencies -- shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers -- follow them to achieve it. But having done that, their companies will have become communities -- and the authors tell us that community, in addition to products and profits, is what business is about in the Web 2.0 world of the 21st century.
edit this info
January 15, 2009