Moving From Me To We BlogMoving From Me To We Blog

Five Obama Campaign Lessons For How We Can Thrive

Former Medronic chair and True North author, Bill George believes companies and non-profits thrive by adopting the “we” approach that enabled Obama to win.  (Working on the campaign I know, first-hand, how powerfully efficient and satisfying such “we” experiences can be.) George offers these lessons, with my headlines:

• Place to Participate
Obama created a grassroots movement by building an ever-expanding organization of empowered leaders, who in turn engaged people from their social networks like Facebook.

One Main Thing
• The entire organization was aligned around a single goal—electing Obama as President—and operated with common values (“Offer messages of hope, don’t denigrate our opponents, refuse to make deals”).

Focus on Our Goal, Not “Me”
• Campaign leaders subordinated their egos and personal ambitions to the greater goal. Those who deviated quickly exited.

Work on the Connection Not the Conflict
• Obama set a clear, consistent tone from the top (“No Drama Obama”), and never wavered, even when things weren’t going well.

Show How All Parts Are Connected to the Whole
• Obama’s greater mission transcended internal goals, such as fund-raising, endorsements, and campaign events, but each of these areas had goals tied to the greater mission.

Provide the Most Efficient Ways to Communicate and Collaborate
• The campaign team used the most modern Internet tools to communicate, motivate, and inspire people and to guide their actions. Each day, 5 million people received personal messages from campaign headquarters or even Obama himself. This organization collaborated across a wide range of geographies and campaign functions, all tightly integrated nationally and executed locally.

See related Me2We campaign insights from Jemima Kiss, Louis Gray, Frederic Lardinois, Shoshana Zuboff and Claire Cain Miller.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 13, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kare-
    I think that these are all great insights about the Obama campaign, and its social media, and they are mostly from the perspective of the campaign itself. I took a different perspective on how Obama’s website worked, and wrote both about making an emotional connection and being recognized for who you were became important to individual users. You might be interested in the posts “Obama’s Website Made Me Cry” and “The Secret to Obama’s Social Media Success? The Campaign was one step behind” on http://www.AuthenticOrganizations.com . would love your thoughts. Thanks- cvh

  2. Posted November 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    CV
    What an enticing site you have! Like you in your posts, I wanted to translate the features of his overall campaign (including the web site and use of social media) into methods others might find helpful to be clear, congruent and thus authentic too and hopefully more successful in their endeavors. And yes that user interface about which you write does demonstrate an interest in being personal.

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