Conventional Wisdom Scuttled—Disruption Preview—Business in the Batter’s Box
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was more than a major social media milestone because it ushered in a new relationship model among leaders and their supporters. Due to social media, an unprecedented number of individuals had a new kind of active, direct role in Obama’s campaign; moreover, I predict that the Obama campaign and imminent administration will change citizens’ and consumers’ expectations of “leader” and “follower” roles in government and business. Amazon.com changed consumers’ expectations about retail in general—information on demand, reviews, unbelievable variety at low prices—and a significant portion of Obama supporters will want to continue their support to “make the change happen.” These supporters will bring their changed expectations of action and collaboration to their vendors. That means your company.
The Obama campaign is very instructive to business leaders because business customers are changing expectations of their leaders, as we’ll discuss in more detail below. As the Global Human Capital Journal is not primarily focused on politics, I am less interested in the fact that Obama was elected than how he was elected. Moreover, I’ll go on record now as predicting that you will experience Obama’s use of social media increasingly in 2009, and I believe that the election will prove to be only the beginning: the Obama Administration will leverage social media in governing. Although Global Human Capital endorsed Obama, I have no inside knowledge of the campaign or its strategies. Obviously, this is a huge subject, so I will use this post primarily as a way to frame an ongoing discussion so that it may prove valuable to business and government executives.