The Obama campaign was innovative on a number of dimensions, particularly with the use of social media and the effective leverage of committed volunteers. There’s been some good reporting that captures the ground truth of what the campaign actually did and some early efforts to make sense out of these facts in a way that offers lessons for those of us interested in their relevance to broader organizational and enterprise needs.
Use of social media
- The Machinery of Hope : Rolling Stone – A substantial article analyzing the volunteer organization in the Obama campaign and the role of social media tools
- BBC NEWS | Technology | Internet key to Obama victories – A fairly substantial report on the Obama campaign’s effective use of the Internet during the primary season
- Inside Obama s Surging Net-Roots Campaign – Analysis and commentary of the Obama campaign’s use of the internet as an organizing and fund-raising tool
- Members vs. Customers: How the Obama and Clinton Online Campaigns Differ – Harvard Business Online s Conversation Starter – An analysis of the differing approaches to enlisting supporters by the Obama and Clinton campaigns during primary season. Turns an eye toward the differing uses of supporting technology and how those differences reflected differing assumptions and goals about the role of supporters
- The Media Equation – How Obama Tapped Into Social Networks Power – NYTimes.com – An excellent overview piece of reporting on how the Obama campaign made effective use of social media tools and thinking.
Effective use of engaged volunteers
- Obama Opens the GOTV Firehose | The Next Right – Analysis of the organizing principles and strategies behind the Obama campaign’s ground organization
- Obama Camp Relying Heavily on Ground Effort – A fairly detailed analysis of the organizing principles behind how the Obama campaign built its volunteer organization
- Zack Exley: The New Organizers, Part 1: What s really behind Obama s ground game – A case study of the principles and approach behind the ground level volunteer organization in the Obama campaign. Some good insights into how to take full advantage of a motivated volunteer force with the right organizing principles and the right supporting technology
Lessons for organizational design and strategy
- Obama s Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators – Umair Haque – Umair Haque is one of the most insightful analysts and interpreters of how new technologies are influencing and shaping organizational design choices. Here he turns his eye on the lessons available in the success of the Obama campaign.
- Barack Obama s Edge-Based Organization – John Sviokla – An early analysis of some of the broader lessons for organizations and organizational design that can be drawn from the Obama campaign