Lesson of November 4th – Power of Community

7 11 2008

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Revelers in Lafayette Park across from the White House on election night.

Lost in the euphoria and the recent news headlines of the election of our first African American to the Office of the US Presidency is the recognition of a major strategy that guided the Obama Campaign through the primaries and now the Presidential Election.

It was joked and ridiculed at the Republican Convention.  But no one is laughing now.

Community organization won this election.   In fact, it transformed politics in this country forever.

A bottom up strategy giving average Americans a “direct” opportunity to “contribute” their energy, passion, talent and yes MONEY.

Obama won by giving the keys to the inmates in the asylum.

Thousands of unpaid volunteers who never participated in politics previously destroyed two well-heeled political brands (Clinton and McCain) on their way to the White House.

Only in America.  And here is the lesson for associations.

While much of this vaunted Obama machine was web-based featuring tools for e-commerce, social networking, and community organizing,  the lesser known neighborhood volunteer efforts run precinct by precinct made this campaign personal to millions.

Obama used community-centered politics to drive his campaign.

Just like InnoCentive, Ninesigma, ArtistShare, Open Architecture Network, and many others featured on these pages.

The research evidence proves that community-centered strategies that give end users freedom to create and drive innovation boost product and service growth.

Here’s a salute to our new President.  And one more for those brave enough to let the inmates co-create the future in your own associations.