What Business Can Learn From Two Obama Campaigns

"Evidence suggests open institutions will perform better--and in many cases they already are."

The Atlantic published a conversation between Internet Guy Clay Shirky and author Don Tapscott about the difference between the soaring 2008 Obama campaign and the, er, less-so 2012 campaign—a difference he had characterized as the difference between "Yes We Can" and "We Know You."

It's really a placeholder for different approaches to the increasingly invasive (or informed, to choose a word with a less negative connotation) information age.

Interestingly, they got into what business can learn from the differences. Said Tapscott: "Evidence suggests open institutions will perform better—and in many cases they already are."

The much bigger opportunity for businesses is to go beyond targeting customers to engaging with them: from customer centricity to customer co-creation; from focusing on customers to co-innovating with them; from mass customization to mass collaboration.

Companies need to be transparent to build trust and engagement. They need to launch and participate in customer communities and encourage customers to self-organize. And they need to craft business models that enable customers to share in the creation of value. If can do it, anyone can.


Check out the full interview for more.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user Neal Jennings.