I had the distinct opportunity to attend the Rotman Lecture series to watch an insightful presentation by Rahaf Harfoush, a key member of Barack Obama’s Campaign that helped reshape the way political campaigns are run. Ideally, the voice of the people should be represented and to garner that support means listening to their concerns, and persuading them that you will answer those concerns. The Obama Campaign took it one step further: It harnessed this support by arming people with tools to help spread the message and making them feel integral to the campaign. This provided incredible individual empowerment that caused an explosion of smaller campaigns that fueled the Obama fire. The Campaign unleashed its brand to the masses and the public embraced it and made it stronger. A great example of this is the Yes We Can Video by Little Will.i.am, an initiative developed by supporters who took Obama’s message, made it their own, and spread the word. It became synonomous with the Campaign and eventually amassed over 14.5 MM views.
For the first time, as far as I know, the financial support for this Campaign truly was bourne out the masses. Traditional political support from constituents ie the rich, corporate and organized interest groups have strongly influenced and directed the decisions and policies of past presidents. Could this be the one time that Abraham Lincoln’s view of true government has come to fruition? “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” I urge you to view this presentation and share it. I think it’s a great model, not only for modern politics, but for modern business.