What Obama Can Teach You About Your Business

This article really is a bit too skewed on the “social networking” side of things, but I do agree w/ what John Della Volpe is saying, that Obama’s “blue-ocean strategy” to get the youth involved (beginning with Iowa), and his brilliant use of technology and social networking to attract, engage, and involve people in the campaign has made all the difference.
But Obama can teach business a lot more than Web 2.0.
His decision-making is classic Peter Drucker. According to campaign adviser Susan Rice:
“He listens to various viewpoints. He elicits dissenting views. He weighs those rationally and pragmatically. But then he tends to make a relatively swift and clear decision.”
Which makes Obama an analytical decision-maker with a talent for delivering inspiring speeches.
Leadership 2.0 is what we call it.
McCain, on the other hand, is reckless. And his incompetent decision to choose a clearly incompetent Palin as his replacement is an insult to the office of the President and the American people. He just doesn’t have a clue!

Leadership 2.0: Barack Obama versus John McCain

There’s an interesting interview with Ronald Heifetz about “the leader of the the future” in an old edition of Fast Company which made me think about the difference between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Here’s what made me sit up:
“Imagine the differences in behavior between leaders who operate with the idea that “leadership means influencing the organization to follow the leader’s vision” and those who operate with the idea that “leadership means influencing the organization to face its problems and to live into its opportunities.” That second idea — mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges — is what defines the new job of the leader.”
OK. There it is in black and white. The difference between Leadership 1.0 and 2.0. Sounds cheesy, but hey, it is reality.
Leadership 1.0: authoritarian, fear-driven, no dissent, command and control.
Leadership 2.0: participative, purpose-driven, dissent encouraged, guide and coach.
[I know, we could compile lists like this for days on end…]
But think about it. This is nothing more than McGregor’s old Theory X versus Theory Y.
God help this world if Theory X wins this time around!

Forecasting the Future: America at the Crossroads

The nerds at the World Future Society have been burning the candle at both ends to come up with these insightful predictions:
Forecast # 1: Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030.
Forecast #2: Bioviolence will become a greater threat as the technology becomes more accessible.
Forecast #3: The car’s days as king of the road will soon be over.

Forecast #4:
Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized.
Forecast #5: There may not be world law in the foreseeable future, but the world’s legal systems will be networked.
Forecast #6: The race for biomedical and genetic enhancement will — in the twenty-first century — be what the space race was in the previous century.
Forecast #7: Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired.
Forecast #8: Urbanization will hit 60% by 2030.
Forecast #9: The Middle East will become more secular while religious influence in China will grow.
Forecast #10: Access to electricity will reach 83% of the world by 2030.
Now let me add a few of my own.
If McCain wins this election, here are five additional predictions for the US of A:
Prediction #1: We will be a third-world country – with 95% of the wealth concentrated in the hands of 5% of the population.
Prediction #2: We will be standing in lines to buy gas at outrageous prices.
Prediction #3: We’re going to be spied on by our own government which won’t give a hoot about privacy rights or the Constitution.
Prediction #4: The media will be bought off by the corporations and feed us nothing but propaganda. Show us how, Tom Brokaw.
Prediction #5: We will never trust our government again. In fact we will learn to believe exactly the opposite of what they say.
Wait-a-minute! Those aren’t predictions, they’re reality — under the current Republican regime!
So, get out there and vote >>

Piracy and Cannibalism: Do Digital Downloads Reduce Revenue?

From The Economist:
In 2007 digital downloads accounted for 15% of global music sales compared with almost nothing in 2003. But the outlook for the music industry is worrying. Despite the growing market for digital downloads, music sales have declined over the past four years and are set to continue to dwindle, partly as a result of piracy.
BTW, does anyone really believe that Sarah Palin reads The Economist?