November 2012

The Early Days of Hope & Change (Part 3 of 3)

As the Obama for America organization reaches it's final moments, the following is a look back at the beginning (2007): 

MANAGING CHAOS

Unlike the traditional business startup where the assimilation of the workforce can be modulated and the culture systematically shaped, campaigns are hastily constructed and grow from seeds of turmoil and disarray. This caused a “Wild West” atmosphere in the beginning. What we were attempting was the organizational equivalent of creating a village from scratch, where a stream of people arrived all at once to a place that had no rules, no norms, and no structure. Chaos was the immediate consequence.

Learn how Barack Obama took command of the culture and ethos of his budding organization: 

View the C-SPAN video clip.

The Early Days of Hope & Change (Part 2)

The following is the second in a series describing the beginnings of Hope & Change:

Arrival

The migration to the campaign is a testament to the lure and reward of entrepreneurship. It is the uniquely American phenomenon of leaving everything behind to pursue the unimaginable. For many of us, the pilgrimage culminated at Obama for America (OFA) headquarters in Chicago, making it a gathering place for idealists, innovators, and risk takers.

The Early Days of Hope & Change (Part 1)

As the organizations reach their crescendos, it's hard for many to imagine that these mammoth enterprises were once scrappy start-ups. The most often-asked question I get about my 2008 experience is, "What was it like inside the campaign?" People also want to understand our secret to "running such a tight operation."

There is often surprise about my description of the early days. In my past writings and during a recent talk at California State University Northridge, I've shared my memories from those times.

Here's a moment in 2007: