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March 02, 2008

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What a fascinating article!

The consistent use of the -ity words (humility, anxiety, humanity, diversity) made me want to re-read Nicholas Lehmann's excellent article, "The Word Lab," which appeared in The New Yorker 10/16/2000.

The content made me think of an article in the current McKinsey Quarterly (available only to subscribers) — a conversation with Gary Hamel and Lowell Bryan on "Innovative Management." In it, Mr. Hamel begins with, "Sometime over the next decade, your company will be challenged to change in a way for which it has no precedent." Mr. Bryan says, "The technological revolution that occurred in the past 15 years was basically equivalent to the industrial revolution...." He then continues to say, "The maturity of the 20th-century management model didn't come until the 1960s and 1970s.... In other words, it took 50 to 60 years."

And in conclusion, Mr. Hamel says, "You can't solve the new problems using the old principles."

This thinking, in combination with the brand assessment presented in the Salon article, may well demonstrate part of the Obama-phenomenon — a movement away from the traditional top-down "command and control" model of management (exemplified by McCain surely, but Clinton and Huckabee as well) to one that addresses the "revolution of expectations" in a technologically savvy, consumer-based electorate.

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