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Obama's election network can transform US consumer culture

Our sense of entitlement may ingrained, but change is possible.

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As a new "stimulus package" wades through Congress, one wonders if we're simply repeating past behavior and hoping for a different result – one definition of insanity.

The breakdown of individual and corporate responsibility in America has contributed dearly to the economic mess we're in. More handouts won't address that breakdown, but change is possible, and President Barack Obama's election proved it.

He and his team transformed the culture of US campaigns with his Internet-enabled community organization engine. "Why not use that model to begin to change the culture of economic responsibility in America?" suggested Barbara Braham, an organizational development consultant and leadership coach in a conversation with me.

As ingrained into our society as entitlement may be, culture change is possible. We've seen it with Mr. Obama's election and I've seen it in my work as an executive coach.

A while back, I worked on a project with a large company sporting a command-and-control culture. The executives received data that proved their employees and clients (and therefore their bottom line) were suffering due to their isolation. The culture of the company telegraphed to its employees "shut up and do your job," which blinded its leaders to causes and patterns of production problems, inadequate resources, and haphazard training.

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