Can Republicans win the tech arms race? Yes, if…

February 5, 2013

The Washington Examiner took a look at the Republican battle to take on the Democrats’ tech-based infrastructure in an article this past week that looks at the biggest problem Republicans face — changing their culture.

“In the digital space, we don’t want just to keep up. We want to seize the lead,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus explained to Republicans during their winter meeting earlier this month.

Priebus’ comments echo the frustrations of many Republican technology experts, tired of watching their party lag behind their Democratic rivals. But they don’t necessarily signal that needed changes are on the way.

The author, Charlie Spiering, accurately paints the picture of what “technology” really means:

Technology is not a “secret sauce” or a computer gimmick — some app that magically makes you win. Technology is nothing but accomplishing goals with fewer people faster. The Obama campaign had a key grasp of that concept — it was baked into the organizational culture from the very beginning.

I appreciated the opportunity to throw in my two cents as well:

Technology strategist Allen Fuller of Flat Creek Digital said the GOP is in the same boat as many organizations when it comes to technology. “Where we seem to fall short is when decision makers are not familiar with technology,” he said. “We struggle with experimenting and being willing to take risks.”

That’s the message that we will continue to hammer as long as people are willing to listen: the biggest barrier to Republicans winning in the election cycles ahead is a culture that makes “Do No Harm” their highest priority and does not encourage experimenting, innovation, and change. It is a barrier that we can and must overcome.

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