by Shubhra Rishi

Four Tactics You Can Borrow from Kejriwal’s Playbook

Jan 23, 20143 mins
BusinessCIOCollaboration Software

Arvind Kejriwal and AAP's success can teach you a thing or two about building credibility and creating success. Here’s what you can learn from the man whose party went from zero to hero, pretty much overnight.

You can love the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, or you can hate it, but you can’t deny it’s a force to reckon with.

Kejriwal and his band of merry men and women have done what few political parties, organizations, or individuals have ever managed to do: Make themselves a household name in the span of just a few months.

In his success, Kejriwal leaves a trail of pointers that could help you and your business get further. Here are four. 

Honesty is the best policy. Choosing the broom as its party symbol, AAP has made its objective pretty clear: To eradicate corruption. It’s one of the party’s strongest platforms. With that aim, for instance, the party prepared a clear agenda to invite applications from ‘honest’ people–through e-mail or letters–to join and contest the Lok Sabha elections. That move, along with others (that the public viewed as ‘honest’) is what’s partially responsible for the way AAP is sweeping into power.

What’s the lesson here? Credibility built on honesty is a currency that’s hard to beat. It can give you and your IT team the respect you deserve. And it will make the marketing of IT a thing of the past.

Observe complete transparency. We all know about how dirty political campaign donations can get. It’s never clear where funds are coming from and what people offering those donations expect in return. From the start AAP has steered clear of this pitfall. When it began campaigning, the party created a website listing the names of all its donors along with the donor’s country of residence, and the date and amount of their donation. The financial transparency won them not only the Delhi state elections but it also managed to raise a whopping total of Rs 49.5 million.

AAP’s Party Manifesto

What’s the lesson here? It’s a lesson in keeping the faith. Most IT projects take a couple of months to implement. And it’s during that time that enthusiasm and, worse, belief in the project can dampen. One of the ways CIOs can get around this problem is by being completely transparency during project execution. It will create management trust and increased support.

Deliver on commitment. AAP’s election manifesto stated that it was committed to ensuring that all households in Delhi using up to 700 litres of water per day would be given free water. Soon after the party won elections, it delivered on its promise.

What’s the lesson here? Your word is your bond. If you’ve made a promise to a lines of business, it’s essential that you keep it. Nothing builds trust more than a proven track record. So the next you’re your team comes across an unforeseen delay, and is tempted to push back the deadline, think again.

Practice Collaboration. Protesting against the negligence of Delhi’s police towards crime and threatening to wreck Republic Day celebrations, Kejriwal earned himself the title of an anarchist. He’s been charged by them for violating Section 144 during his two-day-long protest outside Rail Bhawan. While the intent and motive of his actions might be noble, his unilateral stand ate away at a lot of the credibility he and his party built. 

What’s the lesson here? Often, in a debate between you and the business, you are right. After all, CIOs tend to be of a logical mindset. But just because you make sense, doesn’t give you the right to brashly overrun another person. There’s nothing better than a consultative and collaborative approach.