Three Rules for Hillary 2016, Courtesy of IBM

The golden rules of reinvention.

Updated on

While introducing IBM's first female chief executive officer, Ginni Rometty, today at a Clinton Global Initiative panel, Hillary Rodham Clinton shared Rometty's three rules for companies seeking to reinvent themselves.  As Clinton considers a potential 2016 bid, it was easy to see how they might apply to her:

1. Don't protect the past.
This isn't about a third Clinton presidency. Revisiting Bill Clinton's successes opens the door to plenty of other topics from that era. Likewise, too much defense of Clinton's own history -- the vote in favor of the Iraq war, the handling of the Arab Spring, Benghazi -- would delight her opponents. 

2. Never be defined by your product.
This may be the toughest one to embrace. After all, what are politicians outside their accomplishments? But Clinton should heed one lesson of 2008 -- that voters responded to her humanity. Accomplishments are only part of the sell.

3. Always transform yourself.
It's under way already, most obviously in the form of Clinton's embrace of her gender as a campaign asset. She kept a distance from that in 2008 and focused instead on her national security experience. Now, she's rallying women to elect female senators and gushing about impending grandmotherhood.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE