Political innovator Katherine Gehl says elections should align with free market principles (Episode 127)

With Katherine Gehl
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Show Notes

Corporate CEO turned political innovator Katherine Gehl tells me how growing her family cheese business — $250 million Wisconsin-based Gehl Foods — turned into a passion for political innovation. It’s an incredibly interesting story! 

“Democracies have to deliver results. You can’t sustain generations of freedom without results…..when they don’t, people will reach for something else,” she says. 

Katherine talks about her “light bulb moment,” and how that changed the trajectory of her work and fueled a new passion. What’s most fascinating about Katherine’s approach is the emphasis on free market principles and the value of competition, including in politics. 

Katherine developed the “politics industry theory” on which her work today and her book “The Politics Industry” are based. But there is so much more to this conversation. Typically, my interviews are not as long as this one. When you hear it, you’ll understand why I thought Katherine’s thoughtful perspective was worth the additional time. 

In addition to her work on “political innovation,” she also talks about her career and a topic that can be particularly difficult to navigate — taking credit for your work. Katherine says when we don’t do so, it can have a direct bearing on future success, and on the work itself. Listen to the episode to hear her incredibly powerful, thoughtful, and practical perspective on this topic. She’s also quick to reinforce that it is our own responsibility to take credit when we’ve earned it! 

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The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter