My 4th Newsletter. Thank you for continuing this journey with me. I run these as a ‘sequential story’, sharing the sentiment, joy, beliefs and my wisdom from experience on why I believe ‘all companies will thrive when they create community’.
Last week in my Newsletter, I stated “I will share how I have witnessed my beliefs around ’Community Led Growth’, having seen the joy and the growth within Community, and why it really is the most beautiful asset to build in your business”.
I first have to reiterate that ‘building a community’ is very different to ‘building a network’. There is a huge emotional difference, and that is the difference between ‘belonging and ‘using’.
These are harsh words, however, I am not stating that community is the only way we should ‘connect’, what I am stressing is the importance of understanding when you are ‘being a citizen of a community’ and when you are ‘using a network’.
My opinions here are based on observation of myself and on close observation of others. Based on 24 years of ‘building community’ and of ‘utilising networks’.
Networks and ‘networking’ are terms very much used in business, “I am going to a networking event’, ‘I use LinkedIn to network’, ‘how large is your network’. When I look at my ‘followers’ across Twitter and LinkedIn, I see I have a relatively large ‘network’ and that is superb. It provides me with access to a great many fantastic people, that I can ‘reach out to’ and attempt to have a conversation with. I can keep them informed, but are they hearing me? Are they listening to me? Do they really know who I am? Building your network is critical in business, knowing the skills that are around you, that can become suppliers, become clients and ultimately focused on the growth and sustainability of your business.
Community is a much larger responsibility for me as a ‘citizen’ and as a ‘community leader’. Community is about ‘contribution’, about having shared values, about the whole person, not just their skills, it is about their needs, their human needs, their business needs. It thrives on honesty, openness and trust, it therefore thrives and demands that we close the gap between our ‘identity and our truth’.
Community is there for the long term, you don’t join a community and burn through the people that belong to it, seeking a transaction, dismissing those that are not ‘your target client’. You care, you give and you receive. You listen and you ask to be heard.
So why is this the most beautiful asset for your business to create? Because, whether you are a citizen of one, or you are the leader, it is the manifestation of your values, purpose, your why and the reason you exist as a human.
Next week, I am going to share why this also makes commercial sense to your business. So please keep with me on this journey, trust me and in time, perhaps we can experience community together
*This blog was first published on my LinkedIn newsletter