The newest business opportunity for organizations is to create a community of your customers, or business partners, or even your employees. Being a part of a community and a support system can have major benefits for us. Consider the importance of the neighbourhood you live in, that is a community. Think about the company you work for. That is another community. The gym at which you workout, the products you buy, even the associations you belong to. Those are all different communities.
So what separates successful communities from others? Here are a few ideas:
- The community members have a common goal (business improvement, good education for kids, neighbourhood safety, and so on).
- There are people in the community who help facilitate the development of the community.
- The members of the community have each others best interests in mind.
- There is a level of trust amongst community members and they share information and ideas openly.
- The community provides more value collectively than the members of the community would achieve on their own.
- The community members attract other like-minded people to join the community and add even more value.
A strong community is like a success loop (see figure below) where members are attracted to the community because of its value, and the more valuable members who join the community, the more people WANT to join the community to be a part of it.
Can you use the characteristics above to build a strong community around your organization?