How to Create a Community and NOT a Workplace

jasonverdelli
Jason Verdelli CEO, Phase 2 Solutions, LLC

Posted on February 24th 2014

How to Create a Community and NOT a Workplace

There are 2 critical problems that plague just about every company: Keeping everybody on the same page and creating a sense of community within the company. Let’s discuss how to overcome this…

Stop focusing on day-to-day

Most companies focus on the day-to-day interactions. Email. Software systems (i.e. CRM’s, etc.). Internal meetings. The list goes on and on. The problem here is by just focusing on the day-to-day tasks, there is no sense of community or team as time goes on. We all have been a part or know someone that doesn’t feel as if their voice is heard. What happens to these people. They feel disconnected to the company. They don’t feel appreciated. Their quality of work suffers. Ultimately they quit. This is all costing you money!

The key to avoiding this disconnect is to change the way you look at your company. Start viewing your company as a COMMUNITY. A community that serves a purpose and can really make a change in this world for the better. This idea sounds great, but it’s lacking 4 key elements. Let’s dive in further…

4 key elements to turning your company into a community

As I always say, you need 4 things inside of a community to achieve your mission.

  • Purpose
  • People
  • Platform
  • Process

Purpose

The first step when it comes to creating a sense of community within your company is to identify your PURPOSE. It’s why you exist. Oh and no you just don’t exist to make money. That’s a result of your efforts and value you create.

People

The second is identifying the PEOPLE that can help you get there. To put this in context, it’s the people you hire and surround yourself with (i.e. stakeholders, advisors, etc.).

Platform

The third is PLATFORM. You need to have an environment where people within your company can go to simply and effectively share where things are and where they are going. At Phase 2 Solutions, I require everyone in my company to share a weekly video status update inside of our Company HubSite. Of course we use one our own platforms (http://companyhubsite.com) to make this happen :)

Here is an example of our Community Outreach Coordinator, Laura Pyne, posting her weekly video status update:

lauraupdate

An Enterprise collaboration platform like Company HubSite is perfect because it pulls everyone out of the “day-to-day” tools where messages regularly get buried and mis-communicated and focuses on higher level company activities. When you incorporate tools like video recording and automatic email notifications inside of this environment, you completely remove the barriers of mis-communication and engagement.

At a very minimum, the CEO of the company should be using a platform, such as Company HubSite, to share where things are and where they are going. For example, every week I share a video update to everyone in Phase 2 Solutions. I share accomplishments, acknowledge excellent work by team members, and share where we are headed in the next week, month and year. This starts to create a sense of community very quickly. You’ll find yourself looking forward to watching status updates. Oh and by the way, this is a heck of a lot better than trying to read text. It’s not like you have to read enough as it is – haha. Just think of your internal community platform as a huge boardroom, but in this boardroom everyone everyone has an equal chance to share.

Process

The last part of turning your company into a community and not a workplace is PROCESS. You need to hold people in your company accountable in using the platform. For example, as I mentioned, I require everyone at Phase 2 Solutions to share a weekly status update. If I find a week goes by and a status update hasn’t been shared, I will kindly remind them to take care of it. I’m not saying that you need to punish people for not posting, however you need to get them to develop a habit out of sharing inside of the platform. This might take a good month or two. No software in the world, Company HubSite included, will ever control human habit. It might be able to assist (i.e. remind), but never control. That is unless they start implanting computer chips inside of us :)

Below is a video to discuss this topic a bit further. Please email me or contact me directly through our community to discuss how we can help you get this implemented correctly for your company. That’s what we do!

jasonverdelli

Jason Verdelli

CEO, Phase 2 Solutions, LLC

There is nothing in today’s world of modern technology that we can’t learn from over 10,000 years of civilization. History has taught us the power of uniting a purpose-drive community, small or large. Communities save lives, bring cures to diseases, help others in need and so much more. This is why I get out of bed everyday. My purpose in life is to help organizations create a culture of community for a greater good.

It took me years to really discover this passion of helping people and organizations unite their communities. I started my company, Phase 2 Solutions (an online marketing company), back in 2005 and for the most part the first 5 years. Like most that come out of college into the working world I wanted to make money and “live the American Dream”, but there was something missing. I struggled for years like any other business person in their first few years trying to grow a business. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I met one of my now business partners that ask me probably one of the most important questions I have ever heard. He said, “What greater purpose are you serving for the world? When they bury you in the ground, what do you want to have left behind to this world?”. I was shocked and never really thought about what I was doing for those first few years that way. This is what drove me to where I am today.

This is a quote that helped shape my mindset:

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs

Here is another quote that also helped:

“Be the change you want to see in this world.”
- Gandhi

Answering this question took several months and wasn’t easy. I looked at all of the puzzle pieces floating around in my head and started to put them together. I had been doing online marketing for years. Being the outgoing person that I am, I naturally enjoyed connecting people together. I put these 2 things together and realized that in today’s world more than ever, there is much more accessibility to unite purposeful communities together that serve a greater good. With the power of new social technology and strategic direction I could help many people and organizations harness the power of a purpose-driven community.

As I discovered this passion I realized a monumental flaw. The growth of social networking and digital connectivity, although a great pool of opportunity, actually makes it much more difficult for people and organizations to focus people’s time and attention. The more social networks that pop up, status updates to read, emails to read and ever growing distractions that naturally come with increased connectivity make it ever more challenging. This is when I saw the opportunity to create Social HubSite, a platform to help people and organizations build a purpose driven community while still staying connected to ever-growing expansion of social networking. I knew this was the first step in leading me to my vision.

This is the quote that inspired me to take my technology talents to develop Social HubSite:

“Without a paper – a journal of some kind – you cannot unite a community.”
- Gandhi

Social HubSite is a central online hub and community that is for a specific purpose run by a person or an organization. I learned that it is not just the technology that is important in uniting a community, but the way it is run. You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t understand how to grow and effectively manage your community, the benefits are far from reachable. This is where I realized that myself and my company was really responsible for helping organizations create a “culture of community”. In short, a culture of community is the way you run your online community and the way the members of it are interacting. It is the core to which communities either grow or die.

This premise of building a culture of community with an online community is not only the reason why my company exists, but also the purpose behind my blog. I want to inspire and give direction to people and organizations that want to make a difference by tying in a purpose-driven online community with the community that exists in real life. The goal being to get others to build trust behind the purpose of your community and to take action to support the purpose of your community.

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