Community In The Corporate World
As put simply in Forbes, all human beings have an “intrinsic need to belong.”
Community, as discussed in a Ted Talk by Howard Partridge, is “a group of people who feel like they belong together… they’re on the same mission together.”
A coworking space is a prime example of this. Within this space, members are impassioned, focused on their respective projects. They exchange advice with each other, with the intention of gaining insight from this collaborative space. The dedication each person has for their project, instils a drive amongst others to work just as hard. It is also noteworthy that the influences of bureaucracy are removed in a coworking space. Unlike traditional offices, coworking exercises a flat structure; whereby members talents are harnessed. Busily chipping away at a project, traditional business siloes are expunged.
In a coworking space, members are able to establish a relationship of symbiosis. Effectively, people are able to help each other out, affording one another their unique insights. Basically, you give to someone, and they will want to give back.
The Tiny Buddha features a story by Jen Waak, highlighting the benefits of this mutual relationship.
Waak discusses her successful climb up Kilimanjaro, made possible through the “village” of aid she received along the way.
As Waak describes, she “continued to turn to [her] friends, the climbing company, and seasoned climbing veterans” during the training process. With this compounded strength, she was then able to extend help to others.
“Then, when I got there, it was my turn to pay it back. I was climbing with some older gentlemen who were having difficulty navigating the rocks and tree roots. So, I’d patiently reach down and offer a hand.”
– Jen Waak, The Tiny Buddha
The power of community is furthered through the insight of Partridge, via his Ted Talk. For Partridge, “the way that we live our personal lives seems to bleed over into our work lives.” He touches on a study conducted by Gallup Organisation, whereby an employee engagement poll found 70% of employees to be disengaged, with 18% actively disengaged. In effect, this translates to “working against the success of [the] company.” So, what is the solution, you may ask?
“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your minds.”
– Zig Ziglar, as stated by Howard Partridge – TEDXTAMU
It is undeniable that community can positively influence your mindset and consequentially your engagement with your work. Partridge stresses the viability of encouragement, as the “fuel on which hope runs.” Basically, encouragement de-shackles the mind. Hence, it may be said that disengaged workers are yet to be released to pursue what they wish to do.
Moreover, Partridge elicits the notion of accountability. He claims that all business is about relationships. When these qualify as relationships of accountability, workers are able to reach their full potential. This is achieved, as suggested by Partridge, through the aforementioned notion of encouragement.
“Every human being is designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”
– Howard Partridge – TEDxTAMU
In fact, community is an important prerequisite for the success of your business.
As stated by Forbes, brands with strong communities do not just sell products; “they’re also selling the community, a cause or an emotion.” Apple is provided as a case-study for this.
“Apple is often perceived as being on technology’s cutting edge. When you have an issue with your MacBook, you don’t get technical support; you make an appointment at their self-branded Genius Bar, and that’s genius.”
As suggested by Beth McIntyre, director of Community at CMX, there is arguably a balance that needs to be found between driving business value and driving member value. Without an adequate member’s experience, and by virtue authentic member value, business value will be lacking.