After thinking for a bit, here are some useful tips I will be applying over the coming year:
- Define your community / membership. This is the step where you say, “This is who we are.” I think you should get detailed with this one. An example: When talking about your community at work, I recommend building Lominger competency model. This is advanced thinking about who and what you want your community to be. Also, make the effort to define what you are not.
- Paint and share a vision. The future is exciting and carries huge possibilities, it always has, but someone has to build the image of what we can and will be. This step is all about describing that dream and getting others to understand and buy into the future. This is not the place to develop an average vision, but the place to develop a grand vision. I firmly believe we are more excited, more connected, more alive when we are working to new visions, not maintaining the status quo or sitting on the sofa. (Transformational Leadership)
- Provide value. It’s all about “What’s in it for me?” If you are not providing a service people value, they will tune out. The first step is to understand what your community needs, the second is to provide it. A good next step is to communicate this, but if you doing very well, members will do this for the community without being asked. (See the Member Benefits Matrix)
- Strengthen the ties between members. Build relationships, not numbers. As you build relationships between members, you will find they are the backbone that keeps the community going forward when everything else is going wrong. (Bowling Alone)
- Expect great things. If you have build a grand vision, one requiring the organization to stretch and grow, one needing buy-in and participation from the entire community, then you must also expect your individual members to act on the all the steps required to reach the vision. This means you are enabling and empowering them to act. You are trusting them to carry the vision forward. And you must communicate this so everyone is clear on how they help build the future. (Quotations)
- Shower them with fanfare and praise. It’s hard work to build something great and you will not reach your community’s grand vision without significant effort. As you move towards reaching the goals and fulfilling the vision, you will find people contributing and giving in ways large and small. Don’t forget to acknowledge and reward the actions that make everyday, every project, every task a success. The people are heroes and you must lift them up and treat them as deserve, with fanfare and praise. And please be genuine. (Say Thank You)
In addition to the above links, I recommend checking out the following resources: