Building a Community of Business People

This week, I attended a course called Building Dynamic Communities that was put on by my long-term mentor and friend, Alan Weiss.

Alan is the guru for solo consultants around the world and has helped me and many others to provide more value, more quickly, to our clients.

One of the benefits of this course was that it was held in Miami where it was +28C compared to -28C at home, or -38C with the windchill. As I told my American friends, that’s about an 115 degrees Fahrenheit difference.

Now that we’ve covered the weather, let’s get on with the news.

A community is a place where people with shared values support each other. We are all part of our local communities and also various professional or social communities.

The key learning this week was how to intentionally create, structure and support our own community. As I explore the potential to create my own business community to help mid-market companies, their owners and leaders, and their advisors, to grow and succeed, here are questions I’ve considered that you can apply in your business.

A community needs a place where people can interact, ask questions, share ideas, and get feedback in a safe manner.

  • How does your company support its employees and customers to exchange information beyond a specific transaction?
  • Since your company is not a person, the question is really: how do you and other leaders interact with your employees, customers, suppliers, and business associates?
  • Are you strictly business or do you spend time on building relationships, sharing ideas, giving value, and helping others?
  • How do you share knowledge, experience and expertise?
  • Are people encourage to learn, which means are they encouraged to fail, celebrate failure, and share their learnings?
  • Or do you want everyone following the book, not making any mistakes, and not being willing to share ideas on how to improve things?
  • Where do people go to play? That means, where can they recharge, unleash their creativity, and try new things? At large companies like Amazon, people are given a regular period of time to try new ideas.

You have a community within your company. This community reflects your values, beliefs, and actions.

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