Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 224

A true #community has everyone playing an active role. Always. #QuoteADay #Day224 #edchat #edu #LearningForAll #StuVoice

Why do we use the term “community” so freely?

We tend to think of any grouping of people as a “community,” but in reality, it isn’t the grouping of people that is important, but rather, what they do, and how they do it.

A true community requires at least three characteristics to be in place in order to really operate as a collaborative.

First, communities, like the scientific definition, need to be composed of various different groups (in science speak, it is different species, and while that might exist in an organization, usually we’re most focused on the groups of different people).  If every stakeholder in the community comes from the same stakeholder group, then it isn’t a community, it’s a bloc.

Second, true communities give voice to everyone.  Regardless of whether the person is a leader, a learner, a community member, or something else entirely, every person’s word is welcomed, expected, and respected.  These voices aren’t just puffs of air, destined to float around aimlessly.  Instead, they truly matter, and anyone’s voice can have major impacts on the organization’s direction.

Finally, communities reflect together.  This means that after a community decides to follow an initiative, everyone stops to think about how the process is going, and at its completion, has gone.  This reflection is key, because a community isn’t just about doing.  Often, it’s about thinking deeply so that future “doing” is even more effective.

So, maybe we shouldn’t use the term “community” as freely as we do.  Maybe, just maybe, we should strive to build a community, rather than assume our organizations are already one.

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