Building a Community 1

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“Community building talent is the single most precious resource in the modern world.” Peter Drucker

Leadership requires audience. In the past, leaders joined or started organizations to get things done. In the future, leaders will likely join or start online communities to gather resources necessary to bring about their visions. In this series of posts, I will try to identify best practices and rules governing the process of community building.

Rule #1: Identify a common trait for the community members.

I have recently read an article that claimed that all people are by nature racially prejudiced. People have a natural tendency to form groups based on some arbitrary aspects, which is an inheritance from our tribal ancestors. Their ability to form groups was necessary for protection and survival, and was often based on some visual symbols.

Today, we still tend to surround ourselves with similar people, which can be based on some arbitrary criteria. In an experiment by Henri Tajfel, volunteers divided into enthusiasts of Klee and Kandinsky’s paintings showed a favorable bias towards the group that shared their preference.

The conclusion is that the more features are common among the members of a community, and the more focus they get; the stronger will be a sense of belonging in the community.

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