When 1+1>2: The Great Power of Community
Undoubtedly, community is the most powerful driving force of change. The thought of people fighting together by all means to achieve a certain desirable state could terrify even the greatest individual authority.
Speaking of communities within the business framework often aligns with the customer community gathered around a certain company, product or service. This community is usually present outside the company but it is perceived by all new-age businesses as the most valuable source of feedback, information, and innovative ideas.
But what happens when the community jumps over the high corporate walls and “steps into your office”? Well, not physically, but yet for real? When your yesterday’s customer becomes your co-worker? Would you be able to handle this unusual interference? Would you be willing to even ask for it, having recognized its high value? Would you resist being as transparent as possible? Would you be brave enough to handle the community, keeping you responsible for your plans, actions and progress on a daily basis?
Sounds extremely demanding, right?
Yet, we at Dentacoin think that it’s worth taking the challenge. Even though a certain decision-making hierarchy to guarantee efficiency and clear responsibilities will still be present within the Dentacoin Foundation, we are always ready to welcome everyone willing to become part of our full-time working community!
“We are a community-based project that acts on a global scale. Therefore, we’re highly interested in engaging and involving as many of you as possible in our daily business and tasks. […] One important step to build up a strong and passionate community like ours is to guarantee full transparency of everything regarding the Dentacoin Foundation. Thus, we decided to move large parts of our daily communications from internal Slack channels to this public channel. That means that you’ll not only see what’s going on but also have the chance to interact and getting involved”.
Community is “We”.
The first step towards building a community-driven business is to create a community and provide it with a proper infrastructure to interact with your company. Once this is done and the company values, goals and motives are presented, perceived and accepted by the community members, there is no “we” and “they” anymore. Instead, a new, much bigger and powerful “We”-superstructure is created through the triggered synergistic effect.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Community is decentralized.
Community as the epitome of decentralization. It is all about shared responsibility, shared risks, shared success. Community consists of sub-communities all over the world, which are related and can influence each other to a certain degree but are still self-existent entities. Decentralized networks (including human networks) cannot be easily attacked by destroying the head. There is no head. Only hands and minds, gravitating towards the same idea, mutual values, beliefs, targets and rules.
Moreover, community is built around a bigger idea. Once thought and shared, this idea has its own power, its own life. It is undeniable and independent from the people gathered around it.
“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea”
― Medgar Evers.
Community creates value.
From the creation of the community onwards, all members have the equal right to raise their voice on all current affairs. And this voice is worth to be sought for even if not raised proactively. Community implies acting selflessly and giving generously — resources, perspectives, information, and ideas. The aim is to develop a co-creation process, where community members work together to create and optimize products, services, certain activities and processes on a daily basis. It is of the utmost importance to bring this collective intelligence into all business processes. Community-driven companies remain relevant because they value the voice of the people who actually give them meaning. On that note, an African proverb says:
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Community-building is about building trust and conveying authenticity. Establishing a high level of transparency within the community is essentially important for developing trust relations. Simultaneously, it is perhaps the most demanding task for the core team members. But if you are not ready to open up to the community, to share, to answer, to explain, to report, to ask, to constantly interact, then you better give up this journey before you’ve started it. A wise man has rightly said:
“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity”.
We humans need to have a sense of belonging. Community is a place where we belong. It is where we can relate, be understood, speak a shared language and work towards achieving mutual targets. When companies begin to focus on building communities, it makes a powerful impact that forges emotional bonds. The moment when you feel deeply connected to something not only on a rational, but also on an emotional level, is the moment when you are ready and eager to fight for it by all means. It is also the moment when you want to shout it out to the whole world.
Only communities capable of triggering such powerful multiplication prerequisites have the chance to grow and survive over time. Only those have the power to transform. Because one plus one is much more than two.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
― Howard Zinn
Join the Dentacoin community on Slack (link here)! Be part of this movement of passionate, intelligent people who care about global dental health and equal access of high quality dental care for everyone!
Originally published at Dentacoin blog.