14 Ott How communities help to rethink the way of managing people in a company
People strategy is the word that recurs most among those involved in internal organization: putting people at the center of thought and design. Effective words that do not always correspond to a clear design methodology and implementation skill. Community design is a systematic approach that works precisely to put people at the center of the design strategy, as part of a group that recognizes itself in a shared value proposition. It can therefore help all those organizations – profit and non-profit – which today are facing important organizational challenges and who decide to start by putting the enhancement of relationships between people at the center of planning.
The challenge of hybrid work is won by differentiating the engagement model and driving active participation
Two years after the pandemic outbreak, hybrid work seems almost cleared through customs. No one wants to go back to working in the same pre-pandemic mode. But how to create a new organizational model that knows how to enhance the benefits of working from home without losing the benefits of working in the office? Communities are hybrid by definition. They move through digital and physical environments as naturally as we all do today. On the physical side they build the most lasting relationship, on the digital the most informal and ongoing. The secret? Being able to create value in both environments by differentiating the engagement model and driving active participation. That’s what community design does by working on an engagement system that provides for different offerings on different channels, but mostly environments where we facilitate peer-to-peer encounters and conversation where everyone can be a protagonist.
Community as a training ground to foster digital culture
While the emergent situation has driven the use of digital at work, it has also revealed clear gaps in terms of skills. Community design creates contexts within which members move. These are predominantly digital (but also physical) and because they must promote interaction, information exchange, and informal conversation, they must be easy to use and above all they must drive active participation. They therefore become simple gyms for learning digital skills but also places for sharing interests and practice.
Community design to drive continuous learning (learning agility)
Teaching how to learn is what every company that cares to face the challenges presented by digital transformation should do today. Indeed, in today’s reality where the only constant is change, it becomes essential to know how to adapt and respond with agility.
Community design works on the activation of participatory processes in which people exchange and share advice, help, and information promoting the sharing of experience, knowledge but also the emergence of natural leaders to refer to. Collaboration encourages continuous learning but also problem solving, quick thinking, trust and mutual exchange.
“Teaching how to learn is what every company should do today”
Clear purpose and activism as leverage for employer branding
Large resignations show that more and more people are looking for meaning in the jobs they do. Economic reward is no longer enough to define the meaning of a professional performance; today people demand to be involved inside a value system capable of bringing change.
Community design by definition works to create a shared purpose (value) around which to aggregate, motivate and on which to grow a sense of belonging. A clear, simple identity that drives action are the characteristics needed for a community to grow. The one that an organization often lacks and that community design can help create.
Community of practice to attract and retain talent
Economic reward, it was said, is no longer what characterizes a good job opportunity. Other factors such as continuous learning, the drive for entrepreneurship, the feeling that in one’s own small way one can contribute to change something, contribute to defining this. That is why today it is very difficult for companies to retain their talent and attract new talent.
Community design by definition works to create a shared purpose (value) around which to aggregate and activate. This acts on the intrinsic motivations that drive active participation and enhances a sense of belonging. When one feels involved in a cause for change (even a small one) it is harder to quit and easier to attract new people.
People at the center: starting from and with the community
Putting people at the center of your organization is not an easy journey, but it is certainly the only way to deal with the many changes facing organizations. To begin with, it is important to first have some awareness of what community design is, then to plan to involve people from the very beginning in needs assessment (before), in service co-design (during), and in the verification of what has been thought of (after). One of the principles of community design, in fact, is to involve people as early as possible in the design so that what has been designed can be verified in an agile way, iterated and then growth built. This allows early on to design closer to people’s needs but at the same time to start creating the first “ambassadors” on which to build community. Try it to believe.