By Rachel Happe, Co-founder of The Community Roundtable
At The Community Roundtable we like to celebrate Thanksgiving instead of other end of the year celebrations. It both fits our ethos of articulating our thanks and it better fosters a sense of community than any gift ever could. We’ve been using the #ThankItForward tag to encourage our community to thank those that have made a positive impact on their lives this year. For TheCR team everyone on the team has the name of one other team member and a check to spend on thanking that person in whatever way they choose.
Personally, the #ThankItForward challenge is daunting to me – to pick just three individuals is nearly impossible. I feel literally overwhelmed with support, inspiration and friendship from so many people. It is an embarrassment of riches that is both amazingly gratifying and sometimes a bit confounding – at least to me. There are some people and things that stood out this year, however, in no particular order:
- J.J. Lovett who asked me to edit his book with Margaret Brooks and Sam Creek, Developing B2B Social Communities.
- Claire Flanagan who has continually advocated on behalf of The Community Roundtable and encouraged me personally, culminating in a partnership with Jive this year.
- CheeChin Liew and Marlene Wolf who saw potential to extend the work that we do and supported that effort.
- Sandy Carter for her support and advocacy of my work.
- David Carr who included our research and work in Social Collaboration for Dummies.
- Maria Ogneva who has so willingly and openly shared and collaborated to move the community management discipline forward.
- Ted Hopton who supported and enabled us to write the UBM Case study.
- TheCR Team – Jim, Hillary, Maggie, Jillian, Shannon and Leanne all make the work we do amazing. They surprise and delight me often and I couldn’t ask for a better team with whom to work.
- Sue Feldman who has supported me since I worked for her at IDC and continues to mentor me. I learned from her that it is initially more important to focus on having interesting conversations than what I’m trying to get out of an interaction. If you do that, business will follow. She was right.
- Bill Synder – someone I hardly know and yet, through one conversation, let me see my work in an entirely new way with an implicit assumption of its potential value in a whole new area and for Mark Bonchek who made that conversation possible.
- CV Harquail who is generous with her expertise and continues to prod in ways that make me re-think our potential and what we do.
- TheCR Network members, who collaborate with each other, rally around each other and are committed to making the work that we all do more meaningful.
- TheCR clients who collaborate with us to deliver results for their organizations. We are very fortunate to have client relationships that have never felt like transactions.
- My husband, Ted McEnroe, who I like to think of as both my personal partner but also as an investor in The Community Roundtable who has exhibited unwavering support of the work I do, despite its small and large impacts on his life.
Not included in this list are the hundreds of people who have made introductions, riffed off and added to our work, advocated for what we are doing, contributed to events and discussions, become clients or members, invited me to events and generally helped nudge my success along.
As TheCR has grown, I’ve realized that while it’s taken a lot of work for a few people, it has also taken a little work from a great many people. One of the things that I am most proud of is that we’ve collaborated with our community to advance the discipline of community management and while The Community Roundtable is doing well, our ultimate goal is to enable the success of those in our community and that is and will be the true measure of our success.
Thanks to all of you for interesting conversations – here’s to more of them!