By Ted McEnroe, Head of Research at The Community Roundtable
This November, I celebrate the end of my first full year with The Community Roundtable. Last year at this
time, I was thankful for all the support of my colleagues and the members of TheCR Network. (I still am.) But as with any other new role, for the first few months you barely see your surroundings because you’re focused on what you are doing and how you are fitting in.
A year later, I can look around and see a more expansive view. Without further ado, my #thankitforward musings for 2015…
I’m still thankful for TheCR team – Rachel, Jim, Hillary, Shannon, Jillian and Georgina – whose hard work is eclipsed only by the fact they are good, fun people, too. We are a mix of ages, experiences, and interests, yet it just works.
I’m thankful for the members of TheCR Network, too. Last year at this time, I was writing about their experiences for The Community Manager Handbook – which was a great chance to meet and talk with our roster of smart, savvy community professionals, and over the past year I’ve valued the opportunities to really listen to and work with more of our members and see the power of a real network in action. They’re worth every penny of the investment, to the point where I have actually continued my memberships in my nonprofit networks even though I have left that industry.
The Community Careers and Compensation survey noted about 60% of you are part of professional membership networks. The other 40% of you are missing out.
I’m thankful for the 500+ community professionals who shared the details of their communities and/or their own careers with us for our two major research projects this year – The State of Community Management and The Community Careers and Compensation report. Together, we are able to shed light on the power and promise of communities. Sharing can be a little scary – and in some communities, sadly, anonymity is seen as the only way to guarantee physical safety – but sharing is a critical part of learning and advancing the field, so thanks.
I’m thankful for the members and others who write, podcast and talk and work out loud regularly about community. You fill my ears with wisdom – and I hope somehow I reciprocate.
And lastly, I’m thankful for the ability to see the world through a community lens. It means seeing more clearly the connective tissue that binds us together in our jobs, our hometowns, our families, and schools. My daughter has started kindergarten this year at a school that is making a conscious investment in building a learning community – a place where older students mentor younger students, and where both the unique backgrounds students bring into the school and the skills they develop at school are highlighted in equal measure. Contributions to the school community are expected – and so is academic rigor and success. Too often, we present collaboration and excellence as incongruous – if you want it done right, do it yourself, they say. Through a community lens, collaboration and excellence come into sharp, united focus.
When you start to appreciate the impact of connections, and the value of meeting others who see the potential of networks and communities, it opens up a world of possibilities. I hope to tap into those in the coming year.
May you have a safe and joyous beginning to your holiday season. Cheers, and thanks.