A Rapidly Changing Community Market
2019 is going to be an interesting year for the community leadership and management space.
It’s becoming clear to executive stakeholders that community approaches are critical for ALL leaders and managers to employ. They are also seeing that it is an effective way to transform the cultures of their organizations for a new era. I’m seeing a lot of exciting trends – from more hiring to new verticals investing in community leadership. My 2019 predictions for the community space are here.
Shifting Community Research Priorities
The shift from communities being a tactical asset to a strategic asset has been happening for a while and in 2018, we shifted our research priorities to reflect that, exploring how communities were transforming and impacting their organizations. Those discussions and research culminated in a re-imagined 2018 State of Community Management report, which is well worth a read as community teams think ahead to 2019 and resulted in 3 key findings:
- Communities Are Change Agents
- Communities Generate Transformational Value
- Community Teams are Underfunded
TheCR’s 2019 Research Priorities
Where do we go from here?
One of the big themes coming out of TheCR Connect is given the rapid evolution of community’s impact on organizations, the community profession needs to mature. Community leaders are the new era of organizational leaders and we have the experience and research behind us to act assertively in showing our organizations the value of community, asking for more resources, and stepping forward to take on big challenges.
Another big conversation within TheCR Network this year is one of the more obvious topics – the fragmentation of attention, technology, and channels. How do we weave together all these different environments and tools to enable communities in new ways and help measure and report on their value? The picture gets more complicated as organizations deploy communities for hundreds of different ways, making communities both more impactful but also harder to orchestrate and support.
And finally, we are all wrestling with what is becoming the biggest barrier to community success now that the mechanics are more well-understood; the fundamental mindset shift in how value is created and distributed. Communities co-create the future in an inclusive and transparent way that makes many people uncomfortable. That approach is a huge shift from how organizations and many leaders think about value creation, competition, and the customer experience today – and that shift involves changing core assumptions about what is possible. That is a big ask – and a big challenge – for those with traditional business mindsets. It is also absolutely critical to address for community approaches to reach their potential.
The Community Roundtable’s research themes for 2019 are:
- Community Leadership Comes of Age
- The Community Market Diversifies
- Mindsets Determine Community Success
Want to be a part of these conversations?
These research themes structure and prioritize Roundtable Calls with TheCR Network members, topics for TheCR Connect event in September, and drive the research agenda for the 2019 State of Community Management report.