By Hillary Boucher, Community Manager at The Community Roundtable
If you’ve been following our Twitter handle you already know that we’ve been thinking a lot about reciprocity and going beyond the thank you. What happens next? How do you keep the momentum of gratitude and sharing moving forward?
I was chatting with my sister-in-law a few weeks ago. She was trying to understand what I do for work and it’s a challenging discussion. She’s a Waldorf teacher with zero presence on social networks. We only just got her to start texting — on her flip phone.
But what she does understand is community. And from that approach I explained the current position of organizations and the challenges that come from transitioning towards a community-minded approach. As we discussed the challenge that some execs have wrapping their head around how community can be a win-win she said, “Well, it’s a full circle. You borrow a cup of milk from a neighbor to make your custard pie. And then you share the pie with them. You get more than you give in true community.”
I thought this was an awesome analogy because it highlights the results and then the return on collaboration. It turns gratitude into an action. The person who borrows the milk could have just said thank you, but sharing the pie makes everyone a winner.
It reminds me of the awesome work the Community Maturity Assessment Working Group is doing inside TheCR Network. Our members needed and requested an assessment tool. Adding an assessment tool to our product offerings is good match for us. We’re building it together and all parties will benefit from the end result.
And this is what healthy community, internally or externally, does for us — it creates something out of parts that more people can benefit from. I think in the community space we are really good at highlighting how easy it is to find the answers, expertise, and information that we need. (Look I found all the ingredients I needed to do my work!) We’re really good at borrowing (and even sharing) milk. But what happens next? What are you building and how are you sharing its value back with the people who helped you build it? How can we share more pie?
Bottom line? Don’t just borrow milk. Share your custard.
(Credit: Heavy Table photo/Becca Dilley)