By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research and Training
If you’re planning a vacation this summer, you have a plan. You have a vehicle. You have destinations in mind. And I bet you know how to get there, or have a map to get you there.
Can you say the same for your community? In most cases, the answer is actually no.
For the second year in a row, we asked community managers from hundreds of communities if they had an approved community strategy and a resourced community roadmap to implement it. And for the second straight year, most community managers said they had the strategy, but not the roadmap. That’s like having a destination and a car, but no planned route – or way to get refueled on the way.
The best communities couple a strategic plan for the community with the resourced plans needed to get there. But while an approved strategy is almost universal among our best-in-class communities, a third of them don’t have a resourced roadmap of goals, waypoints and elements that can turn their strategy into reality. Overall, more than two-thirds of communities that have approved strategies lack the resourced community roadmap for implementation.
Let’s be clear – you need a strategy to get you started. But while investing in a strategy is critical, your roadmap enables your community to thrive, and helps you secure the resources to succeed. The roadmap conversation and resource discussion, while never easy, can also serve as a valuable opportunity to get stakeholders to understand community as more than just words on a page, and see how community can develop in or around your organization. And as we know from elsewhere in the research, getting the organization behind community plays a powerful role in strengthening engagement.
We can’t wait to hear what you think – tag your thoughts with #SOCM2016 to join the conversation!
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