2018 was an amazing year of change for the community management industry – and a year where I have seen more progress than in any of the preceding years in terms of strategic attention, maturing of community management practices, and impact on the organizations using community approaches to learning, change, and innovation.
As I look ahead to 2019 I’m excited about the potential for community approaches as organizations figure out how powerful they can be across strategic, operational, and tactical dimensions – and will help them change how they change.
1. COMMUNITIES GET BOARD ATTENTION
Ecosystem and community strategies are becoming recognized at the board level for their value. Communities can address complex challenges and opportunities like creating agile organizations, continuous innovation, and building trust.
2. COMMUNITY SKILLS ARE IN DEMAND
Successful communities require skilled community professionals who know how to facilitate behavior change, engagement, and relationships without controlling people. These unique skills will increase in demand as more executives understand the power and value of community approaches.
3. COMMUNITY STRATEGIES UNLOCK DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
As digital transformation approaches come up short of expectations due to organizational inertia, community strategies that nudge people effectively toward learning and change will increase in value.
4. COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP PRIZED IN C-LEVEL HIRES
As more organizations use community strategies successfully, the biggest barrier facing them is traditional strategy and leadership mindsets. Increasingly, the ability to inspire movements, foster leadership in others, and create business strategies that assume abundance will be critical for executive hires.
5. ORGANIZATIONS USE COMMUNITIES TO CHANGE HOW THEY CHANGE
As information and data processing speeds increase, change becomes a critical core competency and constant adaptation becomes the norm. Communities provide the mechanism for this constant co-creation of the future and are key change agents for organizations.
What did I miss? What do you think will define 2019 for the online community management industry? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!