We understand the yearning to find a low-cost or no-cost way to spontaneously create a thriving community of practice in which participants engage intensively, volunteer undue amounts of time and effort to keeping the community alive, support other members, and make use of the resources and sharing that emerge.
I have seen many ambitious projects assume that establishing a digital platform will, in and of itself, enable the processes that are needed.
This almost never happens, except in rare circumstances when a fortuitous but accidental sequence of events has prompted stakeholders in exactly the right order, at the right time, and at the point of need.
In our experience, a significant upfront investment is needed for a community to be forged successfully. This investment is not required for the technology platforms but, rather, to support the intensive design and facilitation required to crack the complex equation between motivation, demand and context.
We believe that high-quality facilitation and speed are both vital to demonstrate relevance. If ‘members’ do not quickly see a tangible return for their business needs when they invest time, they will just as quickly stop responding to calls for action.
Image: Flow patterns in Trigonos, by Reda Sadki.