My first dive into Community management

I am spending lots of thoughts into how to start a community and how to make it a valuable place for its members to interact.

Why? Actually I am involved in the founding of at least two or three new communities at Siemens:

  • #LeadershipChallenge Community (this one will also go live 1.1.2019 on twitter via the account @LeadershipChalS!)
  • Two others, which are Siemens internal only

I am further engaged in guiding the #wol community within Siemens, which is at this time still rather passive.

All these topics are deeply linked with my global goals, so that I have a strong interest in communities to help people develop own competences within these topics.

Community fundaments:

First thing I did was to clarify my own perspective:

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What drives me to contribute in communities:
1) create impact beyond my achievements by sharing them
2) learn from interactions and others’ experience
3) strengthen my network in the topic
4) grow from appreciation
5) charge my batteries for acting outside the #community

Secondly I had some inspiring talks to community experts inside and outside my company about what could be done to get a community to fly.

Principles to be achieved are:

  • Transparency on who, why, for which purpose founds the community.
  • Encourage people to contribute
  • Community is built for exchange and learning, not only distribution of news.
  • Joint vision of the community must be clearly defined.
  • Community consists of its members
  • Member is, whoever contributes. However readers are welcome.
  • #augenhoehe, respect and appreciation are fundamental principles for collaboration in this community.
  • Face to face meetings should be possible for the community to get to know each other.

Community founding – first steps:

First ideas for concrete steps to achieve the principles:

  1. Invite to a video conference to present and discuss the idea behind the planned community.
  2. ask the community (or the relevant group of people) to share, which topics they believe are most relevant for the communities joint topic.
  3. Collect the topics at a wiki or similar central page, available to all community members.
  4. Ask the community to moderate one topic from the list during one week (#cmooc style) in the community, thus populating the calendar for the next so many weeks.
  5. Support the moderators in moderating and empower them to prepare minimum of two things:
  6. – blog post Friday before start of the week
  7. – video conference session during the week for 1hour. (conference invite and scheduling supported by the community manager)
  8. Recorded life session is made available at the central wiki page.
  9. Introduce a joint Hashtag for the community for members to use for any posts in their desired platforms.
  10. Introduce a group at a preferred platform (I. E. #ESN, #linkedin or #discus (…) for all exchange and contributions.

Looking forward to implementing these ideas and experiencing their success. I’ll share my experience here.

In the meantime: comments, recomendations and your experiences are highly welcome.

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