You’ve heard that saying before, right? “It takes a village to raise a child.” What does that mean? Well, a few things:
- Raising a child is not just an individual parent’s responsibility, but also the responsibility of the community around that child
- Everyone in the community has something to teach and/or contribute to the development of that child, and thus to society itself
This saying came to mind today as I came across this article on community formation at the Harvard Business Review. The premise is simple: Networks are important, but communities thrive. What does this mean? The writers take as an example Wikipedia. Here is a network of writers, i.e., the mass public, which has now become a community of people interacting with one another and keeping each other company. See the difference? A network sees people as assets or potential workers; but a community sees people as people, who can help one another and shape the very fabric of the industry they are working on…together. It’s that together aspect which should resonate with us today. Are we building a network with worker drones who will, inevitably, grow discontent with the work situation? Or are we building a community that is evolving and thriving with the very people that feeds it. It’s up to you to decide which one is being built. Think through the end result you wish to attain. Is it an immediate result, or is it a long-lasting, thriving, building, and mobilizing community? I think the answer is clear.