Community is how people gather together around a shared vision and work together to realize that vision.
There are many ways that communities form, but helping them grow organically and maintaining productivity requires loving care.
Lots of things affect what a community can do. Even in something as simple as how they gather has huge impacts: Do they meet up in the same place and at the same time? Do they chat online at the same time weekly? Are they only active over mailing lists or bulletin boards?
We design structures that inherently help communities achieve their goals. Some communities exist as communities-of-practice to help each other grow professionally in a certain skill. Other communities rally around change efforts, innovations, process propagations or strategic and mission critical outcomes. No matter the reasons, effective communities are those where stakeholders and responsible parties come together to focus on execution and develop their own subculture to augment an existing one.
Many communities don’t need to be led… but they do require someone who can rally them together, remind people of what the track looks like so they can get back on it, and keep people happily marching towards progress.
Helping communities grow, stay alive and thrive is what we live for.