The Truth About Community
There is so much talk about building networks and community today but so little about how we truly dream, connect and create together. The focus is mostly on structure, metrics and models.
But this is not surprising since in 2022 we still very much lead with structure rather than the heart and guts of everything. We talk about hybrid and remote work (structure) versus going back to the office (structure).
And we ignore the opportunity of getting to the root of what work really means in 2022. And what is possible moving forward in making a life? We talk about having a network (structure). But we don’t focus as much on why can we create healthy systems that serve the vast majority of humanity with trusted communities of creators. Most people look at leaders and followers (structure) when the opportunity is to simply trek into the unknown and create together. A healthy conversation is a creation.
The truth is structure is secondary when it comes to creating healthy communities. When it comes to community in the new world that is emerging, there is no audience; we are all in it together. There is no need to brand or focus on superficiality. The maturity of the community does not matter as much as its frequency. Community is where our hearts will meet our whole selves and each other.
Creating Meaning in Community
Imagine communities where we can connect with people who care about what we care about; sharing ideas and creating real impact. I see that happening with Earth Regenerators who are building physical communities in different parts of the world to connect us not just to each other but to the land. They are bridging the online and physical worlds around what they care about and it is powerful.
Tim McDonald is now Head of Community at Homeroom. A start-up in the business of community. Instead of a team or a tribe, they are building an internal community by practicing open communication and collaboration among themselves first. And bringing these same practices into building lasting communities with their customers and partners. There is also a focus on the human experience, which is where we are headed over the next 15-20 years.
I love hearing his stories of how openly they communicate in community and care for each other. In a recent tweet, Tim shared, “I’m working with @LifeWithArjay now. Been some of the finest 3 months of my working career, so far. And that’s saying something with as many years as I’ve been working.”
In healthy forests, each tree is connected to others via a network; enabling trees to share water and nutrients. Isn’t it time to follow Nature’s lead with the woodwide web and take steps to truly find people at our frequency to dream, connect and create like never before in community?
Flow is Elemental to Community
But believe me, this takes a lot curiosity and courage as it is mostly unknown. Sometimes we try to build one and we have to start over. But that is what endings and beginnings are all about to make sure we are aware of what it is we are creating in the first place.There are also natural life cycles of life and death. Not everything is meant to be forever and not everything works at first.
A community can form for one purpose and then morph or collapse when it’s no longer needed. We may have been taught to follow a linear path but when we trek into the unknown, we learn to let go of beliefs that were planted in us.
Sometimes we come together only to collapse and find the strength and courage to start over. We may not see the seeds we plant come into fruition in our lifetime. But we can at least begin to construct a healthy foundation for future generations to build in healthy community.
A community connects us with each other and is no longer just about geographic location. In essence, community is about people: feelings and interests that connect us and bond us in trusted relationships. Why? Because we are becoming aware that when we connect from the heart, our world can change. And community serves as a bridge allowing us to get out of our comfort zones and not only talk about sharing but truly live it.
When we are no longer protecting our territory or staying in our conflict, we can come together and create amazing things. We no longer consume ideas or stories from leaders and influencers when we listen to our own heartbeat. And isn’t it beautiful when we find balance and harmony with people we resonate with?
The beautiful reality is we are starting to remember our need for community and on this path, question everything.
Members of a community trust ourselves and each other. And most importantly, care deeply about ourselves, each other and the environment. We learn to communicate openly and have meaningful exchanges that create value. There is no need for contracts to address disagreements. We care so much about what we are creating that we address conflict and not have it as part of our community’s energy when we energize each other.
Humans excel at community building during a crisis that brings us together like a war or hurricane, but this is not sustainable or regenerative.
This is our time to see the incredible opportunity we have to create healthy communities that will form the foundation of the new world. Community is fundamental to human existence.
And here is what is so key to become aware of: we need multiple communities that are connected in a woodwide web above ground. Communities interconnected and nested within each other.
There are seven percent of the eight billion planet pioneering a path into the unknown and creating healthy systems. And we need communities to connect so we can not only find each other but support, experiment and care deeply together. The future is about communities of creators that spark us. I see that already with so many who walk their talk.
When we know in our hearts that communities have a crucial impact on our health and well being, we will begin to architect the ones we truly need. No one is going to need an audience.
What community or communities do you want to birth or join?
Caring is an ally.