Tag Archives: community-management

Free whitepaper: Social learning through communities

Is your organization looking gain value from social learning communities, but you’re not sure where to begin? IBM’s Center for Advanced Learning can help you start managing communities using practical tips and “secrets” of IBM’s own successful community managers.

Social Learning

Learning communities have become and imperative in the Learning Ecosystem and I am sharing this whitepaper on Social learning through communities. This brief paper is designed to get started with managing communities and is based on practical tips and ‘secrets’ of IBM’s Center for Advanced Learning’s own successful community managers. It focuses on

1. Social learning: what is it?
2. How to create a successful online community that enables social learning?
3. The community manager’s role
4. How to hire an effective community manager
5. Value Creation of a community
6. Measuring the success of social learning through communities

Please reply to this blog to let me know your thoughts and share your stories on how you manage communities.

Community Manager – a super powered human being or a sensitive leader?

It can be confusing to comprehend and gauge the needs of a community and what community members want from the community. Community of Practice (CoP) and Community of Interest (CoI) are groups of people joined by a thread of common goal- to develop some skills, a scooter-ride group, ongoing collaboration, or a movie club. And as the groups differ, how would a community manager know what the community needs to sustain or survive.

Community is us!

The community manager might want to have the super powers to know that but this isn’t lotus land. The traditional community manager role focuses on the problems of a community. People might post bad things, conflicts might erupt, responses to the questions asked, providing directions etc.

A community manager should be pro-active than reactive – the approach needs to be a step ahead of the community member. It’s like this, when you invite friends over, do you wait for them to tell you what they want to drink or eat or what music they would like to listen? No, you keep everything preplanned, pre-arranged and table it – but the biggest question is how do you pre-plan?

Read this blog on socialmediatoday.com

Are you the one killing the community?

Who kills a community? A member never does that. A stakeholder will never do that. Is it You? The Community Manager? In fact it is you.

Most of the stale, dead and pale communities have a strong community manager – a personality so strong, it overpowers the community. Like a tough teacher who never lets the students talk no matter what.

In 1999, my score in Mathematics dropped from 92/100 to 29/100 in just six months! Did my teacher ensure I failed? No, she tried to make me understand everything, every day, relentlessly. Then, how?

In her efforts, she never allowed me to grow on my own. She wanted me to succeed and forced me every minute; just like pulling a plant every day to ensure it grows faster. The plant will die. I bet my salary. And I failed! Thank God, those were interim exams.

That is what most of the community managers do. They force the community to grow by adding more and more members every day, without ensuring those who are already there are gaining value. Continue reading

Community Management – 5 tips to make your newsletter a success

Community Management sometimes is confused with power and Community Managers behave like kings and queens – insurmountable by anything or anyone. These communities do have a future – a doomed one. Members start leaving, the relations get bitter and the traffic goes down. But why are we talking about this in the context of a community newsletter?

Don't be a Monkey

Don’t be a Monkey CM

Don’t be a monkey – who snatches everything. Although monkeys have a great sense of community but when it comes to being a Community Manager, ‘don’t be a monkey’.

A community newsletter reflects the tone with which a community is managed and how community members are treated. A community newsletter is like an invitation and reflects the emotion of the sender towards the receiver – an invitation to the learning party by the learning party host (thanks Sarah Siegel for this term, I love it). Let’s look at how to make your community newsletter a success: Continue reading

How do you make a community more active?

So you got new members and the community is big in number! Great – Congratulations. Mr CM, your work starts now! Your only (ideally) task should be to make the community active.

“How do I do that?”

This is one question I am almost certain to be asked whenever I speak with people regarding community and community management. And when I tell how I do it – people say they knew it but never paid attention to it. The trickiest part with community management is to understand the ‘WHY’ and the most often ignored aspect too.

Here are 6 questions that I ask myself almost every day and if I get all Yes, I know I am on the right track.

Read the complete blog on socialmediatoday.com

Community Management: Welcome them! Win them!

How would you feel when you walk into a party where everyone is busy doing something: singing, dancing, eating, vomiting (yuck!)… ? You move around and see small and big groups busy in their small games and chit-chats. There is food and drink but no one is offering it to you! How long will you stay alone?

I am sure most of us will walk out!

Are you treating your community members like this? Are you there when they join the community? How do you welcome them? or lemme ask, do you welcome them? image

When someone joins a community, you need to get them to participate in an interaction immediately. If you get this right, your ratio of newcomers to regulars will skyrocket. How to get them to join the party? Here are few tips but I am sure there are many. Do feel free to comment and share if you have any other brilliant idea. Continue reading

How to keep Employees engaged?

Engaged EmployeesAt an informal dinner, I was recently asked, how do we ensure employees are engaged to make them feel important.

As usual, a lot of witty minds jumped in to share their intellect. The conversation revolved around taking the employees out for an outing to maybe a resort for a weekend. Someone mentioned giving away t-shirts and mugs helps. The idea of gifting i-pods also surfaced.Strange!

Why do employees need to engage in order to feel important? And important for whom? Themselves or stake holders?

Engagement and collaboration, if carefully managed, leads to members realizing the value of being with a community of like-minded people. A lot of minds perceive/confuse engagement with an offsite team outing or dinner or a trip to a resort to relax. But this only takes the minds off work and is that what organization wants? Keeping employees off work?

True engagement happens when employees overcome the barriers of teams, departments, BU, geos and start collaborating with one another and create an conducive environment for informal learning. Frequent and free flowing discussion forums, participation in MOOCs, strategically planned watercooler sessions and leader-speak events ensure employees are engaged in a productive way.

I had the privilege to host Will Runyon (IBM Director, Workforce Communications, Sales Incentives & Global Recognition Programs) on our IBM Manager Community’s watercooler call where he talked about IBM’s Global Recognition strategy and programs. The strategy has evolved from being a gift-provider to a culture-creator process.

Let’s watch this beautifully crafted video and lecture by Dan Pink on the surprising truth about what motivates us, to understand why ‘only-cash or cash like’ incentives aren’t the only incentives. Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books — including the long-running New York Times bestseller, A Whole New Mind, and the #1 New York Time bestseller, Drive. His books have been translated into 33 languages.

While we continue to ponder and inch towards another centennial, IBM is growing as a smart place to work where recognition is higher than dollars.

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