Communita is a word which you would use when there is high social capital emerging from your community, something which we are always actively encouraging on BRITEthink!! We all know that a community is when a group of people come together with a strong focus or sense of belonging which they can form from any situation, this being a social or a work setting. What then makes the community stronger and drives high engagement is the social capital which forms within it, and the spirit that comes from high social capital then creates the communita.
So what is the magic touch in creating social capital? The foundation block is that the social connections need to have to meaning. This would come from a variety of events which take place. Some excellent examples of companies which offer high social capital include Atlassian; this is a business which offers their ShipIt days as part of their commitment to employee engagement and community. The ShipIt day is a project where everyone in the business drops tools, and for 48 hours work on whatever they want to develop. Once a project or idea comes into force, they showcase them to the business.
Not all the ideas in the ShipIt days are commercially viable. However, the intended purpose of the projects is to drive social capital which then adds this extra layer to the organisational culture which then brings in Communita. The significant thing about having a high community in a business or a social community is that it progresses the innovation and the productivity. Partly due to connections which start to form in the organisation which leads to other significant areas such as the rise of co-learning. This is an essential tool for the development and motivation of individuals and something which I believe is going to become increasingly important within the future of work and what an organisation will do to achieve high engagement.
It seems that the key to success is:
Social Capital + Communita = engagement = innovation and productivity
Co-learning is interesting as this forms high levels of communita, and often cheaper for a business to run. Having people learn from each other’s skills set rather than being taught in a formal training situation often causes more inspiration and the perfect place for social capital to form. In fact, anything based on sharing and an internal sharing economy are good for high communita. This is why many businesses looks to change their organisational culture to something which is more task and project-based and allows individuals more freedom and flexibility.
The measurable way of seeing if you have the high social capital within your organisation comes from some simple questions which you could ask your community, these include:
Name three people who you worked on a project with outside of your team?
What are the skills which five people in the office have?
Have you developed or learned from others in a natural setting?
Questions such as this would allow you to understand where your current situation is, and if you are finding that answers are short or unanswered, you know that social capital needs to be increased as you need communita. It’s good to then look at the creative efforts from Atlassian and other companies to understand how you can bring this concept in place and what needs to be done. The important thing to do in this is to think both creatively and strategically!