by Bailey Richardson, Kai Elmer Sotto, Kevin Huynh
read in November 2022
book info on goodreads
In "Get Together," the authors offer practical advice for those looking to create and sustain a community. They emphasize the importance of starting with a group of core allies that care about the same issue and of crafting a clear identity for the community. The community must have a purpose. This identity should answer the question of why it matters and be shared among all community members, not just the leader.
"Building a community isn't about you and what you can do; rather,it's dependent upon what you and your people can do."
The book highlights the importance of establishing a central shared activity that is purposeful, participatory, and repeatable. This activity should be the driving force behind the community, encouraging people to participate and collaborate, rather than just watch from the sidelines. It should also be repeatable, as communities need time to shape and grow. Feedback based on the activity should be taken into consideration.
"To determine the central shared activity for your community, ask yourself: What is something your people crave that would be better performed or experienced as a group?"
The author also discusses the importance of cultivating a sense of community identity, through the use of badges, rituals, and unique language. This can help to strengthen the bonds between community members and encourage organic recruitment of new members.
"Passionate community members will likely want to project their community identity to the world. These signature expressions encourage stronger bonds between members."
Tracking metrics and evaluating the community's pulse through questions and check-ins with leaders can also help to ensure that the community is thriving and moving in the right direction.
"Only a balanced combination of measurement and listening will give you the understanding you need to keep acting in the best interest of an ever-changing community."
The way to sustain a community is to develop more leaders from within your community. Every community has a group of handraisers that keep showing up, who are prime candidates for transitioning into leadership positions. These people are genuinely motivated by the community's purpose.
"Growing a community isn't about management. It's about developing leaders. This small set of passionate people will help your community flourish over the long term."
Overall, "Get Together" offers valuable insights for anyone looking to build and sustain a sense of community. Whether it be a bridging community that brings together diverse people or a bonding community that connects similar people, the book's emphasis on identity, purpose, shared activity, and leadership is crucial for creating a strong and thriving community. It is a valuable resource for anyone looking to make a positive impact in their community and build lasting connections with others.