This week, I ran across thought-provoking HBR article by Henry Mintzberg about the value of turning companies into communities. Mintzberg describes corporate communities as magnets for talented people who are exceedingly loyal, energized, and passionate about something bigger than themselves.
Rather than the traditional approach to organizational leadership, which is usually top-down, these communities take a middle-out approach–one that starts with highly engaged owners and managers who can inspire anyone and everyone to exercise initiative.Because leadership is more engaged and distributed, these organizations are more productive, innovative, and sustainable.
But the whole system depends on one crucial element: creating an atmosphere of trust. Communities cannot be created unless everyone within the system operates with integrity, and reinforces the atmosphere of trust.
How about you? Have you got the elements in place to create community within your organization?