I am preparing a session for small workgroups in a global network who want to get better at "marketing" themselves and recruiting new members.
This got me re-reading Wenger, McDermott and Snyder's chapter in Cultivating Communities of Practice where they suggest seven design principles for bringing out a community's own internal direction, character, and energy - or for becoming "alive". The principles are:
- Design for evolution.
- Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives.
- Invite different levels of participation.
- Develop both public and private community spaces.
- Focus on value.
- Combine familiarity and excitement.
- Create a rhythm for the community.
If there is one thing that strikes me as I read this it's that this book was written in 2002. I'm reminded of how design principles can be excellent - but people only hear them when they are ready for them.