Yesterday I read Seth Godin's newest book, Tribes. It was a quick read--a few hours--but with a lot of food for thought, particularly for creating communities of practice. Some key points:
- A tribe is a self-selected group of people, often with a leader, usually with a purpose, always with a way of connecting and identifying with each other, a set of norms, insiders and outsiders.
- Tribes matter--you can't create movement with a group, only with a tribe. Tribes provide leverage. They also generate energy.
- People organize around extraordinary. Ordinary is just boring.
- Having the RIGHT people is more important than having the MOST people.
- Focus on providing ways to tighten the tribe so they feel a sense of common purpose, connections to one another and responsibility to one another.
- Providing opportunities to connect and act together is as important (probably more so) than providing "content."
- Communicate with authenticity and emotion--this is the hook that people connect to.
- Innovation needs faith, which leads to hope, which conquers fear. We need to foster faith without choking that faith with "religion" (imposing too many rules, restrictions, etc. that con stifle faith)
- When it comes to hiring, you don't want "sheepwalkers"--people who have been raised to be obedient and then you put them in brain-dead jobs where they don't have to think and you use fear to keep them in line.
- People aren't afraid of failure. They're afraid of blame and criticism. Criticism is a powerful deterrent because you only have to see other people being criticized to shut down yourself.
The Powerpoint above is excellent. I suggest downloading it from Slideshare so you can check out the notes. Also check out these ideas on strategies for building a tribe.You can also listen to Tribes for free by downloading this audiobook.