Communities Going Forward …Posted: August 25, 2008
I came across this wonderful post by Rachel Happe, thinking Can Communities Cope? … interesting what Rachel has written in this … why i say this is because this sort of encapsulates what i have been thinking about for some time now, without being able to articulate it.
Rachel has it right that communities have lifecycles … lets face it, human civilizations have lifecycles (although we do feel a sense of permanence, but this is only because we are experiencing only a small slice of this lifecycle, and hence, this seems to be permanent, much like a sufficiently small slice of a circle would look like a straight line), so it would be only normal to assume that communities would, too. And this is where the organization must step in … first of all, the organization needs to realize the value that communities can bring, and once this can be experienced (maybe not directly demonstrated, but experienced, either through participation, or anecdotally), the organization must put in the effort to rejuvenate communities when they seem to be flagging. And, this, to my mind, is the paradox of communities … supposedly self-forming and self-sustaining, they nevertheless need the organizational push, because this is what provides them the context for their existence, at least within the organizational perspective.
Of course, this is also having an impact on the structure of the organization. Though, it would be naive to assume that structure would go away … something i have written about before here, and here. It would, however, be naive to assume the end of the organization (not that i have come across anybody doing that), though change is definitely happening.