I’ve seen a bit of a trend of companies hiring internal community builders, this is the kind of thing that gets me excited.
I’ve long believed that companies are communities and that they could be better run if they were approached with a community mindset. I’ve seen way too many examples of people just not feeling the vibe, not feeling like they belong, not being seen and so much toxicity around company culture.
I don’t have refined thoughts on this, but I’d love to discuss.
Is anyone working in this ‘internal community space’?
I totalllly agree organizations have potential to be communities. This is where you spend a significant portion of your life. It would be amazing if this same place was a place of safety & belonging.
I do believe this has to start with the values & foundation that is set by the leadership of the organization. The responsibility can’t live entirely with an internal community builder - although I do think this person could amplify the foundation that already exists.
I have worked in the internal community space before, but, I will say it can be a bandaid solution to toxicity. If toxicity isn’t addressed at the root, the potential for community can not be realized.
I’m excited to see communities as companies be more prominent, as a potential for a new way to coordinate in the workplace. I’m excited to see more founders with this vision in mind. I imagine a future that is way more meaningful on an individual and collective level.
I’m curious about methods others have used in the workplace to foster internal community - if you were successful, what were the parameters/truths of that environment? If you were unsuccessful, same question.
I am working as an internal community manager as innovation community manager. our organisation is made up of lots of federated charities across a network so the idea is to build a community so we can work more effectively, moving away from more of a head office telling everyone what to do approach. hard to get traction at times, when you do it’s great! so I would love to speak to more people doing this!
I agree it doesn’t work without the right culture and values in place. I do see people using the word ‘community’ internally to make things sound better, without really changing the dynamics of how things are run, even done to what meetings feel like.
I also got to this after working as an external social media community manager and noticing on lots of things about internal dynamics getting in the way of work, toxicity, competitiveness between departments and other things. I do think you have to be careful you don’t burnout as the work can feel never ending and it is hard to see the results sometimes - though this is probably comparable to all community manager jobs.
I love this! This is something I am working on, but not from an internal community perspective, but as companies in general working like communities and communities being able to build for themselves as companies. The cooperative and commons movement in the EU and UK speak to this.
Here’s an example post currently available with PWC: it’s been around a while, and it’s about building an in-house community so to build demonstrable use cases of Alteryx (it seems) that can also be shared as white papers for commercial example. Alteryx Community Manager, TC - Jobs and Careers at PwC UK
In a very similar vein, I noticed around a year ago a very similar job with KPMG (I think this is a ghost listing for that one Global Collaboration & Knowledge Community Manager | KPMG | England), and again it’s about developing in-house community. I know from a friend that there is a lack of belonging for many consultants who are encouraged to look for consultancy roles for themselves and book out x% of their time for paid work. It’s quite a strange existence, and she left because of feeling a lack of belonging and feeling isolated.
It’s a leap I know, but… this is likely common to all of these ‘management consultancies’ and they’re maybe seeing “Community” (whatever their perception of what that means in practice) as a way to fix the issue but also so that they can claim thought leadership in the domain of community management. Which after all is what these kinds of partnership-based companies really hang their hats on in order to charge the huge sums per diem that they do. And we all know that the interest in community management has exploded in the past 24 months especially.
I am pretty darn sure that I saw a DeLoitte post for an in-house community manager in the same ven in the past year too, but I haven’t laid my hands on that example just yet. And I also have the feeling that this was about building an in-house community around a specific technology in order to build the in-house skills and provide peer support groups so that they can leverage in-house knowledge in multiple ways (that’s what I meant by ‘functional areas’… like Alteryx in that PWC example…)… Multiple ways including showing potential customers how “great” they are at community management… dog-fooding!
We actually have an internal manager who runs our “UBC” program - Upwork Belonging Communities. Very much is an internal community manager. He helps set them up, host events, find leads, and they get involved throughout the company. I was pretty shocked when I joined to see just how big this is, it’s a huge part of our culture, and they’ve invested the time and effort into doing it truly right.
I’ll just copy/paste from our Dotcom site of what they are:
“ UBCs create spaces that center the professional needs and goals of all Upwork employees who identify as LGBTQIA+, Black, Hispanic/Latino/a/x/e, Pan-Asian, Veterans, women, caregivers and/orneurodiverse**.**
UBCs make it more possible for team members to find their unique fit within our One Upwork community without having to sacrifice meaningful aspects of their identities.”