The power of a (business) community in a crisis

During this time, both business leaders and their workers can benefit immensely from a community of experts and peers. To offer advice, their experiences, and the motivation to keep going and survive.

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For business leaders, you often have to make hard decisions quickly, pivoting your operations and responding to the market and other external influences. This is particularly apparent in the current climate, with the coronavirus pandemic and associated global shutdown causing widespread disruption and uncertainty. During this time, both business leaders and their workers can benefit immensely from a community of experts and peers. To offer advice, their experiences, and the motivation to keep going and survive. 

Communities create opportunity
Communities are brilliant sources of information but this is ramped-up when going through tough times. They are vital during challenging times as they maintain connections, provide confidence, and offer a different perspective from current affairs that may skew towards the negative. A lot of business is still based on relationships, trust and goodwill. So, in times of crisis, by cultivating these things and remaining true to your values (doing the right thing by your customers, suppliers, partners and employees), you strengthen your position. People will remember you for the right reasons and this can lead to opportunity once a crisis passes.

Making quick decisions
Speed is of the essence in a crisis, but you can be hindered by a lack of confidence to make those quick, bold decisions that ensure survival. A community of peers backing you and offering advice will give you the confidence to take those necessary steps. Alternatively, they may provide fresh insights, helping you keep on top of rapidly changing situations, or warn you against a course of action. In a crisis, having a team of people who can mentor and guide you can make all the difference in bouncing back. 

Building social connections
Then there’s the social aspect to consider - especially given our current social distancing measures. Often, leading a business can be an isolating affair. This is exacerbated in quarantine conditions. Indeed, humans are hardwired to seek out communities during crisis periods for comfort and reassurance. Being isolated has far-reaching effects on our physical and mental health. Although we need physical face-to-face contact under normal circumstances, this is currently impossible and, therefore, a virtual community can offer a decent alternative. 

Plus, once the current shutdown passes, virtual communities can augment in-person meetings by providing digital spaces for people to meet and share their thoughts and experiences. Without being limited by their location, social restrictions, or other factors. They can add value to events, by extending discussions and learnings beyond event day itself, and they can foster expert-driven communities in specialisms that increase industry standards and knowledge.

Communities in action
We’re already seeing a lot of this in action, as people unite together on social media platforms and local sites like Nextdoor. For business leaders, however, there is a lack of formality that can be off-putting when using social media or public forums (not to mention security concerns). That’s where ‘safe spaces’ like Guild are useful, with GDPR-secure, dedicated business messaging, or Zapnito for enterprise communities and network building. 

For example, Winmark global just announced plans to build a C-Suite community with Zapnito. This will enable executives from all over the globe to learn from their peers and engage in discussions that are transforming their business environment.

Mutual support
It’s been rather heartwarming to see how people have come together in our current crisis, to help with all aspects of life. From picking up groceries to creating hand sanitiser, ventilators and PPE. We are united against a common global enemy and helping each other through it. Because that’s the only way to get through a crisis, by combining efforts, sharing knowledge and being there for each other in your community.

Go to the profile of Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

CEO & Founder, Guild

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