Since we passed the 300,000 members a few weeks ago ( welcome to all those newcomers !), I have been thinking about how we, as a growing community, need to act from a social responsibility perspective. Not from a corporate social responsibility perspective (like the forum in our community) ,but from a human perspective.
We would have to start with the basics of what type of community we currently are. If we think we are an information and collaboration hub ( which I think we currently are) you could draw parallels with how any of the world religions work in building community. The basic premise I think how community seems to work ( whether it is Islam, Christianity or any other Religion)
– Knowledge ( Know God/ Allah, etc ) – In our BPX world it would be to have eternal knowledge about the BPX skills and subsequent business processes.
– Community ( e.g. jesus and the 12 apostels, Mohammed and his Followers) ; Both of them were in many cases diplomats, philosophers, orators, reformer, etc. And in our BPX world you can think of the forum moderators, and the very active contributors and our SAP mentors
– Evangelization (ministry) is the closer community described above furthering the faith; in our case the BPX community faith. The key message here is that together you can be happier and stronger than alone. I recently read an article where they did a study that acknowledged that people who lived their lives very healthy but with no or few friends live less long than people who live unhealthy but with many firends. The key message from me is: Make many friends here in your community. Enjoy the path and not only the goal.
The big question then remains is what type of BPX faith would we have. And here where we can draw parallels with elements of any faith as well.
The first premise should be that everybody is welcome: Each one of us BPX members should instill a feeling that everybody indeed is welcome. We are not a private community. We are a place where people can get a home and feel at home for many reasons. We should not judge. It does not matter if you are from a partner of SAP, or a customer from SAP or even a competitior of SAP. Everyobody is different and we should all think about that we are. However we are here to help each other to know more and to learn more and to work together for the betterment of the Business Process World.
The second premise should be nobody is perfect: I know that in forums and blogs and wikis and other collaboration areas there will sometimes be conflict. We cater towards many people, with different skills and different cultures. This is a basis of conflict in itself. But the key here is to be able to provide forgiveness. Treat someone else like you would like to be treated as much as possible ( and I know this is hard one ). Perhaps in the light of easter and the light of social responsibility we should think of a yearly recurring ” compassion week or month ” Where we as a community go out and help each other and people in need ( both online and offline )
The third premise should probably be that anything is possible. We should not feel constrained by the collaboration technologies we offer on our community network and the boundaries we work in. ( Whether it is organizational or otherwise) This will allow our community not only to be a community of information, and collaboration but move towards a community of innovation and new ideas. The collective is so much smarter than the individuals summed up together. As well described by Marilyn Pratt in her blog thatSustainability Challenge- Collaboration Isn’t an Option, it’s a Requirement is a requirement and not an option inour business process world.
I would love to get your thoughts on this.. happy easter.