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Ann All asks in her last post Are Social Rewards Enough for Online Community Members?

She pings community leaders from Microsoft and Dell about it and they name the following reasons for participating in community:

 
  • Reputation
  • Influence
    – Opportunities for them to speak directly with product engineering
    – Early access to products Personal reasons
  • Connecting with peers
  • Helping others
  • High interest in the topic

All great reasons and I agree, direct money would bring in a dimension that isn’t beneficial for that dynamic. On the other hand nothing makes me happier than to help SAP Mentors succeed in their career and I take every chance I can get to open doors that lead to opportunities for them to put food on the table for their families. Thinking about the question over night, here is the biggest overlooked motivating factor: Working with highly motivated smart passionate professionals.   People who are:

  • Makers
    – Interested in tinkering, trying things out
    – Improving things
  • Love intellectual challenges
  • Want to succeed together
  • Help each other out
  • Like good friends tell us when we step out of bounds and help us to get it right

This is going way beyond connecting with peers and a reason I feel energized to go to work in the morning, as the SAP Mentor hearder I am dealing mostly with high motivated people smarter than me.

  SAP Enterprise Geeks / Mentors Ed Herrmann and Thomas Jung podcasting live from SAP TechEd 2009 Phoeenix

Check out this picture with Ed Hermann and Thomas Jung recording their Enterprise Geeks podcast life from the SAP TechEd networking lounge.   

Ed’s SAP Mentor highlight of 2009: This year the mentors transformed from a group of individuals to a team.  Since the inception of the program, I went from being proud of my individual accomplishment of being a mentor, to being honored and humbled to be part of a winning team.  As a remote worker, it is nice to be part of a virtual group of coworkers and friends.

More of the SAP Mentor 2009 highlights in these slides and webcast recording.  These highly motivated people are exceptional and unfortunately the exception in our corporations and day to day work.

To nurture an environment like the SAP Mentor initiative where these highly motivated smart passionate professionals come together, is an often overlooked factor that makes community collaboration and participation happen.

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    1. Mark Finnern Post author
      Thanks Susan,

      I needed that video. Made me smile after a long day out on the range 😉

      But I wouldn’t change it for anything, Mark.

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  1. Jon Reed
    Mark, funny you blogged on this article because I was just thinking, when I read that article, that they missed the motivation that drives me the most – being thrown into a room, virtual or otherwise, with a group of brilliant and interesting and passionate and yes, sometimes eccentric or out of their minds people, and being intellectually challenged by them and vice versa. I find that has been true of SAP in general and the Mentor initiative in particular.

    One thing, though, I don’t envy the person responsible for corralling us – oh yeah, that’s you! Ha, good luck! That cat herding commercial Susan posted is just about right.

    – Jon

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