Community is plural – Robert Safian (via “What I’ve Learned” in Fastcompany)

Community is plural. Culture is plural. Collaboration is plural. Purpose is plural. Talent is plural. Career is plural. Customer experience is plural.

No matter how much we would like to unite each of these in a single approach they remain as diverse as life, as diverse as the humans who come together to make each happen.

We love to simplify. The easiest simplification is an abstraction. From a stereotype to an 80:20 rule to a segment to an average, we lose something in the translation of a human activity into that abstraction. We lose its rich and diverse humanity. Remember this each time you would like people to fit in convenient boxes or to behave in predictable ways. They won’t.

Work with the overlaps and the alignments. Leverage the diversity to maximise engagement. Deaverage your numbers. Plan for options, opt-ins and opt-outs. Deliver richer outcomes by designing for a wider range of purpose and people. Most of all be open to be surprised. Accept the human diversity in people, customer and community.

We all know there is an economic benefit to simplification. Just make sure you are not missing an economic benefit of the diverse and the marginal. Your biggest threat is probably where you are not looking because you cannot see beyond the average.

Embrace the chaos. Embrace the plural. Your experience will be richer for it.

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