Simon Terry

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Coach the Community to Create Value

We may have begun to move from an adoption conversation to a value conversation. However our hierarchical mindsets can still hold us back. A responsive organisation needs to shape how value arise from collaboration, not try to specify it top down.

Embrace Value

More and more organisations are focusing on how to create strategic business value in their organisation through the use of collaboration. They are seeing the value that can be created as a community journeys from Connection to Innovation. They recognise that adoption & use should reinforce the strategic goals of the organisation and is not an end in itself.

The Temptation to Specify

When an organisation identifies the way that it can create value in a community, our hierarchical tendencies begin to kick in. We start to specify how a community shall work to create value. This is how most organisation’s strategy planning processes usually work. We end up with a plan of what other people have to do. 

Some guidance can be useful at the beginning of a community’s life when people are sense making. However, too much instruction will become a constraint on the value creation if the goals of value creation remain externally imposed on the community.

The best value comes when a community can use its knowledge, capabilities and ideas to create value in new ways. That won’t happen if the community has specified usage cases and a limited focus on the value that it can create.

Coach the Community to Create the Own Value

A large part of the difference between management and leadership is the difference between direction and coaching. Responsive organisations demand leaders who can coach teams managing highly adaptive situations, rather than direct.

Organisations need to coach the members of their communities to create valuable new ways of working using collaboration:

  • Coaching begins by clarifying goals: How do you help your communities understand the alignment between organisations strategic goals and the goals of their own work? 
  • Coaching should enable action & experimentation: How do you help people to translate the opportunities that they can see into work that they can do alone or with the support of others?
  • Coaching should build capability: What skills do people need to manage this process for themselves? What barriers need to be cleared? How can they learn to create, deliver and coach themselves going forward?

The Value Maturity Model Collaboration Canvas is a coaching framework to help community leaders, champions and managers to shape the creation of value through collaboration. The tool asks members of the community to think through the questions that will enable them to create their own value. Spreading this coaching mindset through your organisation is the most powerful way to transform the value created by collaboration & communities. Spreading a coaching mindset through your organisation builds capability as it builds alignment and creates value.  Enabling people to coach themselves helps your organisation become more responsive. It is the only way that you will get the value you didn’t plan and to adapt to the challenges you did not forecast.


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