All over social networks people share links and opinions. Meet ups are held to enable more sharing face to face. Networks share information every day.
Sharing is happening more than ever but it is not enough. Sharing information is a critical part of the value maturity model. Sharing builds trust, deepens understanding and fosters connection. Sharing should be a sign the network is taking off.
You only take off if you have somewhere new to go. A lot of the networks sharing information never mature beyond a flurry of content marketing. Their links and messages are the same as every other network.
Shared Purpose and Collaborative Work
Any reason will bring you together to share information. Before people can work collaboratively they need some overlap of their personal purposes. They need to have some commonality of the change they want to make. Shared purpose takes the conversation deeper and creates incentives for action.
As obvious as it sounds, people won’t do collaborative work unless there is work to be done. In dispersed networks, don’t assume everyone can see the work opportunities. Mostly people will see the barriers to work.
The role of Change Agents in a network is to connect people around shared purpose and to help everyone to see the work to be done. The generative leadership of change agents will help lead people to new ways of interacting by solving real problems. If you don’t yet have change agents, community managers and other leaders will need to show the way.
Links, pictures, jokes and opinions are a good start but not enough. The purpose is in the work.