011 Community Building, Innovation Employee Engagement



Building networked communities has become much easier in the past few years, find out why and hear some best practices in this episode. Adam also discusses how to increase employee engagement and why it is so critical to technology innovation teams.




    • I will be attending the SCORRE Conference in May in Orlando FL, Ken Davis and Michael Hyatt host this conference to help attendees with communication skills.  You should join us.
    • Ray Edwards Course on creating an information products check out Ray’s blog and podcast here.
    • My ESN market research e-book is ready, waiting on Ray’s course for a little guidance.
    • My500Words Challenge, writing 500 words with Jeff Goins, check out his blog at goinswriter.com

Feature Segment – Building Communities

There are many types of communities in our lives; there are personal communities, there are friendships, there are social media connections and now there are social enterprise communities forming at work.


These communities need to be managed, they need stewardship, it is recommended that there be an actual position called Community Steward for new social networks.


5 responsibilities of an ESN Community Steward

    1. Content Creation (yourself and/or others should create content for new members to consume day one)
    2. Market/ sell the community and its value to potential community members.
    3. Educate Users on Technology, how to actually use the software.
    4. Educate on expectations/ ground rules, how should the network be used, what is appropriate content for posting.
    5. Obsolete yourself, make the community grow and produce content spontaneously, just like FB and twitter does currently.


With some ambition we can also create our own communities such as:

  • Mastermind groups for business
  • Church or non-profits networks for members to connect and get things done together.
  • Topical study groups, bible studies, women’s/ men’s groups.


We can create these personal communities to help people, to run our business and to grow our influence. These communities can be created using (or enhanced by) software such as FB Groups, Kona, Wishlist, Basecamp, Tibbr, Socialcast, and many others.  Be ambitious create a new community.


Social Layer Segment – Engagement in Tech Innovation Employee Teams


Employee behavior engagement (not to be confused with ESN community engagement mentioned above) has a large impact on employee productivity and on long-term employee retention.  This cultureamp.com article cites the top five engagement drivers.


Below I list three ways to increase employee engagement:


  1. Gently force employees to move around the company, to cross train, to acquire new skills if they are stagnant/ complacent and not growing.  However, make sure to allow people time to mature, this can be a long-term process, disengagement does not equal poor performance.
  2. Create two visions, one vision for the company growth (most get this right) another for employee growth.  This vision should not be in the unwritten rules, the rumor mills, or meaningless rhetoric from HR, this vision should be leaders speaking from the platform at a variety of levels with the same vision.
  3. Tear down cliques, popularity clubs by rewarding good behavior and good productivity regardless of identity politics.


Innovation teams in particular benefit from full engagement, and not only engagement from an elite few.

  • In R&D innovation teams, layers should not exist; it is wise to avoid having a scientist layer, an engineer layer, a technician layer, a union worker layer that do not mix well together.
  • Making cultural changes such as this can best be done at the top levels of leadership.
  • There are many low-level employees that may have amazing ideas and insights but won’t share them because they believe that they will not be given credit, they believe this because they are discouraged and disengaged.


Are there any communities that you would like to build or join?
Would you be interested in joining an innovation mastermind group?
Are you engaged in your current position?

Please comment below or email me directly at adam@colliersengineering.com


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