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Trust, Boundaries, and Community Value September 16, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Community, Knowledge Management.
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The value of a community.  A real community that openly shares with each other.  A community where you get to know what works well and what is not so good…  That kind of community where truth is shared will always have defined boundaries and deep trust between members.  Let’s explore both concepts briefly.


Boundaries offer a community an essential focus.  It’s not as if everything is to be discussed here.  The things we will share will in high probability be focused within the boundaries.  That just makes it easier to think about what you want to share in that channel and everybody that attends that community will tend to have some common expectations.  Those common expectations will more likely be satisfied by the shared dialog creating a community experience that is satisfying to the members.


It’s difficult to share truth without trust.  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas speaks to a larger principal of professional trust.  If I put myself at risk and share some information that makes me vulnerable, that is trust.  The sort of trust that in animals would be akin to exposing my soft furry belly to you for a quick rub.  While I don’t typically expose my belly to my collegues, the verbal exchange offers a similar level of risk exposure when I initiate the trust relationship.  The initiation of the trust relationship by exposing your weaknesses and failings offers a channel for more open communications.  A dialog based on trust.  A community with trust has conversations of value.