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Egos, Communities and Networks

From time to time, people have great, really new ideas that they also want to implement. You can start a business, but not every good idea is a business concept. That does not always fit.

That is why the community idea has flourished for several years. Communities or networks can be very effective in reaching a common goal with like-minded friends, business associates, colleagues, and even potential competitors. When everyone works together toward a goal, everyone has something of it. For such partnerships, one can sometimes put the thought of the competitive situation back.

But communities and networks have different rules than companies.

Everyone can and should protect his own business idea against the competition. If I involve several people, it will be a tightrope walk between trust and common sense. But it’s still “my” idea that I can implement as I imagine.

However, if someone passes on “his” idea to a community, ideally a creative process is created in which the idea is further developed and supplemented. Conversely, the idea generator also gets something back. His idea is growing and evolving. It is no longer his, it is now part of the community network. Therefore, it can not be implemented as the idea generator once intended. It is changed by the creative ideas of the community. The idea generator must let go of the idea that he still has control over the idea.

People who come from the corporate world or work as freelancers and small business owners and have not experienced the benefits of the communities themselves often try a difficult tightrope walk. They want to use the community, but also want to stay in control. So they experience people who embrace the idea as insidious copyists. This is justified if someone pretends that the idea of another member of the community is his own. But this usually does not happen. What often happens is that someone expands the idea with a new component and then immediately sets out to implement that variant. Maybe this person even has the much better means to successfully implement the original idea or a variant of it.

There are two possible reactions to this. One is to mourn the loss of control and blame the rest of the world or individuals for stealing, falsifying, or tearing the idea.

The second is to watch, astonished and relaxed, as the idea grows and is adopted by others. In an intact community, you get the investment back sometime because you constantly receive impulses. In an intact community, you are still involved in the implementation. But it may also be that the idea has changed so much that you can no longer use it yourself. It can happen. Anyone starting an initiative in a community should be able to let go. And the members of the community should appreciate each idea as a creative contribution. An intact community remembers the idea generator and respects its input. But she does not stop there.

Those who now unpack their own ego and try to regain control by marginalizing or even personally attacking the seemingly “unpleasant” contemporaries mutilate their own initiative. The beauty of working in communities is that you get more back than you invest. But not always and not always immediately.

In a community, there is no one who has the leadership or even could claim. A centralized management implies participants who have less to say. That destroys every network. In a community or network, people who invest in the community have an impact. They are the organizers and initiators who push everyone forward because they care about the concrete goal. If they can not reach it in this community, they will look for another or approach the topic differently. The influence in the community is thus defined by the quality of the contributions.

Ironically, in a community of coaches, I could just watch how a great idea with potential became something much smaller. Instead of allowing the idea to grow, the person who brought in the idea threatened a supposed competitor with a lawsuit. The community is divided, the communication is fragmented. All who have been repelled by the unsightly quarrel, have withdrawn in whole or in part. A smaller community of hard fans will continue to work on the original idea, celebrating every step as a victory over the alleged disturbers.

The weak point of networks is that development can be permanently disrupted by a single false-flagged initiative. Successful communities have some rules that are rarely explicitly stated. The most important: The giver should be grateful that he was allowed to give.