How to build a Creative Community. Starting your Culture.
Who’s ready to built a creative community and start a culture? What will you do with your community? Where will you lead them? What will you do with your culture, leading and directing the Zeitgeist of your people? What transformation will you seek to serve them with? What will their journey of transformation look like?
Start with the Who. Who will you seek to serve?
Our communities start with our Who: who are we looking to serve? All business and entrepreneurship starts this way. It pays to think this through because it can be hard to pivot and steer messaging and marketing toward a new market after you’ve begun and have momentum. We want people with the ability and willingness to engage. Good start. We want people who will see and value what we offer nearly immediately. Yes. We want people to eventually be so happy with us, who we are, what we stand for, and the transformation we offer that they will sell on our behalf. Perfect. Of course. This is all great. Pychographics or what people believe and what they’re into are more important as demographics. We’ll use both. But we’re really trying to only attract our people and repel those who don’t agree with our messaging.
Polarize. It is OK to polarize people. There will be people who will never buy from you. Be OK with that! There are people out there that you will never buy from! You’re OK with that. Yeah? Your job is to find your people, to build your tribe, to create and nurture and lead your community. You best do this by telling people what you stand for and what you stand against. You tell people your core values — what you believe. Then, you attract or repel people based upon these values.
Study the great community creators you admire.
Look at Marc Benioff. Marc founded Salesforce about 20 years ago with friends. Marc is known as an exceptional pitchman. You should follow him and learn from him. Anyway, at the beginning of any big talk Marc gives — and he gives a lot of them as the CEO of a public company — he always starts with Salesforce’s values, what the company stands for. He starts with the values because the values guide and drive everything the company does. Companies don’t act as companies. Companies act as people act. It isn’t companies doing bad things. It is people inside of companies doing bad or good things. And btw: it is very easy for people inside companies to steer themselves and thus the company astray, even unconsciously or with the best intentions. Marc talks about this in his books.
What’s the point of all this stuff about Salesforce’s Values? I mean, who cares?
The point is that by telling people the company’s values all the time, always reminding the audience what Salesforce stands for and what its people value, Marc attracts more of the kind of people Salesforce wants to attract and repels those who don’t align with the company’s values. This goes for future customers, too. Salesforce does not want just anybody to be a customer. No. Nor should you. You want to be picky about who your customer is. Aim high.
You are always solving problems. Always.
You’re always solving problems. Every day. Including the weekends. You never stop solving problems. Problems arise every day, multiple times per day. There are always new ones to contend with. Your customers’ got problems, too. What will you do about those? Which of those will you seek to solve? You’ll need to be picky about those, too, because not all customers’ problems are created equally. Some are high value problems; others are low value problems. Which is it? Which ones will you serve your customer best by helping to solve? What answers do you have for your prospects and customers?
Tech tools that power your community.
One thing super cool about today is we can readily build our community and culture through tech tools. Software apps that power social, the Interwebs, that power Us and our companies, are alive and abundant and inexpensive. There has never been a better time to be a professional in the workforce creating useful things for your people. Our creations are only limited by our imaginations and our will to get them done. Once they’re done, our sharing options are nearly unlimited, too. It’s rather impressive how we can be everywhere, here — now. Any of us. With relative ease. It is not a matter of if you do, but whether you do. Time is getting easier to capture. This is where we are right now.
Employing Creativity in problem solving.
Think about the most creative problem solvers you know. What do they do? How do they do it? Do they just pull answers directly from thin air? Do they make things from scratch? Are they rather prolific in their outputs for people? Can they create and serve cross-function, able to not only solve their division’s problems, but the problems of other divisions? How do they do that!? Amazing.
What can you glean from them? What can you learn from them and their processes? While some may mistake them as genius, what’s really happening here is they’re attacking the problem from multiple angles and viewpoints, not just one.
Most people only attack problems from their own perspective, their own worldview, and therefore simply cannot see the problem from another perspective. They are effectively blind to its resolution.
Enter the creative coach and consultant.
This is typically where coaches and consultants shine because of their experience dealing with lots of different people in various industries. They can borrow from one industry and apply to another industry with the good chance the solution will work for the problem at hand. Note that there is nothing wrong with trying and experimenting. Shoot, sometimes that is all you got if nothing like this has ever been done before. We try. We try. We try again.
Elon Musk had 4 chances to successfully get his rocket to orbit. Luckily for us all, he and the team nailed it on the 3rd one. Sometimes, it takes 12 tries. Try to never only limit yourself to one, to one idea to solve the problem. A great consultant has lots of tricks up his sleeve if he’s seen a lot of stuff and helped solve a lot of problems. Every org could benefit from a creative coach and consultant.
But what if you’re new? Sure, Jeff, I’m not Marc Benioff with billions of dollars in sales revenues, with a War Chest of cash and 10,000 employees to help me run the thing! Now, what do I do!?!
It’s simple: be simple. Accept simple and begin. Help one person solve one problem. Just go help somebody who needs clarity in your area of expertise.
Start. Start something simple and small that matters. Matter to five people, include your mom if she’s one of your five. Your mom will cheer for you. All creative movements begin small. Yet as we say in inner marketing circles, small hinges swing big doors. It is the small things that allow the big things to happen. Big things don’t just happen. They require tools, systems and people to run them.
Promote how you help people. Promote transformation.
Take out your MacBook Pro and start creating and sharing on it. No need to promote yourself yet. Promote the problems you solve for people. Promote how you help people. Give away valuable ideas for free. Teach what you know! Get comfortable being on camera, which means shoot video all the time. Like, every day all the time shoot video. Get more comfortable with yourself because the more comfortable and confident you are with yourself, the more comfortable you will be in helping others.
The only way to get there is to do it again and again and again and again and again and again and again — just like public speaking. Painful and 100% worth it. 💯 If you really want to be an Exceptional Mensch and cut your learning time by 80%, go live on The Facebooks every day. That’ll settle out any anxieties real quick a like. You’ll get over yourself fast this way.