Things that kill community – Management loses interest

I’m very excited by the renewed interest in building customer communities online. My biggest concern is that businesses are NOT thinking through how to make their investments in, and engagements with, their communities sustainable.

One of the biggest “killers” of community initiatives that I have seen is when a regime change comes in senior management, and the new team is not interested in continuing community-building efforts.

I’d love to hear from any of you about war stories that you have for an article I’m working on for the OC Report.

Bill Johnston - Founder, Structure3C. Former Head of Community at Dell & Autodesk. Mobile: (415) 233-6914 Twitter: @billjohnston LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billj In a sentence: Seasoned online community and social media executive and advisor with over 15 years experience developing large scale online communities, social media initiatives and successful online product strategies.
1 comment
  1. Two stories I had from the people directly involved, one I lived myself:

    – Large Spanish bank, product of several mergers. Had a sort of community effort (very bad online support) for lessons learned and problem solving. As management progressively changed, the people and the initiative were culled out; it was last heard of while the bank was moving headquarters to a new campus. That was when I talked with the manager.

    – Large energy Spanish company. Had an exemplary set of CoPs, with full online and offline range of activities and good integration in the business. Management changed. They then killed the unit that ran the communities and shunted it into a lower-profile one. Later, the new management launched a new KM effort that is (surprisingly) heading toward classifying explicit content, and away from communities, which are languishing.

    – A large Spanish subsidiary of an IT integrator. Launched a CoP-based KM pilot programme. Identified communities, started work on supporting and integratingt them, building teams and tools. Then the project director was shunted into leading a “non-internal, paying project” and the pilot stopped for the duration. Then the CEO changed and the whole scheme was shelved.

    Can’t publish much more detail on any of them, as you can imagine.

    Best regards,

    Miguel

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