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It’s all about community

In the past week I’ve attended 2 great professional gatherings – the EMCC London Network & the ConnectingHR Unconference.

Although quite different in overall focus, both have challenged the conventions of most professional networks by following 4 simple principles :
  • Volunteer led
  • The community itself creates the agenda
  • The community networks to learn and develop
  • Inclusive regardless of professional affiliations or experience

What I’m struck by is the level & quality of engagement such principles creates :

  • Communities that welcome and support everyone involved.
  • Loads of really great content and ideas shared and discussed.
  • Great debate about real issues being experienced by business.
  • No grandstanding or ego.  No sales pitches.  No sponsors looking for a financial return.

Isn’t this what we all want from a professional network or conference?  Makes you wonder why we go to all the trouble and expense of some of the more expensive corporate conferences doesn’t it…

Perhaps putting community centre stage is more important to professional development than most organisations realise.  What do you think?


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