We’ve worked in our fair share of communities over the past 30 years and often think about the code of conducts or community rule we’d apply if we were designing our own developments. Turns out it isn’t that difficult, because it’s the very same rule that informs how we work every day.
1. We’re stronger together
It may be a cliché, but together each achieves more. That’s where the synergy happens. That’s where the magic happens. And in big and small ways, that’s where community grows.
2. Love your neighbour
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. It may be your battle as well, or you may have the strength to carry them awhile. Tread carefully, live generously, love through the mess.
3. Kind people are our kind of people
Be kind. Always. Take a breath, remember this truth, and walk on – together.
4. Always keep bringing people to the table
Keep building bridges. Keep making connections. Keep bringing people together. Magic happens when people discover what’s possible at the table.
5. Be consistent and persistent
Consistency and process over time builds trust. Fruit doesn’t grow on trees overnight, but the patient gardener reaps a great harvest. It’s never the wrong thing to do the right thing.
6. If you’re doing it on your own, you’re wrong
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: One is too small a number to achieve greatness. Collaborate or wither! When it comes to growing and building community, there’s no lone rangers – it’s all about collaboration.
7. It’s not what you do but how you do it
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And they’re more likely to join the movement based on the warmness of the invitation and how safe the space was rather than what was happening – as important as that is.
8. Be big and small
Grow the ability to pull off the big hairy audacious goals of community while staying nimble enough to swivel on a dime. Never lose touch with the heart and the heartbeat of your community.
9. Find the intersections of living and add life to them
It’s in the nexus of interests and activity that we uncover opportunities that can change places and communities for the better. Don’t try and pull people from the spaces where they already intersect – go there.
10. Embed your own obsolescence
Being a creator of community spaces is only genuinely effective when you embed a strategy for your own obsolescence. If you’re still the one making everything happen a decade down the track, you’ve missed all the moments along the way to transfer ownership of something that never belonged to you in the first place.