Community and Crowd (C&C) is the second Attribute in the SCALE acronym. In Chapter 3 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem.
Side Note: You may be wondering why the ExO Ecosystem is making so much of the tools open source and available and this is because we all want to share this knowledge in line with out MTP’s which all revolve around making a massive impact on the planet and this will only be possible in an open and collaborative manner.
I believe that Community and Crowd is a fundamental attribute and do not believe that you can actually be an ExO if you do not leverage this attribute as part of your organisation. As the diagram above shows, the community is everyone in the inner circles of core team, users, fans, partners, etc. and then the crowd is everyone else. You have to engage both and move people from crowd to community. C&C is important as it increases loyalty; drives exponential growth; validates new ideas and learning; allows for agility and rapid implementation and amplifies ideation.
With regards to a community to can initially join a community and then grow out your own or start with your own. When joining another community it is vital that you are adding value to that community. In Exponential Organizations they outline three steps to building a community:
- Use your MTP to attract and engage early members
- Nurture the community
- Create a platform to automate peer-to-peer engagement
I would add a fourth step which is to make data driven decisions from what the community is sharing. The community needs to benefit all and make a difference, so being able to take the ideas and discussions from the community and implement action in a data driven way is essential.
The crowd is consists of people outside of the core and is much larger than the community. The crowd can be used in creativity and innovation, validation as well as for funding.
How do you believe you can use the power of the Crowd?
In order to build and run an exponential organisation, Salim Ismail, author of Exponential Organisations, suggests that a company must have an MTP and at least 4 of the 11 attributes depicted in the diagram above. In order to determine whether you can consider yourself exponential they developed an exponential quotient and a test to determine your exponential quotient. You can take the test here. Once you have completed the test share your results so that we can improve the score and celebrate the road to exponential.
The one non negotiable of an Exponential Organisation is an MTP. This is a Massive Transformative Purpose. People have called this a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) or a company Vision and Mission. It is vital to understand that whatever you call it the Purpose of the organisation must be something that is massive and transformative and all the values of the organisation and the goals must work towards achieving it. This is not a nice to have slogan on the wall. This is what the organisation must live by. Some Examples of MTP’s are:
- SpaceX: “Humans must become a multi-planetary species”
- TED: “Ideas worth spreading.”
- X Prize Foundation: “Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
- Google: “Organize the world’s information.”
Once you have developed your MTP the next step in being exponential is to understand the internal and external Characteristics that make an organisation exponential. The internal characteristics are Interfaces, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy and Social. The acronym used is IDEAS. The external attributes are Staff on demand, Community and crowd, Algorithms, Leveraged assets and Engagement. The acronym used is SCALE. The tables below summarise these attributes.
|IDEAS – The Internal Characteristics of ExO’s
||What is it?
||Provide the bridge between external activities and internal control frameworks, e.g. platforms, user interfaces, API’s
||•Filter external abundance into internal value
•Link external growth drivers to internal stabilizing factors
•Automation allows scalability
||Metrics to measure, real time and meaningful
||•Track critical growth drivers in real time
•Objective-Key Results (OKR) as management framework
•Minimise errors by short feedback loops
|•Real time metrics
•Cultural acceptance by employees
||Lean startup methods of testing assumptions and consistently experimenting with controlled risks
||•Keeps processes aligned with rapidly changing externalities
•Maximised value capture
•Faster time to market (Minimal Viable Product)
•Risk taking provides an edge and faster learning
|•Measurement and tracking of experiments
||New “empowered” or team based organisational forms
•More accountability at customer face
•Faster reactions and learning times
•Self starting employees
||Create horizontal interactions in vertical organised businesses
•Faster decision cycles
•Cloud social tools
|SCALE – The External Characteristics of ExO’s
||What is it?
|Staff on Demand
||More part time, specialised,
mission based staff
|•Best skills for the job
•Learning of core team
•Stronger bonds in core team
|•Capability to hire services on demand
•Clear task specifications
|Community & Crowd
||Harness the power of the community and crowd by engaging with them through whatever means
•Enable exponential growth
•Validate new ideas and learn
•Agility & rapid implementation
•Create new ideas
•Easy to participate for outsiders
•Peer to peer capabilities
||Use data and automate decisions or reduce human biases while making decisions
||•Scalability of products and services
•Leverage connected devices/ sensors
•Lower error rate & stabilize
•Easy to update
|•Machine or deep learning
||Use assets, do not own them unless they are scarce
||•Scalability of products and services
•Lower marginal costs of supply
•Removes having to manage assets
|•Easy available assets
||Engage community and crowd
•Converts crowd to community
•Play & Learn
•Digital feedback loop to customers
•Clearness & fairness
How Exponential is your company and what is your MTP?