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Reflecting on Online Community Building

For one of my clients, I'm developing an online community of practitioners working for a variety of nonprofit, government and for-profit entitities in New Jersey.

We wanted to treat the process of forming and nurturing this community as a learning project so we could share our "lessons learned" with others who are doing this kind of work. Our intent is to write an Issues Brief at the end of the project ot share with others.

A few days ago I ran across an excellent post from the Harvard Business Review, The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day. It suggests ending each day with three questions:

  • How did the day go? What successes did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do--differently or the same-tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback? 

Although intended for individual practice (and I may use them that way), these seemed like the perfect questions for continuous reflection on our project. I've now set up a Google doc that I've shared with other leaders on the team and we're recording our responses each day so that we'll have a record of our work and can also respond to what we're learning.

I'm seeing particular value in the third question-who did I interact with and what do I need to do?--for this project, as it's very much about nurturing relationships and forming connections. That question forces us to think each day about how we are connecting with people and what we need to do to keep those connections going.

I'll keep you posted on our progress, but wanted to share a little of the process, as I think these are great questions to apply to both projects and individual improvement.


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