A community is never finished: allowing for community growth in a coworking space

At nido, one of my roles is to run our social media. I love interacting with people on twitter and facebook, and have made some truly lovely connections there. It can also be a source of inspiration and encouragement. Last week, I came across this gem:

@simonsinek : A community is a group of people who agree to grow together.

Wow. I immediately thought, yes, this is what I've been trying to say.

You see, nido is a work in progress. I tell this to everyone who tours, and I know our members know it's true. For some people, this really resonates with them and what they're looking for. For others, they want something more polished, more complete. And the truth is, nido probably isn't going to serve their needs. We depend on our members to give us feedback, to help us improve, to let us know when we're not doing our best, and yes, oftentimes to make the coffee. We need people who want to engage in this process with us.

I'm be the first to admit that even though I'd have it no other way, this can be a difficult role to manage. Our current economic system is mostly built on paying money for a service or a good. That's it. There's no interaction, there's no back and forth between the company and the customer.

At nido, our members are paying us for a service, and at the same time, we’re asking them to help us make that service better. Sometimes I’m afraid to ask too much - but then I remember, the better this service is, the more completely our members’ needs will be met. And the more we know exactly what our members’ needs are, the more clearly our mission comes into focus. We grew to serve our community, and that’s the only way we can continue to improve.

We call this process co-creation, and we're not even sure exactly what that means. Right now, it means checking in with our members and our teachers on a daily basis, holding community meetings every term, sending out anonymous surveys, and not making any major decision without consulting our community.

And now we're back to that word: community. A community is a group of people that agree to grow together. Perfect. This is what we are. We are a group of people who want to grow together not only as individuals, but also as a collective entity. We collaboratively establish our norms, and we incrementally move forward to our dream of work/life integration as a group, together, growing. So thank you, Simon Sinek for these thoughtful words. And thank you to our nido community, for your patience, gentleness, and willingness to grow.