Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Business is about community

Patti, a blogger friend of mine, was diagnosed with breast cancer and just completed her treatment. She lives in Denmark and works remotely as part of a global team.

Recently she blogged about the supportiveness of her team mates, who took on some of her work and sent her regular supportive messages, cards and gifts. Here is what she said:

'I am thankful for my co-workers. Every few weeks over the past year, a new card would arrive from the states with little notes from all of them. They have covered whatever work was mine whenever I wasn't able, and have been supportive and understanding through it all."

Patti's team is more than just a group of people working together - it's a community.

There's plenty of noise
out there about social media and its implications for business but what we are really saying when we boil the message down to one simple sentence is this:

Business is about community.

According to Wikipedia, there are four elements of "sense of community": 1) membership, 2) influence, 3) integration and fulfillment of needs, and 4) shared emotional connection.

Wouldn't it be great if that were also the defintion of 'business', instead of, '...a legally recognized organization ... formed to earn profit that will increase the wealth of its owners and grow the business itself'?

Stories like Patti's remind us that the two definitions don't have to be mutually exclusive, and how nice it is when they aren't.

And let us not forget Meg's butt cake, another fine example of community in action.


  1. I have chills. That is lovely. THank you for sharing xoxo


  2. I love it! And not just because you mention Meg's butt ...
    I love the new definition of business: 1) membership, 2) influence, 3) integration and fulfillment of needs, and 4) shared emotional connection.

    Sounds a lot like engagement to me!

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Laura.


  3. Well I am definitely honored (and thankful) to be included in your blog!

    The people I have the pleasure of working with are definitely a community. We are friends beyond the workplace and it makes a huge difference in our daily work lives.

  4. I hope she recovers from this. I also have a friend who is a BC survivor along with my sis-in-law. I wish her best!

  5. I have to share this with you...

    This is what my co-workers did to our boss when he took vacation too close to the holidays!


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