The Community Runway
Planes don’t magically jump upwards in the air (usually).
They build momentum, raise the nose to a 5-degree pitch, and gradually take flight.
The runway matters as much as the plane.
If the runway is too short or too bumpy, the flight will end in failure.
The same is true for launching a community. It’s tempting to focus on the features of the plane and ignore the runway.
This is your runway of resources, support, and expectations. Is your runway long enough for the community you’re trying to build? The bigger your vision, the longer the runway needs to be.
If your colleagues don’t share the same goals, requirements, and approach to community, with the same understanding and passion as you, you’re going to have a bumpy journey.
If your colleagues don’t have the same expectations of the community’s journey as you do, you’re not going to achieve results fast enough for them to stay supportive.
It’s very common to communicate too little with your senior colleagues when building a community, it’s far more difficult to communicate too frequently.
In almost every project we’ve worked on, the community team needs to double the amount of time they spend lengthening and smoothing the runway.