Pay The Cost of Tough Compromises
A potential client explained they would have to use a community platform neither of us liked because it was part of a CMS package they had just agreed to use.
Another noted their staff wouldn’t be allowed to participate in a community and they couldn’t let members talk about some of the most controversial product topics.
It’s incredibly tempting to agree to concessions like these to move a project forward. Often they’re presented as immovable facts which are impossible to change. But these are community-killing compromises. They will always come back to haunt you.
Organizations are far more flexible than they often admit. It’s down to you to do the hard work of building the relationships internally, putting together a clear (visual) case, and then standing your ground.
For sure, adapt the community’s goals, its concept, and many of the tactics to suit the organization’s objectives, its audience, and its resources. That’s the nature of collaboration. But never use a terrible platform, agree to topic-restrictions, or rules which are clearly going to hurt the community.