Whether you are a CEO, a manager leading a team to create change in an organisation, or a community leader, try thinking about these six approaches to make the most of your community’s potential to do good.

Just as machines have amplified our individual ability to create, the internet is enabling us to amplify our collective potential to create impact. I hear of many community leaders from CEOs to scout leaders wanting to make the most of social media and the internet to meet their goals. Here’s six ways that successful community leaders maximise their impact.

  1. Observe & set goals.

    Look for what behaviours you see in your community, figure out where you want to go, and define the positive behaviours you want to encourage – then figure out how to create the right support for people to exhibit those behaviours.

  2. Remove barriers.

    The best thing you can do to change your culture is to unshackle people from the organisational impediments to natural human endeavour. Look for what’s holding people back from doing what they want to do naturally.

  3. Have a growth mindset not a fixed mindset.

    You are not fixed – you can change. Recent behavioral psychology tells us that we are much more malleable than we originally thought. We don’t change because we rely on our internal storytelling process – we keep telling ourselves we can’t do something and so we don’t. The same is true of groups of people: the myths we tells ourselves propell or stifle us into the future.

  4. Look for your community’s challengers.

    Do you tend to think ‘we cannot do x because we have never done that?’ Or are you a challenger – do you think – that’s a great challenge, why not? Do you hear people in meetings embrace new ideas, or can you literally feel the tension when you suggest some something new?

  5. Encourage a culture of creativity.

    If you want change, you need new ideas and people behind them. How much does your community insist on ideas created from within (e.g. the company’s four walls, or even within individual departments)? Proctor and Gamble famously has a ‘proudly found elsewhere’ mantra which is personified in its Connect & Develop open innovation platform.

  6. Create opportunities for learning.

    A community will only flourish if its members feel they are thriving. It’s thought that we are most happy when we are in a state of flow – an idea discovered by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. This state of flow is something that we enter when we are being stretched in a healthy way by a task or activity. The flow zone is defined by that sweet spot between our capabilities and our goals – being pushed not so far that we feel we are failing, but just enough that we are growing. What would it mean if you were to create a platform or a culture for learning in your community?

Parting question: How will you enable your community to have their next transformational idea?