1st Edition

Building Dynamic Business Communities How to Create an Evergreen Client Ecosystem

By Alan Weiss Copyright 2024
    104 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Alan Weiss has built global and local communities of clients, prospects, and stakeholders over the last three decades and, in so doing, has taught others how to create their own. These communities provide business growth through evangelism and the value of connection in what has become an increasingly lonely and isolating world. (Social media do not create intimacy but rather mistrust.) Thus, marketing and business growth accelerate with little or no cost of acquisition. Weiss cites the social proof of various communities in all sectors and the literature created by social scientists and marketing experts. Such communities are “live,” and remote, and combinations of both. And while these communities make the best use of modern technology, Weiss examines the historical and ancient roots of communities and how they exponentially created far greater growth than the statistics would otherwise justify. The irony is that most organizations (and entrepreneurs) have the raw materials to build dynamic communities but don’t understand how to create and sustain them. 

    This book remedies that. The author notes that a huge number of people remain isolated and lonely post-pandemic because that event has significantly altered how we work and relate (or don’t relate). Communities embrace people (and find out the profound difference the author emphasizes between “tribes” and communities) and create value in connection, attributed to the community founder and leader. Viral marketing ensues at a tremendous rate, effectively continuing 24/7/365. This book, from one of the most recognized, highly regarded, frequently published consultants in the world, enables the reader to use a dozen carefully detailed, pragmatic steps to organize, publicize, and create instant value to gain critical mass for community growth and perpetuation, and he includes his seminal approach to “The chain reaction of attraction”®.

    Foreword

    Acknowledgements

    About the Author

    Introduction

     

    Part 1: Community Origins and Strengths

     

    1.     The Nature of the Modern Socio-Business Community

                Kindred and unkindred spirits

                The power of peer-level referral

                The myth of competitive threat

                Self-check and social proof

    Premise: In the increasingly virtual, separate, and isolated post-pandemic world there is a growing need for socialization and informal business exchange. People are “zoomed out” and have become “zoom potatoes.” This vacuum can be filled with huge benefit to everyone, most especially the “community organizer.”

     

    2.     The Reality of Committees and the Fallacy of Teams

                The definitions tell the story

                Evaluating your own reality

                Involvement vs. entanglement

                Why we lie to ourselves about collaboration

    Premise: Teams share freely because all members win or lose together, hence, we’re all motivated to share. But this is rarely the case. We actually work in committees, where some of us win, some of us don’t win. Community can even that out and improve an otherwise sick dynamic.

    3.     The Inordinate Power of Connectivity

                None of you would know each other without me

                St. Paul was the first viral marketer

    The post-pandemic blues

                Accruing value while you eat, sleep, travel, and make merry

    Premise: There’s nothing new about networking and making introductions, but there’s a great deal new in formalizing those dynamics and turning it into a unique value.

     

    Part Two: Creating A Community

     

    4.     The Seven Essential Steps of Community Building

    -      A common experience

    -      Improved conditions for members

    -      Challenges and enjoyment for members

    -      Introductions to others in a support system

    -      Resolutions for chronic and temporary problems

    -      The empirical evidence for an improved future

    -      Salutary experiences (places, debates, learning)

    Premise: I’ve been able to codify this so that people learn it in person, virtually, and even independently. It’s a process that can readily be mastered and applied. That’s rare for “self-help.” You may have already completed some of these steps, deliberately or accidentally. But even if you’ve done none of them, this sequence will enable you to formally create a community in as little as 90 days.

     

    5.     The Keys to A Successful Launch

    -      Who are your ideal members?

    -      What “body of work” is your foundation?

    -      How will you stimulate involvement?

    -      Global recognition (how will you achieve this?)

    -      Benevolent dictator (how will you potion yourself?)

    -      Continual generation of new value and IP (how will you provide?)

    -      Intellectual “presence” (how will you demonstrate?)

    -      Enforcer of rules (what will be your criteria?)

    -      Timing

    Premise: We will talk now about overcoming inertia and beginning your community. Some people have accomplished this in weeks, not months, some never, and some only had to be made aware that one already exists! Follow this sequence to maximize your chances of success.

     

     

    6.     The Three Key Steps of Community Sustainability

                Evangelical in nature

                Accelerant curve potential

                Diversity in all forms

               

    Premise: The ecosystem is self-perpetuating when it continues to bring in new energy, new interests, and new abilities. One moves from “chief of surgery” to the CEO and hospital administrator by comparison.

     

     

    Part Three: Specialized Applications and the Future

     

    7. Specialized Communities

                Nonprofits

                Education

                Healthcare

    Premise: I’ve built these cross-functionally and among different markets, but also within markets. This is a specialty chapter for those wanting to build community in vertical markets and specialty areas.

     

    8. The Future of Community Building

                Leveraging the tumult of the times

                Agility and resilience to bounce forward

                Maximizing value to maximize profits

                Build it, tell them you’ve built it, and they will come

    Premise: The best and most fruitful communities are those that change with the times and even anticipate the times. They create disruption and turmoil. Their members are thought leaders and icons.

     

    Epilogue: The Game Plan

     

    A summary of the plans and inputs you’ve made throughout the book.

     

     

    Endnotes

    Biography

    Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations.

    He has served on the boards of directors of the Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-Award-winning New England regional theater, chaired the Newport International Film Festival, and been president of the board of directors of Festival Ballet Providence. His speaking typically includes 20 keynotes a year at major conferences, and he has been a visiting faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, Boston College, Tufts, St. John’s, the University of Illinois, the Institute of Management Studies, and the University of Georgia Graduate School of Business. He has held an appointment as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rhode Island where he taught courses on advanced management and consulting skills to MBA and PhD candidates.

    He once held the record for selling out the highest-priced workshop (on entrepreneurialism) in the then-21-year history of New York City’s Learning Annex. His Ph.D. is in psychology. He has served on the Board of Governors of Harvard University’s Center for Mental Health and the Media. He is an inductee into the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame® and the concurrent recipient of the National Speakers Association Council of Peers Award of Excellence, representing the top 1% of professional speakers worldwide. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, one of only two people in history holding both those designations.

    His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 31st year and sixth edition. His newest is Sentient Strategy (Routledge, 2023). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

    His career has taken him to 60 countries and 49 states. (He is afraid to go to North Dakota.) Success Magazine cited him in an editorial devoted to his work as “a worldwide expert in executive education.” The New York Post called him “one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America.” He is the winner of the prestigious Axiem Award for Excellence in Audio Presentation. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Press Institute, the first-ever for a non-journalist, and one of only seven awarded in the 65-year history of the association. He holds an annual Thought Leadership Conference which draws world-famous experts as speakers.

    He has coached former candidates for Miss Rhode Island/Miss America in interviewing skills. He once appeared on the popular American TV game show Jeopardy, where he lost badly in the first round to a dancing waiter from Iowa. Alan is married to the lovely Maria for 54 years, and they have two children and three granddaughters. They reside in East Greenwich, RI with their dogs, Coco and Royce, a white German Shepherd.