I have been thinking about that definition and would make a small addendum to the meaning of the term that, in my opinion, ends up completing the definition of the word Community: in addition to interests, Communities also share principles and values.
The Community at Santex
Who makes up the Community? What is a software company made of?
Santex’s main objective is to “create Community” and it is under that premise that we go about our daily activities; Generating community is at the very heart of the organization, and consequently it is manifested in every action we take.
At first, I considered the Community at Santex to be made up of current and former employees, clients, suppliers, and the families of each of these parties.
But there was a moment that, personally, made me rethink the conceptions I had about the community.
It made me reconsider which people make up the Community and I wondered what happens to the other groups that do not “fit” this definition. But what about someone who is not on the list above, someone who is not a current or former employee, client, supplier, or family member of any of these “groups”? Could they be part of the Santex Community, if they are not, and have never been, part of one of these groups?
The "Aha!" Moment
We presented the candidate to the client, but unfortunately, they decided not to go forward with the project due to internal issues, so we could not confirm a start date. The candidate, understandably, could not hand in his notice at his job at the time without this confirmation.
Two months went by, and during that time the candidate kept in touch via WhatsApp to see if there was any progress regarding the decision. He really wanted to work at Santex and that desire led him to communicate with us on Saturdays and sometimes even on Sundays. I always thought that this contact was to demonstrate his interest in the opportunity, and that this was why he continued to wait.
I didn’t mind answering messages on Saturdays or Sundays, since we had a common interest- I also wanted that person on the project. During that time, the candidate received other approaches aside from Santex, and as we all know, if you don’t accept those offers, another person will. The project was still unconfirmed and through a WhatsApp message, he told me that he had decided to accept “another” opportunity, and asked to speak to me on the phone.
When we spoke, far from being annoyed, I thanked them for his patience – which I understood had been a lot – and for having contacted me to inform me of his decision.
The Santex Community has a new member
So far, if the story had ended there it would have been, perhaps, similar to many other stories in other companies- but it did not end there. The relationship with the candidate was maintained, he kept writing to me and sending other candidates that he considered “ideal” to fill the position that they could no longer take, in case the client ever decided to move forward with the project.
Where is the Santex community?
This experience led me to realize that, when thinking about who is part of our Community, we cannot stop at those “anonymous strangers”, who after connecting with us and forging a relationship are no longer anonymous, and are with us without necessarily fitting what the definition of presence requires us to be.
And I know it because I lived it: Community is created even when we don’t realize we are doing it.
About the Author
José Meyer is a talented Project Manager and very experienced in working with teams of diverse sizes and backgrounds. He has excellent planning and communication skills, and specializes in Agile Methodologies. José is a strong leader with a great work ethic.