Tribes is Seth Godin’s newest book on leading communities. Tribes are communities of people with shared interests. One my favorite parts so far is the idea of improving tribes.
“. . . it takes only two things to turn a group of people into a tribe:
A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we’re trying to build
A connection between and among the leader and the tribe
Something to do – the fewer limits, the better
Too often organizations fail to do anything but the third.”
Seth is spot on here. Most organizations spend their time on the third, but with out as few limits as possible. Most formal tribes, or organizations like the companies we work for give the tribe plenty of things to do, and they come with plenty of limits. Traditional tribes are fraught with rules and limitations. The play not to lose, not to win.
Growth and shareholder value are the key drivers to business. Seth’s first two suggestions will bring more shareholder value and growth than over emphasizing the third. Employees or Tribes thrive in striving toward a vision. Their motivation comes from accomplishment and progress. Organizations need to do more of this. Also, tribe or organizational leaders need to engage with the tribe. They need to be connected with their organization. The traditional hierarchy not only divides organizations, it can cause tribes to splinter and competing agendas are created. Competing agendas will destroy a an organization in record time.
Achievement comes with leadership, not dictation. I think Seth got this part right. Only if more organizations/tribes could recognize this. They might achieve more of their goals.
Does your organization practice all three?