Several months ago, we realized that at Commsor, Community had become what we actively advise against — a siloed pillar within our business. We’d been so focused on keeping our community brand agnostic, it had become the proverbial island of our organization.
We knew we needed to change that — but how? We realized community had to become a horizontal arm of Commsor, something that touched — and yet was not beholden to — every other department. Instead of asking ourselves how to structure a Community team, we asked: ‘How do we embed community in the teams we already have?’
Enter: our Head of Community-Led.
The role, inspired by GitLab’s Head of Remote, is an untethered leadership role, one that doesn’t ladder up to another department, but rather, is embedded within every single one.
Fortunately, we already counted the obvious choice to take up the mantle among our number: our former VP of Services, Erik Martin.
Erik is an industry pioneer. You only have to take a look at his brilliantly written Community Careers Guide to know that he’s an avid historian and is fascinated by where the industry has been. But he's also fascinated by where the industry is going, and he'll undoubtedly be a part of leading the charge there — helping us figure it out without losing sight of where it's been.
He's also a great person and an incredible leader. He's got 1,000 ideas for projects to kick into action and was part of designing the role himself. Along with heading up our Community team, Erik’s new responsibilities will include:
“I’m super biased, but I sincerely believe that community and Community-Led thinking can impact every single person and part of an organization,” Erik says. “There’s no perfect organizational design, but especially when trying to implement something so new, it makes sense to set up the structure in a novel way.
“What we’re trying to do with this specific approach is envision our community expertise and work as more of a porous grain pipeline than a static silo. We’re going to try and add community layers to all the parts of the organization.”
We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re also not starting from scratch. We’ve already brought our Community-Led thinking to Sales, hiring Community Development Representatives on our Sales team who focus on building relationships and providing value to prospects.
Our People team will soon help new hires join a Community of Practice in their specialism when they start at Commsor. We want to embed it into the onboarding process so that new team members can find a CoP that helps them grow in their roles and provides a community of their peers. As a first step, we’ve built out a Community of Practice Directory featuring more than 130 CoPs across industries.
On the horizon is a new way to run our Creator Guild Program. Our Marketing, Education, and Community teams work with brilliant community professionals, and we’re thinking of ways we can build stronger relationships with them while elevating them in the community industry and beyond.
What does this mean for our community of community professionals? The Community Club is one of our proudest achievements, and it will continue to be a place where the brightest minds in our industry can connect, learn, and grow. Erik has written a little more about that in our latest newsletter, for folks who might be interested in more.
This new role is one of many changes we’re making at Commsor to further our goal of becoming fully Community-Led. I’ve written a little more about that in this blog post, but be sure to watch this space for more. We’re excited to share the results of these Community-Led experiments and hopefully give you things you can use in your own organizations.