As Bastille Day approaches, my village prepares to replicate the French passion for boules. Balls are polished, team tactics planned, and shots practiced as 132 teams battle it out on the High Street. My local community spend a very happy weekend together. Pastis optional.
Thinking about my neighbours and friends reminded me about the fabulous photos of the Grand Iftar celebration in Easton, Bristol. The local Muslim community invited people from across Bristol to join them to break bread. The scenes of people coming together were captivating. Likewise, the photos from St Paul’s Carnival earlier this month - a July tradition that came about when bringing together different communities that lived in the same area.
Local community is important. It can give people a sense of belonging, encouraging everyone to join-in, giving to and benefiting from a wider circle of people, families and friends. Communities are often loyal to one and other (despite the odd planning/parking/noisy party dispute) and are quick to step-up and help each other in times of trouble. Our communities host village fetes, street parties, beer festivals and book clubs. Locals come together to put the world to rights or watch the World Cup in their favourite pub. We are masters of raising funds through raffles, tombolas and cake sales, we offer up cups of tea at the drop of a hat, watch our children play out together, feed our neighbour’s cat and nothing unites a community like a rogue dog owner who fails to pick-up.
Communities have a defined sense of purpose, we feel part of something and we’re committed. We all benefit from its on-going success.
Is the same true of the workplace? Are employees more engaged and more productive when they have a defined purpose, feel like a valuable part of something bigger and have a sense of ownership? My own experience would certainly support that sentiment.
A successful team is rather like a successful community. Both require thoughtful, inclusive and inspiring leadership. Without that you’ve simply got a group of individuals.
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Skilling Gate Group Limited
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31-34 High Street
Bristol BS1 2AW