Guest Post:
Building A Powerful Community

Neil Falconer from Print future

We live in unprecedented times; the shifting sands of change rumble beneath our feet, and we are all just trying to catch our balance. As individuals, this is very disturbing as life becomes increasingly uncertain and challenging. Plotting a new course through this turbulence on your own can be daunting; that’s why coming together in a community with a common cause is a powerful force.

There is no power for change more significant than a community discovering that it has a common goal and focuses on what it cares about. When everyone in a community considers themselves an owner, an investor, and a contributor, the magical ingredients are present to create a feeling of true belonging.

In the print industry, we face common issues; a fight for survival, a fight to reduce our costs, and, most notably, a need to increase revenue and attract new customers.

So why don’t we do this together if we all have common problems and goals?

A community begins its mission when its members decide to start collaborating towards a common purpose and creating a better world together.

This purpose also needs to be aligned with individual self-interest, while at the same time, the added value of collaborating needs to be clear for everyone. When this goal is a shared passion, it becomes a bond of identity. It inspires others to share the same passion and purpose.

Most communities are self-selecting about who can join: only those with the same passion and purpose, the same qualities, the same values. As a result, community members feel proud, privileged, and honored to be a member. What members always like most about their community are, frankly, the people.

This is demonstrated in the top 4 criteria required for creating a successful community.

1.   Membership: A sense of belonging and identification, alignment with other community members with similar goals and interests.

2.   Influence: Members of a community should feel empowered to influence what a group does (otherwise, there’s no motivation to participate), and group cohesiveness depends on the group having some influence over its members.  

3.   Integration and fulfillment of needs: Beyond the status of being a member, members should feel rewarded for their participation and get value from being part of the group.

4.   Shared emotional connection: Quoted as the definitive element for authentic community, a shared emotional connection comes from quality interactions and the resulting bonds that are created.

I believe MGI users have the opportunity to create such a community.

Membership: MGI users are different; you are innovators, you go the extra mile for your customers, and have a unique offering in the market. The JetVarnish Jedi approach has already demonstrated this collective power.

Influence: Together, a community can influence the whole world and can initiate change on a scale not possible by an individual. It is possible to influence buyers of print in every market sector, to educate them and show them what’s possible.

Integration and fulfillment of needs: Members can share their stories, their incredible applications, not just with each other, but the community can be a way of reaching out to designers, agencies, and brands all over the world to pull more work into the community. Sharing problems and solutions will benefit everyone in the community and help to reduce cost. Sharing work within the community across different geographies will benefit all members.

Shared emotional connection: Coming together to share common problems, best practices, and a vision for the future is a powerful way to effectively manage things through a critical mass and scale which the individual does not have. A combined voice is much louder and has more resonance.

The possibilities are endless, if people come together with a common cause and contribute to delivering mutual success.

So what are you waiting for JetVarnish Jedi’s? Maybe it’s time to join forces and plot a new course together.


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