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Community managers are the essential ingredient of any successful collaboration

Almost every organisation uses collaboration tools and social tools, but the added value of these tools is often disappointing. Here and there some sharing and exchange still occurs, but almost never the organisation-wide deployment that was hoped for.

This problem is not due to the tool itself or the lack of an organizational need to share knowledge. Those who really want to make online collaboration a success must pay extra attention to support and change management.

An essential ingredient of successful collaborations is the community manager. A relatively small number of employees with the role of community manager can make the difference in overcoming resistance and other challenges and propagating success.

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What does the community manager do?

James Robertson, in his article Enterprise collaboration needs community managers, describes that community managers perform both formal and informal activities:

  1. Support community leader and participants to get the most out of the tools.

  2. Facilitate discussions within groups, including guidelines for good behaviour.

  3. Training and mentoring new participants in the effective use of the collaboration tools.

  4. Connecting people to relevant groups and making connections between groups.

  5. Promoting the value of collaboration and sharing the success and benefits already achieved.

  6. Supporting governance in collaboration by creating policies, guidelines and thinking about future plans in online collaboration and knowledge sharing.

In his article, James also describes approximately how many community managers you need and how to ensure that community managers can actually take on their roles.

Read the article Enterprise collaboration needs community managers by James Robertson.

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