“The key to creating or transforming community, then, is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others.” – Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging

In his groundbreaking book on building accountability and commitment for transforming organizations, communities, etc., Peter Block outlines the importance of how we demonstrate our care for the well-being of the whole, by how we choose to “be” with others.

When I think about the best, high-performing teams I’ve worked in over my career, they have common elements that reinforce Block’s assertions. Those teams accomplished great things, because they cared for the well-being of the whole, wanted to make a difference, demonstrated clear respect for each other and asked good questions that brought out the best in each other.

Building out those elements to teams of people who can help transform organizations, it then makes sense to focus on some good questions that Block poses:

  • How are we going to be when we gather together?
  • Whom do I choose to invite into the room?
  • What is the conversation that I engage in with people?
  • How do we create a communal structure that moves the action forward?

Transformation does not happen individually, it happens through building community in our organizations, through the strengthening of how we work together. And it starts with how we choose to be when we gather together.

Anita Rios

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