Community Building for
Business Success
Dom Bortolussi, CEO @ The
Working Group
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Hi, I’m Dominic.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
I <3 community
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
According to the
Enneagram personality
test I’m both a ‘helper’
and an ‘explorer.’
Meyers Briggs classifies
me as an Extro...
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
This presentation is
about...
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
How community helped our
business.
And how it could help yours.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
So, what is community?
•A group living in the same place or having a
particular characteristic in common.
•A feeling of fe...
Communities form around
•Interests and Activities.
•Action and Desire.
•Place or Habitat.
•Circumstance
Wednesday, 31 July...
Communities enable us to
create and discover who we
are.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
“We are the average of the
five people we spend the
most time with.”
- Jim Rohm
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
To build your business,
you need a community.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Communities are evolved.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
You can’t defeat a wooly mammoth
without people to back you up.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Community = Cooperation
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
The Prisoner’s Dilemma
•2 prisoners asked to inform on each other
•Both inform on the other = Both get 3 years in prison
•...
For cooperation to prove stable,
the future must have a sufficiently
large shadow. The importance of
the next encounter be...
Conduct business at the
intersections of interests and
practices. Community
happens there.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
The results
•Attract and retain great talent.
•Find good work, with good
people, even if you’re not
salespeople
•Get invit...
Building a community puts
people first and makes you
happier. That’s the best goal
unto itself.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
So how do you do it?
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Event planning
•Hand pick 50 - 80 good people to invite, tell them to
RSVP and bring friend.
•Promote in places you know y...
This isn’t a zero sum game.
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Greater community increases
the velocity of information
transfer. Greater interaction
and idea flow generates
greater inno...
37.5 coworking spaces per
million people
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Taking action
•Commit resources to finding and supporting
your community.
•Identify the things you are passionate about
an...
“No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of
the continent, a part of the
main.”
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
“No business is an island,
entire of itself; every business
is a piece of the community, a
part of the main.”
Wednesday, 3...
Thank You3
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
Community Building
for Business Success
Dominic Bortolussi
twg.ca
@dombort @twg
Wednesday, 31 July, 13
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Community Building for Business Success

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Five years ago, the company I had founded stalled. We wanted bigger, more exciting and more complex problems to solve with a bigger and better team. But with negligible sales experience, and a limited budget to hire top talent, I didn’t really know how to make it happen.

The answer, we discovered (almost by accident), was to put our people, friends and community first.

By focussing on real-life community building as a core part of a successful business strategy businesses of all kinds can:

- Attract and retain great talent that believes in their mission
- Generate more sales without needing salespeople
- Create more happiness and fulfillment for everyone involved

Building strong communities benefits the entire business ecosystem - just look Silicon valley, NYC and Toronto. With a strong community, we’re able to raise the bar and improve the overall quality of work, the return on investment, and thus support the economics of bigger projects, more investment and top talent. The rising tide, as they say, lifts all boats.

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Community Building for Business Success

  1. 1. Community Building for Business Success Dom Bortolussi, CEO @ The Working Group Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Dominic. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  3. 3. I <3 community Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  4. 4. According to the Enneagram personality test I’m both a ‘helper’ and an ‘explorer.’ Meyers Briggs classifies me as an Extrovert. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  5. 5. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  6. 6. This presentation is about... Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  7. 7. How community helped our business. And how it could help yours. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  8. 8. So, what is community? •A group living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. •A feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. •A group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  9. 9. Communities form around •Interests and Activities. •Action and Desire. •Place or Habitat. •Circumstance Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  10. 10. Communities enable us to create and discover who we are. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  11. 11. “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohm Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  12. 12. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  13. 13. To build your business, you need a community. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  14. 14. Communities are evolved. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  15. 15. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  16. 16. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  17. 17. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  18. 18. You can’t defeat a wooly mammoth without people to back you up. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  19. 19. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  20. 20. Community = Cooperation Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  21. 21. The Prisoner’s Dilemma •2 prisoners asked to inform on each other •Both inform on the other = Both get 3 years in prison •Both players cooperate with each other = Both get 1 year in prison. •One player informs while the other player cooperates = Informer gets off free and the cooperator gets 5 years in prison. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  22. 22. For cooperation to prove stable, the future must have a sufficiently large shadow. The importance of the next encounter between the same two individuals must be great enough to make [noncooperation] an unprofitable strategy. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  23. 23. Conduct business at the intersections of interests and practices. Community happens there. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  24. 24. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  25. 25. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  26. 26. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  27. 27. The results •Attract and retain great talent. •Find good work, with good people, even if you’re not salespeople •Get invited to cool events Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  28. 28. Building a community puts people first and makes you happier. That’s the best goal unto itself. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  29. 29. So how do you do it? Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  30. 30. Event planning •Hand pick 50 - 80 good people to invite, tell them to RSVP and bring friend. •Promote in places you know your community will take notice •Structure for content and conversation •Use real wine glasses •Follow up with a thank you, an invite to the subscriber list for future events, and a link to the photos that were taken. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  31. 31. This isn’t a zero sum game. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  32. 32. Greater community increases the velocity of information transfer. Greater interaction and idea flow generates greater innovation, entrepreneurial activity, ideas and growth. Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  33. 33. 37.5 coworking spaces per million people Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  34. 34. Taking action •Commit resources to finding and supporting your community. •Identify the things you are passionate about and host a meetup or event of your own •Spend your free time attending community events •Give willingly Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  35. 35. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  36. 36. “No business is an island, entire of itself; every business is a piece of the community, a part of the main.” Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  37. 37. Thank You3 Wednesday, 31 July, 13
  38. 38. Community Building for Business Success Dominic Bortolussi twg.ca @dombort @twg Wednesday, 31 July, 13
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