Community and the bad apple

I had the great pleasure recently in establishing the foundation of a really vibrant business community.

We’d been building this ‘Community’ for some time. All diverse professions getting to know each other. Developing the trust that comes with the relations that leads to business.

We had our share of passing casual interest of course and more than a few preferring occasional engagement. You know, those looking for the quick-fire business although not really keen on the commitment to regular engagement. Simply coming along to ‘steal’ an opportunity.

Community after all, is not for everyone.

So it came to the day when we closed the doors to those with a ‘passing interest.’

‘Why not come back when you wish to commit to becoming an active part of our network?’

I’d suggested that our aim should be to protect the confidence developed over time with the participating businesses within a trusted community.

The decision generally went down well. There were offers of support from different quarters (you know who yer mates are,) together with a prevailing feeling of ‘ownership.’

The first hint of unrest came from the long term occasional visitor … the so-called ‘regular casual.’ He’d been visiting (between holidays) when it suited him for some time. Very comfortable he was. Until now …

‘I never knew there was a need for regular engagement opposed to occasional attendance. So what’s the difference?’

Really? A comedian here surely. This guy is far too comfortable … (thinking to myself.)

Another similar bleated … ‘No, not happy, I am in the process of ‘passing the business on’ and wanted to introduce the new owner to the network.’

Bearing in mind the above person was last with us three months prior it seemed to me that now was a good time to sever further engagement. After all, how could I offer validation or testimonial to a business I knew nothing about?

There are some who say it’s good practice to stand back and assess the direction of business … I believe it’s absolutely essential. The consequences of overlooking the ‘bad apples’ in the batch can be devastating.

Not only for your network and your community but for your own reputation.

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