Bad Girl, Good Business

30 million Nutella lovers can’t be wrong. The power of community.

People just love to cluster.

Whether it’s a work-related group, a fraternity, a book club, or the 30 million people who “LIKE” today’s holiday — #worldnutelladay — people simply want to belong. (For the genesis of World Nutella Day, just check out the link, below.)

Seth Godin writes and speaks about Tribes. Communities can make change, educate, inspire, share ideas, or just hang out and have a good time. For example, millions of people will be sitting on couches or in bars on Sunday night, eating chips, drinking beer, and cheering. (100 million of them, in fact!) Even if you don’t like the game, the ads are always entertaining.

Psychologists study the need to join groups (see below). As one study (below) notes, “People who are accepted members of a group tend to feel happier and more satisfied. But should they be rejected by a group, they feel unhappy, helpless, and depressed.”

Social groups can lead to new business opportunities. Passion groups (even the ones online like Goodreads) can teach you new things and you can participate/leave at any time without being rejected by the group. Conferences and trade shows help business people feel connected to their industries and share challenges with like-minded people. (About 86k professional and trade organizations and 1 million charitable organizations currently exist in the U.S.)

My own “tribal” behavior tends to ebb and flow with my life/work schedule and how social I’m feeling at any given point in time. I belonged to the recorder club (as in the instrument, not as in surveillance) and Glee Club in grade school and then was very active in student government and the Ecology Club (because I saw global warming coming?) as a teenager. In college I bounced around from cause to cause, as militant hippies with a capitalist streak tend to do. And now I am active in a variety of LinkedIn groups, Chambers of Commerce, professional groups, and charitable organizations (like YPIE and Defy and MOUSE). I am building a new community for one of my clients. And I become an honorary member of other tribes when I speak at conferences and events.

Poet Haniel Long said, “When I meet a new person, I am on the lookout for signs of what he or she is loyal to. It is a preliminary clue to the sense of belonging, and hence of his or her humanity.

What are YOU loyal to? Even if you are a loner, everyone needs a sense of belonging!

Group Think:

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred How World Nutella Day began.
BGGB_ShakingHands The psychology of groups.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred And the impact of ostracism. 
BGGB_Pointer The Association of Associations.

 


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