Improving Community Health…by Partying
As an event manager, I am passionate about using my skills to help make the world a better place. One of the ways that I’ve seen that desire come to fruition is by using events to make communities healthier. But what defines a healthy community, and how can events help shape them?
A Google search of “community” elicits a straightforward definition: “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Community also extends to our places of work, our schools, churches, and sports teams. But today, I’ll speak primarily to the workplace—the corporate community. After all, the workplace is a community where one should experience a sense of fellowship: unity in pursuit of a common goal. Unfortunately, the work community can sometimes display the worst kinds of unity, fostering an environment that can be summed up in a single word: unhealthy.
How do some communities become unhealthy? Why is there such a tangible lack of fellowship, common attitudes, interests, and goals in some corporate communities? One major factor: isolation. We can work in a cubicle mere steps away from another person and never truly get to know them. The pressure to keep up with our calendars, our goals, our finances, and even our own expectations has distracted our focus from others and placed it on the image in the mirror: ourselves.
Corporate leadership often stays focused on business strategy, marketing plans, and financial statements. These are obviously of great importance. But if a corporate community is not relationally unified, all the marketing and financial planning in the world won’t stand a chance against a team that is sinking into workplace burnout. So what’s the answer? Communities that survive are communities that serve.
I recently read an excellent book by Patrick Lencioni called “The Advantage.” In it, Lencioni makes the case that a healthy company is a company that is void of politics. Corporate leaders need to be willing to devote time and energy to breaking down the dividing walls that have risen within their corporate communities. A healthy, unified community is one that works together towards common purpose. No single person is as strong as every single person, and when a unified group works together, the potential for impact is limitless.
One of the most effective (and efficient) ways to tear those relational dividing walls down is to make a habit of celebrating together. I am passionate about events because I believe that events done well can help bring relational dividing walls down in workplace communities. We need to get back to celebrating more! When our communities celebrate together, we get to know each other better. Believe it or not, the number one thing employees report wanting more of at work is not pay. That comes in second. It’s a closer relationship with their employers.
And that is why I love what I do. I have the opportunity help businesses and organizations improve the lives of those in their communities by hosting world-class events. Whether a corporation, church, school, neighborhood, or sports team, celebrations can do wonders for breaking down the political barriers in your community.