To read, listen to, or watch

On Tribes

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth Godin

What the Early Stages of Building a Tribe Can Look and Feel Like

Related to the Additional Exercise

This post, about a woman exploring a possible career change, offers examples of how you can apply the idea of a tribe at work.

Blog: The bridge from where you are to where you want to be

Related Chapters in Working Out Loud:

  • Chapter 20 - Engaging Your Network

  • Chapter 21 - Creating a Movement

  • Chapter 22 - A 25-Year-Old Linchpin

Additional Exercises & FAQ

Something you can do in less than 10 minutes

Think of changes your organization is facing. It could be new technologies, or new business areas, or new ways of working. Try to list at least ten.

Now, with that list in hand, search your intranet and the Internet for any online communities related to those topics. Those would all be examples of tribes.

Something you can do in less than 15 minutes

Create a WOL Group in your company’s intranet. That will help you find people who also care about WOL, and give all of you a place to connect and learn.

If you can’t form your own group, then join one of the public WOL groups and post about what you might like to do with WOL after your Circle, or just share your experience so far. That will help you see how members of a tribe, despite being strangers, can come together to exchange information, cooperate, and collaborate.

WOL Community on Facebook

WOL Community on LinkedIn

Q: I don’t see how this relates to work.

In many ways, a tribe isn’t much different from a guild or a community of practice, structures which have existed for a long time. They are all groups of people who organize around a set of ideas.

If there’s a difference, it’s that a tribe is more than just something you join or follow, but something you contribute to with the aim of accomplishing something as a collective.

You almost certainly have tribes at work, groups that are organized around topics related to what the company does or is considering working on. Doing the additional exercises above is a good way to discover them.

Examples, Templates & Media

Some of My Lemonade Stands

How do you find people related to something you care about? For me, what I do most often is I make my intention visible.

If If care about ways to adapt WOL for healthcare, I’ll write about it. If I want to explore manufacturing or quality or mindfulness, I’ll write about that.

For me, making my interests visible is like a pebble in a pond, rippling out and bringing me into contact with other people who might care too. It’s just a free experiment, a first step - one that doesn’t always lead to a tribe of course. But even if no one responds, the act of writing helps to clarify my thinking and intentions. Here are some examples:

Other Lemonade Stand Stories

Raising money for a good cause - Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Exploring a hobby - Humans of New York

Introducing girls to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - Stemettes (Their story is told in chapter 22 of Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life)