Caution: Potential horn-tootin’ ahead, although we really can’t take credit for it.
Over the weekend I received an email from one of the Lead Fiskateers (thanks Angela) with the subject line “You have to see what these Fiskateers are now offering each other,” and a link to the Fiskateer message board. So I click the link and read the post:
It goes on to say that one of the Fiskateer’s fathers may be in need of a new kidney. And as you read a little further, you realize that another Fiskateer reached out and HAS OFFERED TO BE TESTED AS A POSSIBLE MATCH.
“Fiskateer Sister NEVER has anyone in my life offered such a gift that you have done by offering to have yourself tested as a possible match for my almost 74 year old father so that he could continue with his life here. I am so touched that words honestly cannot explain the givingness that just that little email has shown me about you. God bless you because you certainly just earned some big jewels in my opinion byÃ‚Â thinking so much of a man who you will likely never meet especially since we live 3, 000 miles away. If there were more people like you here on this home we call Earth I can only imagine how much sweeter every day would be.”
A long time ago we realized with Fiskars that we couldn’t create a community centered around scissors and paper. We had to ignite a community that centered around people sharing their lives through their passion of crafting (we call it the “passion conversation”). One of the absolute joys of a thriving community is that it’s organic. Relationships are formed online and offline in ways that you (and we) could never have anticipated in a million years. In fact, as you read the comments, you run across this gem: “I wonder if Fiskars/Brains on Fire realize how this group has really impacted many of us!” Sure, we thought about the benefits for R&D ideas, impromptu events, putting out fires on customer service issues. But offering up kidneys to one another? Never.
Community is a powerful thing. A sense of belonging and connection deepens relationships, but it has to have an environment – online and off – to thrive and take on a life of its own. Sure, you can shepherd it along and keep it from falling victim to the dangers along the path, but ultimately you have to realize that you don’t have control – and you never did. You just became the conduit between people and their passion. If you do that, you’ll be amazed at what happens.