Being a community engineer is no simple task. The openness and scope of DAO's mean the melting pot of personalities, cultures and bias' is that much more pronounced.
Such a large-scale mixture of people in all forms makes community engineers (or managers, your call) that much more critical. Community engineering (CE) isn't necessarily about governance and playing police officers.
Governance is everybody's job, CE's play the key role of being a first touchpoint within a community. Not only are we a first touchpoint, but we are also stewards of the culture, mission, vision, and values of the DAO.
Our role is never to enforce and dictate how we "feel things should be" or "are." Instead, we align the actions of the overall DAO with the culture and values we want to instill.
While this may involve offboarding community members from time to time, that is typically a last resort. Our function is more that of a coach, guide, or even a mentor in some cases.
It's a key position, and it's also one that's easy to neglect. In the early days, it's too easy to consider our position and fall into the security of having things under control. It's also a role that's easy to neglect or forget about as we scale.
What we're witnessing in certain DAO's are the ones who let the position fall to the wayside, stating "we're good here," is now facing some major misalignments within the communities. It's as if the mission, vision and values of the DAO went through a game of telephone and everybody has their own wild definitions.
Lack of alignment and clarity around who we are, what we do, and where we're going creates a lot of strife within a community. It creates an environment where people are misrepresenting the DAO and creating integrity gaps within the system.
It also opens up the doors to a lack of transparency and increased competition. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for competition so long as it's friendly and beneficial for all involved. Competition in the right environment can be a lot of fun.
Through this, it begins to disrupt onboarding, engagement and retention. Contributors are lost. They want to get their bearings fast to dive in. Without community engineers to provide the coaching and guidance, or uphold the values and culture of the DAO, people end up behaving within their default patterns.
Their default patterns are those instilled from birth. From all sources; education and social systems, culture, parents, you name it. When we have no defined operating system we always default back to what we know.
Having community managers in place to be encouraging and supportive of members and contributors along the journey is one of the most important functions within a DAO. It creates an aligned and welcoming environment for those who feel called to step up, lead and contribute to do so.
It helps people find the alignment to know they found their calling while creating lower barriers of entry for newcomers to get engaged and thrive with us.
When we are aligned within our communities, we are able to create healthier and stronger alignments with our peers. This strengthens collaboration and our abilities to share talent and resources.
We can all learn from each others wins and setbacks as we pioneer this new landscape together. We're stronger together. However, if our communities are in chaos it's counterproductive to building the relationships and alignments we desire in life.
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