@katiqu, https://www.linkedin.com/in/kati-quigley-a45398/

Community is a phrase we are hearing more and more in the business world. It’s becoming increasingly important as we focus more on partnerships, collaboration, and positive work culture. I have spent a good portion of my career on building community, and I can honestly say that it is a passion of mine. Here are my thoughts on how and why it matters, especially for us here in the Microsoft Partner Network.

A Community of Partners

On the latest episode of the Microsoft Partner Network podcast, I spoke with Rachel Braunstein about community: what it means to me, and why it’s so important from a business perspective. As a Senior Director of Partner Marketing and Recruiting here at Microsoft, creating a sense of community for our partners to enjoy and benefit from has been a key goal of mine. I love seeing how partners can work together to create something that is so much more than the sum of their parts. Together, we really can help everyone achieve more.

Business Benefits

If you are not active in our partner ecosystem, here are a few good reasons why you should be:

1. A Sense of Belonging

Community provides a unique support network for businesses (and individuals) that lends something that we all look for: a sense of belonging. That feeling of being connected and accepted by your peers is important for our personal growth and development. By feeling like you belong, you have the confidence to take risks and try new things – which is the only way we can grow as a business and as a professional.

2. Professional Growth

Community also provides many opportunities for professional growth because we learn from each other. In no other social group are we better able to find the mentors and inspiration that can help drive us forward in our careers.

3. Mutual Support

Within our partner community, we support each other. We relate to each other’s’ struggles, learn from each other’s experiences, and build each other up to be our best selves.

4. Leadership Opportunities

By participating within our community groups, you have the chance to step forward and distinguish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. You can help others, teach them, guide them to achieve more with the help of your unique experience.

5. Access to Specific Knowledge

When you participate in a community, you benefit from access to a wealth of specialized knowledge. In the partner ecosystem, you surround yourself with businesses and professionals who know your market, who know your products and services, in a way that is wholly unique to our group.

6. Business Building Evangelists

A community of partners is a community of business evangelists. We hear time and again how co-marketing and cross selling provide endless opportunities for businesses within the partner network. Working with other partners to create new solutions and offerings for customers is how we can achieve more together.

Connect to Learn More

The Microsoft Partner Network is first and foremost a community. There are so many opportunities to connect with other partners and Microsoft staff through our social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you haven’t yet I recommend you check out the new Microsoft Partner Community. It’s an amazing venue to connect, share ideas, and learn from partners who are navigating this industry just like you.

To hear more about our conversation on community building, listen in to the latest episode of the Microsoft Partner Network podcast. Subscribe to the podcast for weekly downloads of our conversations with industry experts and thought leaders on the cutting edge of business and technology. Past episodes are available for download on iTunesSoundCloudiHeartRadioGoogle Play Music, and YouTube.

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