I’d like to share a brief personal story. This past weekend was the High School Water Polo State Championship tournament in Michigan. Our team played great, making it to the final game for the championship – against a vaunted opponent. In that game, we came up short, but our boys played valiantly. It was fun to watch, even if our team didn’t win. After the game, we got together at a local restaurant. You know, there was little talk of the loss, or of the individual recognition that some players had received. It was a time appreciation, with the team and families, of what the boys had accomplished as a team and what the families had done to help make it possible.

In the U.S., Thanksgiving is coming up. Where does the time go? This time of year reminds us of what we are fortunate to enjoy – health, success, and our extended family of friends. Businesses and brands work hard to create communities where each member is valued and every contribution adds something to the whole. Social media is a huge phenomenon – and a small world. Each of us adds something unique, and it’s nice to know, once in a while, that someone notices.

While it is a bit cliche to ask that we remember what we’re thankful for, let’s turn it around, just a bit, and ask: How can we remind our friends, our communities, that they are important to us – the whole year ’round?

1) How can we make individual members of our communities feel that they are valued?

2) What kind of recognition works well in virtual communities?

3) What kinds of things should we recognize?

4) How often should we recognize individuals?

5) How do we make sure appreciation and recognition is timely?

6) What are some ways to recognize the entire community?

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