Community: The Structure of Belonging

by Peter Block

I read this book because of my growing fascination and sense of relevance towards organizational development. A big part of my appreciation for this book goes to the content that speaks to interpersonal level work – terrain that I work on often with my current coaching clients.

What continually engaged me were the many connections the author presented; I found myself affirming (with vigorous nods and audible “mm’s”) the community-framed content, because they linked effortlessly and congruently with what I regularly use at the intra and interpersonal levels. So in many ways, I experienced this book as being extremely useful as a personal ontological coach, even though community – or large group – work is not my main preoccupation.

In most of my reviews I note how easy a book is to read, and this one ranks high on readability. And yet, it is packed with goodness. Countless pithy lines.

Peter Block certainly delivered on “the structure of belonging” on the cover. He makes it clear and easy to understand, for those who are willing to attempt creating it in their lives. And this structure is not intellectually-leaning; I found more than a handful of statements that I resonated with at gut-level, based on my own struggle with belonging.

I foresee myself returning to this book again and again, treating it as a textbook. One that is fascinating and enjoyable to read.

Lastly, I think this should be standard-reading, as part of compulsory education. It will improve lives of many communities at offices, schools, and in homes.