Saturday, June 7, 2008

Communities of Practice Article

By way of Chief Learning Officer (CLO media) magazine, this article has some valuable lessons on setting up a community of practice, particularly in a 90 day period.

Of course there is also Etienne Wenger or one of my lecturers and a favourite resource of knowledge management, Kim Scarbacea who are infinitely better resources than I on this subject.

But back to the article, I started to ruminate as to whether the steps they outline need some form or state of " readiness" in order to be implemented. The five steps referenced are:

1. Organize communities of practice around strategic initiatives.

2. Define clear roles and responsibilities.

3. Communicate benefits.

4. Schedule promotional events.

5. Be holistic in your approach

I have no argument with these as such but I do have a lot of experience with senior management who ask the age old question of "show me the benefit". The problem with this is that if you are trying to innovate by way of a community of interest or practice, then there will be no "runs on the board" so to speak, only comparative data on other organisations.

So readiness, for me, is about the allies and business leaders you have lobbied to introduce a framework for experimentation without ramification. In other words a mistake-accepting environment.

Only then would we truly be able to implement with haste and learn from it as we go.

Hmmmmm ......


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I read your article and found it’s interesting. But I have a question. I know the KM guru in Aust named Kim Sbarcea. Is this the same person you mentioned??

Wilko said...

One in the same and thankyou so much for the correction. Haste does make waste at times. I have a colleague in the states, Tom Scarbacea and I believe I have inadvertently typed the wrong surname.

Many thanks,

Rob (Wilko)