Communities of practice are cool again in my corner of the world.
They were always around, but it seems they really are coming back in a big way. From the recent Knowledge Management for Development Journal issue on the topic of CoPs, to the couple of projects that are instating communities of practice in my ILRI work, to the different posts and topics are that are emerging here and there (it could be a bit of a serendipity glass effect though).
Thing is with communities of practice, as with KM and life, it’s all in the attitude. And that attitude, for whoever is championing or facilitating a community of practice, is one of utter dedication and determination.
There’s a lot of stuff that might happen to your CoP.
And so if you don’t even have the attitude that sets you up for success, you just have to pray that all the other elements in the cosmos are aligned with your plans – and you better be one lucky b@stard!
Because let’s face it, if:
- You can’t see that conversations in a CoP can take you much further than the typical conversations inside your own organisation
- You don’t care about what others in your CoP may have to say about the topic that brings you together…
- You can’t imagine spending any time on a CoP if it’s not just in your working hours
- You have no inkling towards making your community one of the coolest places there is because you have the latitude to shape it and co-create with other invested people
- You don’t see the beauty of a nascent community of practice with people turning up as other champions and heroes
…then don’t wonder why your community of practice doesn’t work.
Just get to it, and see it as your personal and yet collective gardening initiative, and draw pleasure out of it as you do from seeing trees grow up, soil sing and flowers blossom…
It’s all about determination…
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