Posts Tagged ‘cop’
This book brings together contributions from researchers within various social science disciplines who seek to redefine the methods and topics that constitute the study of work. They investigate work activity in ways that do not reduce it to a “psychology” of individual cognition or to a “sociology” of societal structures and communication. A key theme in the material is the relationship between theory and practice. Mindful practices and communicative interaction are examined as situated issues at work in the reproduction of communities of practice in a variety of settings including: courts of law, computer software design, the piloting of airliners, the coordination of air traffic control, and traffic management in underground railway systems.
George Pór, co-founder of CommunityIntelligence Ltd, a London-based transformation agency, the hub of an international network of consultants collaborating on larger projects. George is a pioneer of using social media for developing such strategic organizational capabilities as collaborative work and learning. His specialty is advising leaders about communities of practice as untapped engines of value creation. He brought the concept of “communities of practice” to the European Commission and guided a 3-year project to develop such communities.
George Pór: My work includes the development of organizational capabilities for generating community-enabled business results. The work may take various forms from executive seminars on “communities of practice” strategy, to training of community hosts, recommending and architecting the virtual environment, and creating client-specific evaluation framework and metrics.
The development of social capital is an important piece towards fostering knowledge sharing in these groups. In other words, a cohesive, functioning community must develop. And members must trust one another. It makes sense, right?
Social capital can bridge cultural differences by building a common identity and shared understanding. The fact that building social capital requires continuous interaction enables people to identify common interests and build trust. This raises their level of shared commitment, and encourages a sense of solidarity within a community. Furthermore, from the perspective of organizational management, social capital can promote better knowledge sharing due to established trust relationships, common frames of reference and shared goals.
Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge – Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice
In Silicon Valley, a community of circuit designers meets for a lively debate about the merits of two different designs developed by one of the participants. Huddling together over the circuit diagrams, they analyze possible faults, discuss issues of efficiency, propose alternatives, tease out each other’s assumptions, and make the case for their view. In Boston, a group of social workers who staff a help line meet to discuss knotty client problems, express sympathy as they discuss difficulties, probe to understand each other’s feelings, and gently offer suggestions. Their meetings are often deeply challenging and sometimes highly emotional. The fact-driven, sometimes argumentative, meetings of the Silicon Valley circuit designers are extremely different from the compassionate meetings of the social workers in Boston. But despite their differences, the circuit designers’ and social workers’ communities are both vibrant and full of life. Their energy is palpable to both the regular participants and visitors.
Because communities of practice are voluntary, what makes them successful over time is their ability to generate enough excitement, relevance, and value to attract and engage members. Although many factors, such as management support or an urgent problem, can inspire a community, nothing can substitute for this sense of aliveness.
How do you maintain the integrity of the organization while embracing the chaos beyond? Part of the answer is in supporting communities of practice as a bridge between external networks and those doing the work.
This month, The Learning Circuits blog asks how do we break down organizational walls when it comes to learning?
One way to look at this problem is to see what kind of work needs to get done in the organization. For example, if you are trying to balance the need to support complex work with innovation, as many knowledge-intensive companies are, then there are different needs to be simultaneously addressed. Complex work requires strong ties and high levels of trust to enable work teams to function. This often has to be done behind the firewall to protect competitive secrets. On the other hand, innovation needs loose ties and a wide network to get diverse points of view. This means working outside the firewall on the wide open Web.
This publication is about value creation in communities and networks. It is a foundation paper presenting a framework for promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks and aims to be sufficiently rigorous for researchers, useful for practitioners and informative for stakeholders. To this end it includes a theoretical framework and toolkit for helping professionals to tell stories on the value that networks and communities create when they are used for learning and to articulate how these activities result in desired outcomes that improve teaching practice. I hope that professionals of other contexts will also find it helpful.