Thursday, May 05, 2005

2005 Communities of Practice Study

Wow! That study ended yesterday. What a powerful session. I guess all the sleepless nights were worth it after all. I've kept you posted on all the partner organizations that we visited. What we do at the end of a study is to get everyone together in a room to discuss the findings. All the best practice partners are invited and all the companies who sponsored the study are invited. Talk about a great community, everyone comes to learn and share openly and freely their experiences good and bad, they don't hesitated to share why they fell flat on their faces when they tried certain things and how they recovered.
So here are some brief bullet points from the Executive Summary. Realize that this report is not out for another four months so what you are getting is a major early preview.

Communities are now allowing organizations to communicate and execute their strategy and refine their competencies;

Communities are being seen as providing the speed and enabling the innovation needed for marketplace leadership and positioning;

Communities are integrated into the fabric of the organization's core work and value chain;

Organizations are adopting the strategy of aligning their communities more closely with their formal governance structure;

Tools and methods of community building and management have matured and become a central competency with their own center of excellence;and

Managers, executives, and subject matter experts are personally engaged in sustaining communities.

The stories told by partner organizations were compelling and truly successful. Lots of money has been saved in these organizations by the implementation of communities of practice.
If you are considering implementing CoPs in your organization, call us. We would love to help you through this. Sorry to sound like a commercial but we have learned a lot and we can really help make a difference in your efforts at enabling communities of practice.
As always if you have comments on these very high level findings write me. Lets start a dialogue. Have you implemented communities in your organization? Are they working or not? Let me know. I love to learn.
Gotta go now or will be late for the key note who happens to be my president. You know when its the pres, you gotta be there.
Will share more later


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if you agree with the APQC KM Roadmap to Success idea that the culmination for org KM is institutionalizing KM. I am particularly interested in your thoughts on institutionalizing communities of practice.

Remember Etienne Wenger and William Snyder's HBS article in 2000 called CoP: The Organizational Frontier? In that article they describe the managerial dilemma of supporting CoPs without destroying them. I loved the story of the farmer who killed the golden goose to get at the gold.

I'm wondering if we are not heeding Wenger and Snyder's warnings. If the formal organization coopts informal social systems, aren't they killing the golden goose?

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