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

Presentation at eGov

Hey all, reporting from the road this beautiful Thursday morning. I'm in St. Louis for our annual KM conference and just got through with the final knowledge transfer session for my study on communities of practice. So I will break up what's being going on into multiple posts or else it won't make any sense.
First, I spoke about blogs at eGov in DC. It was pretty cool, a lot of people are interested in blogs but are not sure how to work with it. I had a room full of people, at least a 100 or more and they were bustling with questions on blogs, wikis and IM, you know general real-time type collaboration stuff.
The issues with blogs in the workplace today are the same issues we were facing with the Internet. That is, oh my! this is a completely "open" medium how in the world are we going to control it. Remember that. There were discussions and fear about how the Internet would impact our organizations and that employees would spend time surfing the Internet and no work would get done. And the answer is yes, we all had to go through a few painful experiences of misuse of the Internet or rather abuse of the Internet but it all smoothed out pretty nicely.
Thats the same fear with blogs, oh my! employees are going to say whatever they want on the blogs and how can we maintain control over the integrity of the information that goes out. Like all new "stuff" this too will work itself out after faltering a bit.
The key here is that organizations have to keep their end of the bargain and not stifle expression but guide it.
Did you all read the article on Technorati. I have to say I am very disappointed with their management. Getting their employee to take down the picture on his blog when they themselves are in business purely because of blogs is a true shame. Shame on you Technorati management. If you'll would like to comment I would be very interested. If you don't know what I'm talking about send me a mail and I will find the link to the article for you.

Anyway, need to quit rambling and give you the link to the presentation at eGov. You can find the presentation here.