Six thoughts for successful communities of practice

  • Communities of practice should not be tied to an organizational structure or hierarchy. There is a common sense of belonging which usually does not correspond to the formal organization. In most cases, it is not even desired that this structure is being copied.
  • Communities are not teams. Themes have an aim, planning and goal. The team members are in the team because of their competence and not shared interest. Communities have a learning aspiration and are much less formal than teams.
  • Technology is merely an enabler. Social capital and trust are the real keywords.
  • Leadership in communities should be voluntary, but be endorsed. Personal motivation is a great thing, but leaders need mandate and political backup.
  • Communities of practice span organizational boundaries and boundary spanners thrive in it.
  • Domain scope is important in communities of practice. It will enable the community to reach critical mass to be self-sustaining.

There is more about community design principles on the Efios website here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *