Cultivating Communities of Practice

Etienne Wenger provides a useful set of principles for cultivating communities of practice as living, breathing things:

  1. Design for evolution.
  2. Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives.
  3. Invite different levels of participation.
  4. Develop both public and private community spaces.
  5. Focus on value.
  6. Combine familiarity and excitement.
  7. Create a rhythm for the community.

Read more at the link below.

via Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge – Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice – HBS Working Knowledge.

One comment.

  1. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s another fascinating article by Wenger that explores the relationship between communities of practice and ntworks.

    A couple of distinctions tha he notes:

    “The learning value of community derives from the ability to develop a collective intention to advance
    learning in a domain…
    The danger of community is that it can become hostage to its history, its established ways of doing
    things, and the attendant identification with the group…
    The challenge of community is that it requires sustained identification and engagement.”

    “The learning value of network derives from access to a rich web of information sources offering
    multiple perspectives and dialogues, responses to queries, and help from others – whether this
    access is initiated by the learner or by others…
    The danger of network is noise and diffusion…
    The challenge of network is that it requires a strong sense of direction on the part of individuals.

    Looking forward to playing with you this week!