“Knowledge management as a doughnut: Shaping your knowledge strategy through communities of practice”
An interesting article that sets forth the relationship between communities of practice and KM strategy. Etienne argues that domains, communities and practices provide the key structures to support learning, sharing and stewarding knowledge.
When individuals come together around a passion, they
tell stories, surface heuristics, share experience & insights,
craft solutions, learn from each-other and define their domain, i.e.,
these communities self-manage their knowledge. This is the key that
links strategy to performance.
Wenger talks of 3 essential structural components:
Allows CoPs to thrive without formal reporting
requirements. Sponsorship is necessary at both executive and direct
management levels to sanction time allocation and promote cultural
Peer and organization recognition to allow identity development and build reputations beyond teams and task groups.
Meeting places, travel funds, technology infrastructure
and explicit roles. Organizations that have small CoP leadership teams
to provide guidance, logistics and process advice, have been more
successful in cultivating CoPs.
What I found missing here is the community level
practices to grow knowledge – think patterns, ontologies, distinctions,
concept mapping, collaborative writing, knowledge mapping and beyond [Knowledge-at-work]