Tips for Building Successful Communities of Practice

Tips for Building Successful Communities of Practice

This is a refresh of an earlier blog published here in 2016 My experience of knowledge sharing in organisations stems mainly from my involvement in setting up Communities of Practice (CoPs) for UK local government. This was part of a broader Knowledge Management strategy that I was commissioned to deliver for the Improvement and Development Agency and Local Government Agency. It has since migrated to the private sector and continues to thrive as the Knowledge Hub. When I left the…

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Working in the new Covid era

Working in the new Covid era

To quote from a recent article by Lee Bryant,  “What and where is the fabric of your organisation? How would you describe it? When the buildings are empty and the conference rooms are silent, what actually *is* the organisation? Some might argue it is the sum of conversations, or processes, value chains or organisational structures. But where is it and how is it manifested?”. He goes on to say:-  “In the digital era, the digital workplace should be that fabric. But it isn’t….

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Curation: The Cure For Information Overload?

Curation: The Cure For Information Overload?

The Institute for the Future at the University of Phoenix Research Institute published  Future Work Skills 2020, a study designed to look at how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive over the coming decade. The report was published in 2011, but is as relevant today as it was 4 years ago. The skills they identified include: Sense-making: the ability to determine significance. Social intelligence: the ability to connect with others in a deep way. Adaptive thinking:…

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Community of Practice and Technology in Education

Community of Practice and Technology in Education

Education and technology have always driven one another to improve. And from this mutually beneficial relationship, different approaches to organizing education emerge, some poised to disrupt the entire industry. As you read this, the education system is in the midst of introducing major alterations. The normalisation of indispensable tools like the internet is leaving room for terrific innovations. And with it come opportunities to introduce new dynamics of learning or reinvent previously existing ones. And the intersection of teaching, technology,…

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Learning Before, During and After

Learning Before, During and After

I’ve made it a personal choice to avoid the perennial discussions and debates about defining “knowledge management”, which more often than not seem to focus on the typology and semantics rather than getting to grips with the actual practice. I like simplicity, and whatever your preference for intellectually precise definitions, it inevitably boils down to the actions that encourage and support learning, and specifically, learning before, during and after.  In his book “Knowledge Management for Teams and Projects”, Nick Milton…

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Centralised vs. Decentralised Decision Making

Centralised vs. Decentralised Decision Making

The UK Government’s failure to achieve its target of 25,000 tests per day for Covid-19 provides an excellent case study on the differences and impact of centralised vs. decentralised working and decision making. Whilst accepting there might be a problem with the sourcing of reagent chemicals for the DNA testing, according to a former director of the World Health Organisation we are not making the most of the opportunities currently available to us. Public Health England (PHE) want to control…

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What is ‘knowledge curation’ and why is it so important?

What is ‘knowledge curation’ and why is it so important?

I don’t think I need to convince anyone who regularly uses the Internet or World Wide Web that finding useful and relevant information amongst the volumes of dross we get from advertisers, marketers, brand mangers and ‘those-that-want-to-be-heard-but-have-nothing-of-value-to-say’, which unfortunately accounts for the largest proportion of content that swills around our in-boxes and search results, is becoming increasingly difficult. Information is being pumped at us almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This was bad enough when we were…

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Knowledge Sharing Barriers

Knowledge Sharing Barriers

Knowledge sharing is the corner-stone of many organisations’ knowledge-management (KM) strategy. Despite the growing significance of knowledge sharing’s practices for organisations’ competitiveness and market performance, several barriers make it difficult for KM to achieve the goals and deliver a positive return on investment. This list of knowledge sharing barriers provides a helpful starting point and guideline for senior managers auditing their existing practices with a view to identifying any bottle-necks and improving on the overall effectiveness of knowledge-sharing activities. The…

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Finding ‘value’ in social networks and Communities of Practice

Finding ‘value’ in social networks and Communities of Practice

An update to a post previously published 30 Dec 2009. There has been much written about measuring the value of online communities such as Social Networks or Communities of Practice.  However, most pundits tend to think of measuring value from a purely financial perspective, i.e. the Return on Investment (ROI). Clearly this is an important factor, but it’s not the only factor that should be considered. Surprisingly few organisations consider the value that is being created by having better informed…

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