Communities of Practice
Since its humble beginnings on the pages of an academic publication in 1991, “communities of practice” rose to become one of the most popular management buzzwords of all times, featured on more than 8 million webpages in November 2018. Isn’t it interesting, why?
Communities of practice (CoP) are self-organizing and self-governing groups of people who share a passion for the common domain of what they do and strive to become ever-better practitioners. They create value for their members and stakeholders through developing and spreading new knowledge, productive capabilities, practices worth replicating, and fostering innovation.
What helps us understand their extraordinary success is the specific value they provide to their members, the organisations hosting them, and the team they work with. For example:
Traditional hierarchies value CoP primarily, because its contribution to cost saving, shorter cycles, better customer delivery, better adaptability to complex market contexts, and increasing revenues.
Next-stage organisations experimenting with new organising models value CoP for, besides all the reasons above, being a low-risk, low-cost opportunity for piloting self-management and collective intelligence practices essential to succeed in the knowledge economy.
Forward-thinking leaders, who perceive organisations as living systems, appreciate communities of practice not only as stewards of core competences but also, as important collective sensing and meaning making organs.
Below are some further examples of benefits from CoP:
Look up the benefits from CoP on our “Value Matrix of Communities of Practice” page.
Building on our decades long work on designing and cultivating CoP, and advising large organisations in the private and public sectors, Community Intelligence provides a range of CoP-related services.