Cultivating communities of practice
a state-of-the-art workshop
Why social learning leadership?
Social learning is about learning from and with peers. It is a learning partnership – whether you call it a community of practice, a learning network, or a social learning space. It is particularly important when what you need to know is not yet known. And when you have to learn on the go, adjusting and improving in real time in response to what you are finding out in practice. What’s more, your learning is improved by what your peers are learning in their own practice.
As a species we have been doing this forever. It feels like common sense. But we can become more intentional and more strategic about it. We can cultivate these learning partnerships in communities of practice or social learning spaces to develop the overall strategic capability of our group, organization, or field.
Cultivating communities of practice is a crucial act of social learning leadership. This is what this workshop is about.
Who should join?
This workshop is for you if you want to develop your capacity to enable social learning—whether you are a manager, an activist, a consultant, a teacher, or organizational development specialist. The online format lends itself to exploring how to do this online. We also welcome people who are doing research on communities of practice, learning in networks or organization, identity, or emerging forms of leadership.
What we focus on
In this workshop we share the models and frameworks we have developed to cultivate, lead, sponsor and evaluate social learning. We also work as a community to help you apply these models to your practice or project.
- Sharing a language: social learning spaces, networks, communities of practice, landscapes of practice, value-creation framework
- Framing your challenge: articulate your context, visualize your challenge, engage the whole group in your inquiry
- Taking a lead: exploring and acting out different social learning leadership roles and tasks on behalf of the whole group
- Monitoring and articulating the value: how does what you do create value, how do you monitor and promote that value, and what does this mean for learning to make a difference?
- Exploring tools for social learning: becoming adept at using the tools and technologies that help you lead social learning activities online
How it unfolds
- Introduction to the theory: the phases of the evolution of social learning theory and the concepts associated with each phase.
- Value creation: how to focus on value creation as the key to cultivating communities of practice and getting support for them? How does what you do create value, how do you monitor and promote that value, and what does this mean for learning to make a difference?
- Activity design: What kind of social learning activities generate value?
- Leveraging technology: What are the opportunities and challenges of technology and how to leverage it for social learning?
- Launching: How to prepare and conduct a community launch?
- Sustaining: How to help a community of practice create value over time and what are the dimensions of maturing?
- Leadership: What are the various roles and principles of leadership?
- Organizational context: What a the key ingredients to setting an organizational context conducive to communities of practice
This is a very active workshop. You take a lead in exploring and acting out different social learning leadership roles and tasks on behalf of the whole group. You practice framing your challenge, visualizing your context, and engaging the whole group in your inquiry.