The theory and practice of communities

Keith March 8th, 2009

Without clear thinking, valuable work may grind to a halt

The following is the introduction to an article that I wrote, published in the November/December KM Review.

Despite everything that the modern KM practitioner knows about communities, collaboration and technology, communities of practice (CoPs) often fail and collaboration often breaks down. In order to establish an effective CoP, it’s necessary first to think about the nature and structure of a community and recognize that it’s an entirely different entity from a work group or a project team. As such, it must be treated differently, too. In this article, author Keith De La Rue examines the pitfalls associated with CoPs and why helping them to grow and flourish requires a better understanding of three words: “community”, “practice” and “technology”.

Read the full article.

4 Responses to “The theory and practice of communities”

  1. [...] I have read about a bazillion articles and blog posts recently (my favourites have been, this great video from Patrick Lambe,  this article from Keith De La Rue, lots of bits and pieces from Richard Millington’s blog and some stuff from the Ant’s Eye View team)  the collective wisdom (mixed in with my own experiences) seems to suggest that there are a few ingredients that any community will need to succeed: [...]

  2. Keithon 03 Aug 2009 at 11:42 am

    I should add: this article has been drawn from previous posts on this site. In particular, see “Practice makes perfect“, and follow the link from there…

  3. Kristina Schneideron 20 Aug 2010 at 10:22 am

    Interestingly enough, after blogging about this post of yours on my own blog, I remembered another blog post I made a while back that is along the same lines that might interest you.

    Distinguishing a community of practice from a team or a network

    Enjoy! – K

  4. Keithon 22 Aug 2010 at 11:13 am

    Yes, I like that way of looking at it. I have seen something similar somewhere before.

    – Keith

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