Release year: 2016

Author: Emily Webber

Buy this book (note: affiliate link)

Link to my handwritten notes

A tiny book (around 80 pages), but filled with interesting facts about how communities of practice are born and evolve. Easy recommendation!

Félix rating:

⭐ Star quotes

  1. (p. 9) Communities of practice give people opportunities to experiment with what they have learned, in a safe environment and with the support of other people.
  2. (p. 11) Silos can form where a group of people feel a deeper loyalty to each other than to other groups of people. Communication between silos can be very difficult, causing duplication of work and frustration for those inside them.
  3. (p. 14) An organization that doesn’t support the sharing of tacit knowledge will lose most of their knowledge as people move on.
  4. (p. 15) A study by Oswald, Proto and Sgroi showed that happiness made people 12% more productive.
  5. (p. 18) Through social learning, community members get better together and raise the skill level of everyone in the community. The community increases the happiness of its members by fostering positive relations with others and a feeling of acceptance.
  6. (p. 19) The input needed from leadership when building the community is inversely proportional to the community’s energy level and visibility.
  7. (p. 19) The 5 stages of a community of practice:
    1. Potential
    2. Forming
    3. Maturing
    4. Self-sustaining
    5. Transformation
  8. (p. 22) Your community will have the best chance of building trust between its members if people have the chance to be physically in the same place and are able to meet face-to-face.
  9. (p. 41) Even if attendance is low, carry on with the meeting. As others see benefits, they will join.
  10. (p. 51) Make your social events inclusive and remember that different members have different needs and commitments to consider. For example, evening events will be fine for some people and not for others.
  11. (p. 52) Types of learning activities:
    • Presentation and talks
    • Deliberate practice (mimicking experential learning in a safe environment)
    • Games and workshops
    • Visits and tours to places within your organization or places that share similar challenges
  12. (p. 53) Make sure you create time for the community to have less structured meetings where people can discuss things that are on their mind and being their problems to the community’s safe space.
  13. (p. 56) To ensure members continue to get value from the community, put aside regular time to review how the community is working together and how it could improve.
  14. (p. 60) The 5-stage model of adult skill acquisition:
    1. Novice: follows the rules
    2. Advanced beginner: recognizes patterns
    3. Competent: chooses a perspective
    4. Proficient: responds to situations
    5. Expert: writes their own rules
  15. (p. 60) Shu-ha-ri stages in martial arts:
    1. Shu: The protection stage, where the student follows what the master teaches them
    2. Ha: The breakaway stage, where the student starts to learn the underlying principles and theory behind a technique and begins to integrate learning into their practices
    3. Ri: The creating stage, where the student creates their own approaches and adapts what they have learned to their own particular circumstances
  16. (p. 64) Types of members in a community of practice:
    • Core: without these members, there is no community
    • Active: people you expect to see regularly. They have potential to become core members.
    • Occasional: they show up from time to time. Spend time with these members to understand the barriers to becoming an active member.
    • Peripheral: they rarely come to community activities and are very passive. They may also be new joiners, or past members who opted out. Always leave room for them to become more active members in the future.
    • Outside: e.g. sponsors, supporters, members of other communities, etc. It might never be relevant for them to be anything more, but you should think about how to communicate with them.