“The Co-Creation Network: improving health and social care, one Community of Practice at a time”
For: anyone interested in Communities of Practice (CoPs)
Content: introduction to the Co-Creation Network, and how the Network holds the space for the CoPs within it
PART ONE: Introduction to the Co-Creation Network
Hello I’m Lucy and I’m part of the Support Team for the Co-Creation Network. This video is a bit of an introduction to the Network and how it came about, and also to explain how the Network holds the space for the Communities of Practice within it.
So, to begin, The Co-Creation Network is the overall framework, and within it sits any number of Communities of Practice. Anyone with a passion for improving patient care can join the Network, join an existing Community of Practice or start their own.
The Network came into being in October 2014, when Yorkshire and the Humber Leadership Academy (who I work for) were looking for a way to bring back learning from delegates funded to attend the Jonkoping Microsystem Festival, and to connect with the Improvement Fellows working with the Improvement Academy (part of the regional AHSN).
We wanted to create something to help people reconnect with their values and passion about their work, and as a team working across health and social care organisations in the region, we can see people who are doing amazing things and want to help them connect in a way that made it easy to share, and didn’t feel like extra work.
With help from George Por and the team at Future Considerations, the Network started to form around a few Communities of Practice – these being groups of people who come together with a passion for a common purpose, to share knowledge and best practice which is then harvested to create collective intelligence.
But more than that what we ended up with was a group of people who were super enthusiastic and passionate about their work connecting up, giving all of this positive energy back in to the Network, then going back out in to the world and encouraging like-minded beings to get stuck in and share their energy too. Which is really cool.
So we now have over 300 members in the Network and around 25 Communities of Practice set up, with more on the way.
PART TWO: How the Network holds the space for the CoPs within it
How does the Network hold the space? With a pretty light touch.
It allows the communities to self-manage, so there is no pressure to keep to deadlines or work at a particular pace. There are no hard and fast rules about achieving certain levels of membership or producing outcomes. Success is relative to the wants and needs of the community, rather than the wants and needs of the Network.
We created an online space for the Network to use which has forums and document stores so the Communities have somewhere to talk and share online which is archived and searchable. The website allows them to see what other Communities there are and to share across the Network, not just in their own Community too.
We host Network-wide events called Basecamps to bring in some fresh energy, passion and perspective to the Network. This might be new recruits, or people that we bring in to host sessions who have experience of Communities of Practice elsewhere.
And it’s an opportunity to connect across the Network too, to celebrate the similarities and differences, share in the expertise built up in other Communities, reinforce that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The Network keeps the virtual and real space away from the usual corporate meeting rooms where possible to allow space and time for different thinking to happen and see what emerges. We encourage mindfulness so at meetings or Basecamps we will start the day with a mindfulness practice to allow yourself to be present and bring your whole self in to it.
We also want the Network to be a space for service users and academics to feel comfortable and contribute, without all the usual stuff about hierarchies. Basically we want to encourage conversations and having people feeling valued, not the feeling of being talked at and told how to be.
You can see all this for yourself at the website – and we’re holding our next Basecamp event 20th January in Leeds so if you want to come along and experience it for yourself then get in touch with me @CCNetworkcom and I’ll send you the details.
Image via Creative Commons