Contributing to a Community of Practice

I covered in a recent post about contributing to the Co-Creation Network, in a way that strengthens the Network by making connections and in doing so, makes connections for you too. Many of the suggestions made in that post will also help to create relationships with your fellow Community of Practice members; and to deepen those further with those you share a common interest and practice with, here are some other things you can try.

My one recommendation in all of this is: don’t wait for the Facilitator. Anyone involved in the Community of Practice is welcome to make contributions to it; ask questions, encourage conversation, to connect. In doing so, you help to maintain the CoP’s momentum and share accountability for it across its members.

Contributing to the Co-Creation Network website, into a CoP’s virtual space

You don’t need to do this as often as you think! Logging in to your website account once a fortnight or so will do the trick. Set aside some time (less than 30 minutes) to add posts to or start forum conversations, upload docs/ videos/ photos etc. into the doc store relevant to your CoP, or catch up with posts in the General Discussion Forum.

At the top of each forum you are involved with, you can subscribe to receive an email notification of new posts so you don’t miss updates from other members.

Via Co-Creation Network events

If your CoP has news to share then please do so at one of our Basecamp events and host a session. Often, more than half of the attendees at Basecamp are new to the Network and the CoP way of working, so hearing from you about your experience so far is powerful. It’s also a great opportunity to attract new members to your CoP, either by getting to know those who are there or using this time and space to invite people you would like to be part of your CoP to find out more about you, and the Network as a whole.

Please also feel free to bring your CoP’s questions to Basecamp, or one of the #CCNvirtual teleconference and tweetchats we host throughout the year, so that Network members can help you find the answer.

At your CoP meet-ups (in person, over the phone, using Skype/ Google Hangouts)

Offering to share some of the accountability for the meet-up going ahead such as; suggesting a quiet cafe you can meet in, taking notes of the actions to share in the CoP virtual space, setting up Skype or Google Hangouts accounts for those who haven’t used video calls before.

If taking written notes is too time consuming, using the voice recorder on a smartphone for your meeting to create a sound file to upload, or using the record function on your Skype or Google Hangout may be a quicker option.

You can also use the Events page to let others in the Co-Creation Network know that your meet-ups are happening and how to contact you for further info. This is a good way for the Support Team to pick up on your activity, so that we can help you attract new members or take part if that would be useful for you.

Using Social Media or other platforms and tying it in with the Co-Creation Network. 

Perhaps you are a prolific Tweeter, or you use Facebook groups, Whatsapp or a group email to help your CoP maintain momentum. If these conversations produce a tangible outcome for your CoP, then do add it to your virtual space in order to capture the learning and host it somewhere that others with an interest in your domain can access it.

For a series of linked tweets using the same hashtag, you can use Storify to pull these together and show them in chronological order.

If hosting a conversation on other types of social media, you could perhaps screen shot the relevant parts of it to share, or copy and paste into a word doc along with the date and where the online conversation took place. Do make sure you ask those involved if they are happy for you to do so to ensure everyone feels their CoP conversation space is safe.

As always, the Support Team is here to help and do get in touch if you need us.


Image via Creative Commons