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RE: [cp] Army CoP

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  • John D. Smith
    Tony, I like your write-up. A couple of quick reactions -- mainly sparked by listening to Pete Kilner talk about what y all have been doing during a
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 1, 2002
      Message
      Tony,
       
      I like your write-up.  A couple of quick reactions -- mainly sparked by listening to Pete Kilner talk about what y'all have been doing during a communities of practice thread at the E-Learn Conference in Montreal a few weeks ago (more on that later).
      • Help contributors put their best foot forward.  Their expertise is in command (i.e., the community's domain) not necessarily in writing up what they've learned.  Therefore we edit and correct and improve (without changing the "voice") so that nobody that contributes is embarassed by their contribution.
      • "As soon as you're successful, start thinking about why, and how that might translate to the next generation of leaders."  Seems to me that this basic idea applies to you guys as commanders (which leads to companyCommand.com in the first place), but it's also relevant to you guys as leaders of CompanyCommand.com which leads to other people taking a role in leading the community.
      • Pete also mentioned having a conversation with Heath Row about trying out something along the lines of FastCompany's Company of Friends.  I think mentioning that you're exploring kind of face-to-face thing underscores the idea that it's not about technology -- it's about connections and learning.
      • To me it was really remarkable that looking at the site was really ho-hum compared to listening to Pete talk about it.  (I guess I'm not in the target audience, so just didn't "get it" while sitting reading at my computer.  :-)
      John
      --*
      --* John D. Smith - John.Smith @ LearningAlliances.net
      --* www.LearningAlliances.net   V: 503.963.8229
      --* "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
      --*                                    -- Thomas Jefferson
      -----Original Message-----
      From: tony@... [mailto:tony@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 7:19 PM
      To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [cp] Army CoP

      Team:

      Several colleagues and I have been working a grass-roots initiative in the U.S. Army for 2 1/2 years, connecting officers laterally across the organization around the practice of company command.  Attached is a blog entry that may become a short article for Wharton's Leadership Newsletter.  It would be so cool if you could give us feedback on what we wrote.  We are really seeking to learn!  Also, we are finding it important to bring our own tacit knowledge to the surface as we seek to share what we know with new team members.

      The article: 
      http://leadershipcounts.weblogger.com/stories/storyReader$21

      Thanks!

      Tony
    • norah.cowman@st.com
      Tony and everyone, I have been a passive reader on & off for a long time and I would like to thank you all for your contributions. I have gained a lot from
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 4, 2002
        Tony and everyone,

        I have been a passive reader on & off for a long time and I would like to
        thank you all for your contributions. I have gained a lot from this passive
        role, in particular being able to understand my experiences as part of
        "normal" COP development.

        I was a COP facilitator for two years for a group of distributed Program
        Managers in advanced system research at STMicroelectronics. This formal
        COP was pushed by the Corporate VP as far back as January, 1999. It took 7
        months to get off the ground inspite of the VP holding regular monthly
        video conferences to get the ball rolling and dissolved around Q3, 2000
        when we could no longer organize face to face meetings which were vital to
        the COP stimulation. In fact three face to face meetings a year were
        enough to maintain contact on top of monthly phone conferences.

        From this experience I was able to write up an article for the internal ST
        TQM journal mainly full of praise for COPs and at the same time spend two
        weeks dissecting the experience in preparation for a second "formal" COP in
        a different area - pitfalls to avoid.

        To conclude, based on my experience in advanced R&D, I am more for the
        efficiency of "informal" COPs in research than the formal ones. The
        interests, participation change completely when the subject is an exciting
        innovative topic.

        If any of the COP facilitators want to discuss off-line I am more than
        ready to exchange experiences.

        Again, I want to thank the group as I have greatly benefited on & off.

        I am currently responsible for the group's organization processes & my
        current interest is in SNA. I am very grateful for the assistance I am
        receiving from Andy Swarbrick whose name I got from this group.

        Norah



        _____________________________ Reply Separator
        _________________________________ Subject: [cp] Army CoP
        Author: tony at internet/dd.RFC-822=tony@companycommand\.com Date:
        31/10/2002 4:19 AM


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        Subject: [cp] Army CoP
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      • Andy Swarbrick
        Hi Norah , Tony and all I would like to add to Norah s comments. I first came across the work being done by Nate Allen and Tony Burgess with CoP last year
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 6, 2002
          Hi Norah , Tony and all

          I would like to add to Norah's comments. I first came across the work
          being done by Nate Allen and Tony Burgess with CoP last year through
          this Yahoo! group and I had few brief exchanges with them where I got to
          learn just how impressive their achievements have been.

          There work with CoP in the military really opened my eyes to a whole new
          view of CoP and the military. Before I had considered the army to be
          purely mechanistic in its operation and how it transferred knowledge.
          Looking it as a process of indoctrination rather than new learning. What
          I had not thought about was how people could learn how to lead these
          organizations. At the time I was reviewing a lot of literature on
          leadership, a lot of which seemed to be based on military organizations.
          The issue of trust and identity central to CoP seemed even more of an
          issue with combat situations than the work place situations that I had
          been looking at before.

          Creating a network of platoon leaders, and company commanders Nate and
          Tony have enabled the sharing of knowledge across a large a complex
          organization on how to support these individuals in creating combat
          ready groups.

          I don't know whether Nate or Tony have shared these links before with us
          by I encourage those interested in this field of work to at least take a
          quick look.

          An overview of the work they have been doing

          http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Apr2002/a20020408cocmd.html

          Nate and Tony also came in 13th out of thousand of entries for
          fastcompanies 50 top leaders and innovators for their work with company
          command and platoon leader communities.
          13. Change Your Formation
          http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_02/people/change/13.html

          "The Fast 50 is Fast Company magazine's annual readers'
          challenge, a worldwide search for ordinary people doing
          extraordinary things. Our goal is to remind the world of all the good
          that's created when passionate people with big ideas and strong
          convictions are determined to make a difference. Last year's challenge
          generated thousands of entries and comments from more than 30
          countries-and resulted in high-profile recognition of 50 leaders,
          innovators, and technology pioneers. "

          I will try to create PDF versions of these pages and upload them to this
          group, I think that it would be useful to have a folder dedicated to
          celebrating the achievements of the members of this group. Especially
          where it is in part due to the support and advice we provide.


          Thanks for sharing your valuable insights with us again Tony.I hope all
          is going well with the new centre for organizational learning at West
          Point (That is your current project if I remember correctly) I look
          forward to hearing more from you in the future.

          Tony/ Nate I also have a link to the US Army's Knowledge Symposium and
          all the presentation that where given, is this something I can share
          with the group?



          Kind Regards


          Andy Swarbrick
          TecLAB
          Department of Speech Communication
          University of Illinois
          Urbana
          IL61820
          Illinois
          USA
          @: swarbric@.../ andy@...
          url: http://www.knowledge-business.co.uk
          Yahoo Group : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/knowledgenetworks


          -----Original Message-----
          From: norah.cowman@... [mailto:norah.cowman@...]
          Sent: 04 November 2002 15:20 PM
          To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: tony@...
          Subject: Re: [cp] Army CoP



          Tony and everyone,

          I have been a passive reader on & off for a long time and I would
          like to
          thank you all for your contributions. I have gained a lot from this
          passive
          role, in particular being able to understand my experiences as part
          of
          "normal" COP development.

          I was a COP facilitator for two years for a group of distributed
          Program
          Managers in advanced system research at STMicroelectronics. This
          formal
          COP was pushed by the Corporate VP as far back as January, 1999.
          It took 7
          months to get off the ground inspite of the VP holding regular
          monthly
          video conferences to get the ball rolling and dissolved around Q3,
          2000
          when we could no longer organize face to face meetings which were
          vital to
          the COP stimulation. In fact three face to face meetings a year
          were
          enough to maintain contact on top of monthly phone conferences.

          From this experience I was able to write up an article for the
          internal ST
          TQM journal mainly full of praise for COPs and at the same time
          spend two
          weeks dissecting the experience in preparation for a second
          "formal" COP in
          a different area - pitfalls to avoid.

          To conclude, based on my experience in advanced R&D, I am more for
          the
          efficiency of "informal" COPs in research than the formal ones.
          The
          interests, participation change completely when the subject is an
          exciting
          innovative topic.

          If any of the COP facilitators want to discuss off-line I am more
          than
          ready to exchange experiences.

          Again, I want to thank the group as I have greatly benefited on &
          off.

          I am currently responsible for the group's organization processes &
          my
          current interest is in SNA. I am very grateful for the assistance
          I am
          receiving from Andy Swarbrick whose name I got from this group.

          Norah



          _____________________________ Reply Separator
          _________________________________ Subject: [cp] Army CoP
          Author: tony at internet/dd.RFC-822=tony@companycommand\.com
          Date:
          31/10/2002 4:19 AM


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        • shabnum osman
          Hi everyone, I m interested in any design related CoP. I m doing a PhD in the subject, and i was wondering if anyone has any information on CoP within design
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 7, 2002
            Hi everyone,

            I'm interested in any design related CoP. I'm doing a
            PhD in the subject, and i was wondering if anyone has
            any information on CoP within design industries. Any
            links, and views...
            Any help will be greatly appreciated.

            Thanx
            Shabnum

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          • tony@companycommand.com
            John, Thank you so much for the note. Pete really enjoyed meeting you, and our ... I think it underscores for our team how important face-to-face is and helps
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 11, 2002
              John,

              Thank you so much for the note.  Pete really enjoyed meeting you, and our entire team was energized by your feedback.  I especially loved this comment:

              To me it was really remarkable that looking at the site was really ho-hum compared to listening to Pete talk about it.  (I guess I'm not in the target audience, so just didn't "get it" while sitting reading at my computer.  :-)


              I think it underscores for our team how important face-to-face is and helps us remember that technology (the web site) is one part of what we are doing, vice the main thing. 

              The kind of people we want actively involved in our forum (AKA CoP) are the kind of people that naturally would not spend time hanging out in virtual space.  Two things will get those people involved:  Face-to-face connection/relationship and the consistent delivery of high-value content that makes a real difference in their day-to-day effectiveness in the "practice."

              Thanks for your note,

              Tony
            • John D. Smith
              Tony, So Pete mentioned that you-all had met with Heath Row, a member of this forum, who in addition to being the paragon of networking, has developed the
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 11, 2002
                Message
                Tony,
                 
                So Pete mentioned that you-all had met with Heath Row, a member of this forum, who in addition to being the paragon of networking, has developed the face-to-face network called Company of Friends.  I'm wondering what ideas came from the Company of Friends example--for your effort in general and for your website.
                 
                The kind of people we want actively involved in our forum (AKA CoP) are the kind of people that naturally would not spend time hanging out in virtual space. 
                 
                John
                --*
                --* John D. Smith - John.Smith @ LearningAlliances.net
                --* www.LearningAlliances.net   V: 503.963.8229
                --* "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
                --*                                    -- Thomas Jefferson
              • tony@companycommand.com
                John (and friends), We have learned a lot talking with Heath. What he has done with CoF is quite phenomenal, and inspiring! We are looking at ways to create
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 11, 2002
                  John (and friends),

                  We have learned a lot talking with Heath.  What he has done with CoF is quite phenomenal, and inspiring!

                  We are looking at ways to create local communities of practitioners (people in the "practice")  -- I'm trying to use CoP lingo here -- that feed conversation into the greater community and vice versa.  To use the metaphor from the last chapter of Cultivating Communities of Practice, we envision a weaving of conversations between the local and organization-wide communities.  You could see the Website becoming the community newsletter, just like Fast Company Magazine is--in some ways--that already for CoF. 

                  Tony

                  In a message dated 11/11/2002 8:39:00 AM Central Standard Time, john.smith@... writes:

                  So Pete mentioned that you-all had met with Heath Row, a member of this forum, who in addition to being the paragon of networking, has developed the face-to-face network called Company of Friends.  I'm wondering what ideas came from the Company of Friends example--for your effort in general and for your website.


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