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Re: [cp] Living CoPs (was future of CoPs)

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  • plbond
    Hi Miguel, I hope ths might help in your search for examples. Although, I don t have any specific references to the spontaneous emergence and decay of social
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 18, 2004
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      Hi Miguel, I hope ths might help in your search for examples.

      Although, I don't have any specific references to the spontaneous emergence
      and decay of social groups, I would say that exposure to a wide range of
      literature on organisation behaviour leads me to believe that this
      phenomenon is taken for granted, to the extent that research has been
      focused on why some institutions persist rather than die out (see the work
      of sociologist Anthony Giddens)

      If its analogies you're looking for then look no further than product life
      cycles. I'm sure these will be familiar to you, but instead of thinking
      about a product launch we could think instead of an'ideas' launch, an issue
      launch, or a problem launch. A market spontaneously forms around that idea,
      if it is attractive enough to enough people to form a critical mass. If
      someone is deriving a profit or an identity from that market, naturally they
      look for ways of keeping it alive. Most management 'fads', which are all
      supported by a CoP at their beginnings, go through this process of a rise
      and fall to the point where only a particularly resilient set of people
      manage to keep going a residue of interest. Some particulary critical
      articles about the rise of Business Process Reengineering as a management
      fad appeared on http://bprc.warwick.ac.uk/bp-site.html . However, I'm not
      sure whether that site is still maintained (I tried but could not connect).

      Other examples I can think of are very diverse, the rise of trades unionism
      as informal groups, the rise of political minorities, some of which have a
      positive outcome (such as the 'minority' of people concerned with protecting
      our environment) and negative ones (the rise of the racist right in the UK
      and France). Eventually they become established parts of the social
      structure and Anthony Giddens has tried to explain why.

      I've come across various sociological explanations for the formation
      mechanism, one of the most famous (if memory serves me correctly) is called
      the 'mock panic amplification spiral' in which a controversy is 'talked-up'
      through the news media to the extent of creating feelings of moral outrage
      in the public at large. Something similar must go on in the formation of
      social groups within and outside of companies, and perhaps the practice of
      sharing stories is a significant factor.

      My preferred source of ideas on emergence and decay is, so called, complex
      adaptive systems theory. A good starting point is Eve Mitleton-Kelly's
      article of 1997 on the subject (Mitleton-Kelly, E. (1997). Organisations as
      Co-evolving Complex Adaptive Systems. Procedings of the British Academy of
      Management Conference 1997. Also available at:
      www.psych.lse.ac.uk/complexity/publications).

      If this is not enough, I have a paper being submitted to the Knowledge Board
      that will offer a partial explanation. I will post when (if) it gets posted.

      Bye for now.


      Pete Bond
    • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
      Hi Peter, thanks for the analogies. I will have a look at the paper (I suppose it s the latest that Patricia Wolf sent for review to CoP SIG editors, so it
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 18, 2004
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        Hi Peter,

        thanks for the analogies. I will have a look at the paper (I suppose it's the latest that Patricia Wolf sent for review to CoP SIG editors, so it should come up soon) with a lot of interest.

        The goal I'm after is some sort of model for most of the disruptive influences in large CoPs, something that takes into account most factors and allows some predictiveness. We have something close, but our observation subjects are rather few: just the KnowledgeBoard and Macuarium's systems. Macuarium's got over 10.600 members with over 25.000 monthly messages, and a lot of things going on. The KB's supposed to have almost the same number of users but traffic is a trickle and going steadily downhill. And we don't have time nor access to explore other big CoP systems in depth.

        So I guess what I'm after is stories of disrupted CoPs in other places, what where the consequences (and cures, if any). That way we can verify our ideas and probably get new insights on causes and effects. Storytelling again, I suppose :-). I've been searching for those stories for some months now (trying to write a book and all that) but there are very few really big environments out there.

        Any "war stories" appreciated :-). Best regards,

        Miguel





        -----Original Message-----
        From: plbond [mailto:plbond@...]
        (...)
        t
        I've come across various sociological explanations for the formation
        mechanism, one of the most famous (if memory serves me correctly) is called
        the 'mock panic amplification spiral' in which a controversy is 'talked-up'
        through the news media to the extent of creating feelings of moral outrage
        in the public at large. Something similar must go on in the formation of
        social groups within and outside of companies, and perhaps the practice of
        sharing stories is a significant factor.

        My preferred source of ideas on emergence and decay is, so called, complex
        adaptive systems theory. A good starting point is Eve Mitleton-Kelly's
        article of 1997 on the subject (Mitleton-Kelly, E. (1997). Organisations as
        Co-evolving Complex Adaptive Systems. Procedings of the British Academy of
        Management Conference 1997. Also available at:
        www.psych.lse.ac.uk/complexity/publications).

        If this is not enough, I have a paper being submitted to the Knowledge Board
        that will offer a partial explanation. I will post when (if) it gets posted.

        Bye for now.


        Pete Bond






        *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*
        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Chris Kimble
        Hi, I don t get to read the messages here as often as I should thee days, but here are a couple of suggestions that you might find useful: 1) Evolving
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 12, 2004
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          Hi,
          I don't get to read the messages here as often as I should thee days,
          but here are a couple of suggestions that you might find useful:

          1) Evolving communities of practice: IBM Global Services experience
          by Patricia Gongla and Christine R. Rizzuto contains quite a few
          observations on the theme of collapsing CoPs. The URL is:

          http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/sj/404/gongla.pdf

          Some of these case studies are expanded upon in a chapter they wrote
          for the book:

          http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/KNICOP/Chapters/Chapter_24.html

          2) As we are talking about knowledge board, there is always " How to
          Avoid a Mid-Life Crisis in your CoPs":

          http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=129773

          Which covers some of the same themes.

          Hope this is of some use.


          --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Cornejo Castro, Miguel"
          <miguel.cornejo@g...> wrote:
          > Hi Peter,
          >
          > thanks for the analogies. I will have a look at the paper (I
          suppose it's the latest that Patricia Wolf sent for review to CoP SIG
          editors, so it should come up soon) with a lot of interest.
          >
          > The goal I'm after is some sort of model for most of the disruptive
          influences in large CoPs, something that takes into account most
          factors and allows some predictiveness. We have something close, but
          our observation subjects are rather few: just the KnowledgeBoard and
          Macuarium's systems. Macuarium's got over 10.600 members with over
          25.000 monthly messages, and a lot of things going on. The KB's
          supposed to have almost the same number of users but traffic is a
          trickle and going steadily downhill. And we don't have time nor
          access to explore other big CoP systems in depth.
          >
          > So I guess what I'm after is stories of disrupted CoPs in other
          places, what where the consequences (and cures, if any). That way we
          can verify our ideas and probably get new insights on causes and
          effects. Storytelling again, I suppose :-). I've been searching for
          those stories for some months now (trying to write a book and all
          that) but there are very few really big environments out there.
          >
          > Any "war stories" appreciated :-). Best regards,
          >
          > Miguel
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: plbond [mailto:plbond@p...]
          > (...)
          > t
          > I've come across various sociological explanations for the formation
          > mechanism, one of the most famous (if memory serves me correctly)
          is called
          > the 'mock panic amplification spiral' in which a controversy
          is 'talked-up'
          > through the news media to the extent of creating feelings of moral
          outrage
          > in the public at large. Something similar must go on in the
          formation of
          > social groups within and outside of companies, and perhaps the
          practice of
          > sharing stories is a significant factor.
          >
          > My preferred source of ideas on emergence and decay is, so called,
          complex
          > adaptive systems theory. A good starting point is Eve Mitleton-
          Kelly's
          > article of 1997 on the subject (Mitleton-Kelly, E. (1997).
          Organisations as
          > Co-evolving Complex Adaptive Systems. Procedings of the British
          Academy of
          > Management Conference 1997. Also available at:
          > www.psych.lse.ac.uk/complexity/publications).
          >
          > If this is not enough, I have a paper being submitted to the
          Knowledge Board
          > that will offer a partial explanation. I will post when (if) it
          gets posted.
          >
          > Bye for now.
          >
          >
          > Pete Bond
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
        • plbond
          Hi everyone. We would like to invite comment on an article we have just had posted to the Knowledge Board.
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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            Hi everyone.

            We would like to invite comment on an article we have just had posted to the
            Knowledge Board.

            http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/library.cgi?action=detail&id=3988
            <http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/library.cgi?action=detail&id=3988

            The article is entitled:

            The Use of KALiF in the Development of Complex Emotioning Innovating and
            Polytechnical Communities

            The article introduces a new generation of theoretical perspectives on the
            learning organisation drawn principally from the complexity and evolutionary
            sciences, including new systemic approaches to cognition from psychology and
            biology, and complementary insights to socio-technical evolution from
            archaeology and the philosophy and sociology of science and technology. This
            is used to sharpen the concept of CoPs, which we see as only one possible
            'state' of organisational structure, one that is particularly conducive to
            invention-innovation, knowledge transfer and competence building.

            The article addresses to different degrees, some of the issues raised in
            com-prac over recent months. For example, we give 'clues' as to how to
            maintain the life expectancy and effectiveness of a CoP over time and from
            one project to another. We provide some answers to how to start CoPs using a
            dedicated set of tools developed over 7 years or so as part of two EU funded
            projects. Using a very particular definition of conversation as a braided
            flow of language and emotioning we provide a new perspective on the relation
            between CoPs and culture and of the value of face to face communication.

            It is our explicit intention that the CoP concept be re-evaluated in the
            light of extra-ordinary theories about cognition and organisation behaviour,
            theories that fall within the boundaries of complexity thinking,
            particularly about complex adaptive systems.

            As we say at the beginning of the article, we would welcome feedback on the
            ideas we are putting forward.


            --
            peter bond
            Learning Futures
          • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
            Hi Peter, glad to see it there :-). I may not agree on everything but it is a great work. Best regards, Miguel ... From: plbond
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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              Hi Peter,

              glad to see it there :-). I may not agree on everything but it is a great work.

              Best regards,

              Miguel


              -----Original Message-----
              From: plbond [mailto:plbond@...]
              Sent: miércoles, 24 de noviembre de 2004 12:25
              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [cp] Re-evaluating the CoP Concept



              Hi everyone.

              We would like to invite comment on an article we have just had posted to the
              Knowledge Board.

              http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/library.cgi?action=detail&id=3988
              <http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/library.cgi?action=detail&id=3988

              The article is entitled:

              The Use of KALiF in the Development of Complex Emotioning Innovating and
              Polytechnical Communities

              The article introduces a new generation of theoretical perspectives on the
              learning organisation drawn principally from the complexity and evolutionary
              sciences, including new systemic approaches to cognition from psychology and
              biology, and complementary insights to socio-technical evolution from
              archaeology and the philosophy and sociology of science and technology. This
              is used to sharpen the concept of CoPs, which we see as only one possible
              'state' of organisational structure, one that is particularly conducive to
              invention-innovation, knowledge transfer and competence building.

              The article addresses to different degrees, some of the issues raised in
              com-prac over recent months. For example, we give 'clues' as to how to
              maintain the life expectancy and effectiveness of a CoP over time and from
              one project to another. We provide some answers to how to start CoPs using a
              dedicated set of tools developed over 7 years or so as part of two EU funded
              projects. Using a very particular definition of conversation as a braided
              flow of language and emotioning we provide a new perspective on the relation
              between CoPs and culture and of the value of face to face communication.

              It is our explicit intention that the CoP concept be re-evaluated in the
              light of extra-ordinary theories about cognition and organisation behaviour,
              theories that fall within the boundaries of complexity thinking,
              particularly about complex adaptive systems.

              As we say at the beginning of the article, we would welcome feedback on the
              ideas we are putting forward.


              --
              peter bond
              Learning Futures








              *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*
              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • David Meggitt
              ... posted to the ... feedback on the ... Some thoughts: Although Prof Michael Jackson at Hull University (UK) does not once mention CoPs in his authoritative
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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                --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, plbond <plbond@p...> wrote:
                Peter writes:

                > Hi everyone.
                >
                > We would like to invite comment on an article we have just had
                posted to the
                > Knowledge Board.

                > As we say at the beginning of the article, we would welcome
                feedback on the
                > ideas we are putting forward.
                >
                >
                > --
                > peter bond
                > Learning Futures

                Some thoughts:

                Although Prof Michael Jackson at Hull University (UK) does not once
                mention CoPs in his authoritative work "Systems Thinking - Creative
                Holism" the last section - Post Modern Thinking - does incorporate
                much of value to managers. I find it particularly helpful in setting
                some aspects of complexity et al in perspective too.

                You indicate that once a "structure" is put around a CoP the latter
                can, of course, evaporate - hence a sort of paradox. For more on CoPs
                and innovation, you may find this article on Knowledge Board posted
                by George Por resonates well.
                http://www.knowledgeboard.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=119192

                David Meggitt
              • plbond
                Thanks David, We do refer to George s article in the paper, so I agree it does resonate. A succinct description of the difference between simple and complex
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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                  Thanks David,

                  We do refer to George's article in the paper, so I agree it does resonate.
                  A succinct description of the difference between simple and complex systems
                  can also be found in Flood and (Mike ) Jackson's earlier book Total Systems
                  Intervention. Might be worth looking up for any readers new to the
                  application of complexity principles.
                  --
                  peter
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