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Re: Learning through experience - Managing Impact on CoP Culture

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  • Tony Karrer
    ... Holly, I m glad you just posted your comments and questions on this, and it should be interesting to see the response. This seems to be a common issue
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2006
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      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Pendleton, Holly (CHI)"
      <hollypendleton@...> wrote:
      >
      > <snip>
      > We do not have an objective, as a collective group, to come to any
      > definitive agreements about what is or is not true related to CoP's. I
      > do, on the other hand, believe that our group commitment is to
      > networking, sharing, learning, and collaborating about this topic.
      > </snip>

      Holly,

      I'm glad you just posted your comments and questions on this, and it
      should be interesting to see the response. This seems to be a common
      issue among these kinds of public discussion groups.

      I would think that this group, if any, would have the ability to define
      how things can be done better.

      One thing that I would like to throw on the fire is that the above
      statement of the "group commitment" does not necessarily speak to one
      aspect of my personal goals for involvement in most groups. Generally,
      I'm involved for the reasons above, but sometimes I transition into a
      questioning/problem solving mode. I would like to get help, ideas, etc.
      on a particular problem that I'm facing. What I've seen in this group
      (and in most groups) is that unless the question is really narrow and
      focused, almost closed-ended, the conversation almost immediately gets
      sidetracked, and there is almost no ability for the person bringing the
      problem to continue to get help. The end of it is a sense of
      frustration that I didn't necessarily get help.

      So, I would like to propose that one of the purposes of this group, and
      similar groups, is to try to help the person bringing the problem to
      find answers that they can use by switching into a problem solving mode
      as opposed to a free-flowing discussion mode.

      I'll be curious to see what results here and whether any of this
      discussion actually results in a change in any dynamics or a change in
      results.

      Tony
    • Holly Pendleton
      ... one ... Generally, ... a ... etc. ... group ... and ... gets ... the ... Tony - I would concur that this is another important aspect of this group (&
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 3, 2006
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        --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Karrer" <akarrer@...> wrote:
        > One thing that I would like to throw on the fire is that the above
        > statement of the "group commitment" does not necessarily speak to
        one
        > aspect of my personal goals for involvement in most groups.
        Generally,
        > I'm involved for the reasons above, but sometimes I transition into
        a
        > questioning/problem solving mode. I would like to get help, ideas,
        etc.
        > on a particular problem that I'm facing. What I've seen in this
        group
        > (and in most groups) is that unless the question is really narrow
        and
        > focused, almost closed-ended, the conversation almost immediately
        gets
        > sidetracked, and there is almost no ability for the person bringing
        the
        > problem to continue to get help. The end of it is a sense of
        > frustration that I didn't necessarily get help.


        Tony -

        I would concur that this is another important aspect of this group (&
        groups like this). My experience is much like yours in that I do not
        always get as deep of an answer as I would like. It makes for a
        great dialog that helps to shape my thinking which eventually makes
        its way into practical application. It does seem that this is a
        byproduct of a distributed and only lightly moderated discussion
        group like this. CoP discussions which are focused, more purposeful,
        and well moderated could (should) result in more definitive support
        and resolution to the initial request.

        Thanks for your thoughts on this!

        - Holly Pendleton
      • Tony Karrer
        Holly, Honestly, after the last exchange around the charter of this group, I was fairly disappointed. But, at least your post held a glimmer of hope. So, I m
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 11, 2006
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          Holly,

          Honestly, after the last exchange around the charter of this group,
          I was fairly disappointed. But, at least your post held a glimmer
          of hope. So, I'm going to be fairly honest here about my feelins
          and opinions (and they are just that).

          One of the things that is probably the most frustrating about open
          forums is the rambling, theoretical debates that often emerge,
          especially when the person asking the question was soliciting
          practical advice. It's a real turn off for many people (including
          myself).

          I recently saw a beautiful example in the Online Facilitation group
          of someone asking for help with a particular problem and then
          getting some practical advice, pointers to additional materials,
          etc. Real help with their problem. Great stuff.

          Now, I know that in many cases, people who solicit help formulate
          the question poorly or it may be that attacking the problem from a
          different angle would help. But, it would seem that the key is
          whether we are really trying to help them find an answer or if we
          are debating their choice of the word encourage vs. foster vs.
          facilitate when clearly they (and I) are probably at a level where
          the distinction is a rounding error on a much more fundamental
          problem.

          So, I'd like to ask a couple of questions related to this...

          1. Does this group provide problem solving help to people who have
          problems related to communities of practice? It could be that the
          prior answer of "not really Tony" was accurate - but it's just
          disappointing.

          2. If so, then what is the practical advice for people who have a
          problem to better formulate their inquiry, keep things on track,
          etc., so they can get better help from the group?


          --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Holly Pendleton"
          <hollypendleton@...> wrote:
          > Tony -
          >
          > I would concur that this is another important aspect of this group
          (&
          > groups like this). My experience is much like yours in that I do
          not
          > always get as deep of an answer as I would like. It makes for a
          > great dialog that helps to shape my thinking which eventually
          makes
          > its way into practical application. It does seem that this is a
          > byproduct of a distributed and only lightly moderated discussion
          > group like this. CoP discussions which are focused, more
          purposeful,
          > and well moderated could (should) result in more definitive
          support
          > and resolution to the initial request.
          >
          > Thanks for your thoughts on this!
          >
          > - Holly Pendleton
          >
        • Beverly Trayner
          Hi Tony ... I agree it s infuriating when you don t get the help that you want. But I m also suprised at how much unexpected help I ve got from having to re-
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 12, 2006
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            Hi Tony

            > 2. If so, then what is the practical advice for people who have a
            > problem to better formulate their inquiry, keep things on track,
            > etc., so they can get better help from the group?

            I agree it's infuriating when you don't get the help that you want.
            But I'm also suprised at how much unexpected help I've got from having
            to re- re- and reformulate my problem to people who don't "get it".
            I've had many "aha" moments as I continue an internal dialogue with
            some fool (!) who seems to be on the wrong track about my problem.

            My practical advice would be to keep (re-)formulating (even
            internally) because solutions to your problem might lie somewhere in
            that process of reformulating it to people with different perspectives.

            BTW - I also find it really helpful in a group discussion to see what
            other people say about someone's specific problem. And many times I'm
            sure that what's helpful for me may not be so helpful for the person
            who asked the question ... but ... that's the (dis-)advantage of being
            part of a diverse group with different perspectives and philosophies?

            cheers
            Beverly

            --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Karrer" <akarrer@...> wrote:
            >
            > Holly,
            >
            > Honestly, after the last exchange around the charter of this group,
            > I was fairly disappointed. But, at least your post held a glimmer
            > of hope. So, I'm going to be fairly honest here about my feelins
            > and opinions (and they are just that).
            >
            > One of the things that is probably the most frustrating about open
            > forums is the rambling, theoretical debates that often emerge,
            > especially when the person asking the question was soliciting
            > practical advice. It's a real turn off for many people (including
            > myself).
            >
            > I recently saw a beautiful example in the Online Facilitation group
            > of someone asking for help with a particular problem and then
            > getting some practical advice, pointers to additional materials,
            > etc. Real help with their problem. Great stuff.
            >
            > Now, I know that in many cases, people who solicit help formulate
            > the question poorly or it may be that attacking the problem from a
            > different angle would help. But, it would seem that the key is
            > whether we are really trying to help them find an answer or if we
            > are debating their choice of the word encourage vs. foster vs.
            > facilitate when clearly they (and I) are probably at a level where
            > the distinction is a rounding error on a much more fundamental
            > problem.
            >
            > So, I'd like to ask a couple of questions related to this...
            >
            > 1. Does this group provide problem solving help to people who have
            > problems related to communities of practice? It could be that the
            > prior answer of "not really Tony" was accurate - but it's just
            > disappointing.
            >
            > 2. If so, then what is the practical advice for people who have a
            > problem to better formulate their inquiry, keep things on track,
            > etc., so they can get better help from the group?
            >
            >
            > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Holly Pendleton"
            > <hollypendleton@> wrote:
            > > Tony -
            > >
            > > I would concur that this is another important aspect of this group
            > (&
            > > groups like this). My experience is much like yours in that I do
            > not
            > > always get as deep of an answer as I would like. It makes for a
            > > great dialog that helps to shape my thinking which eventually
            > makes
            > > its way into practical application. It does seem that this is a
            > > byproduct of a distributed and only lightly moderated discussion
            > > group like this. CoP discussions which are focused, more
            > purposeful,
            > > and well moderated could (should) result in more definitive
            > support
            > > and resolution to the initial request.
            > >
            > > Thanks for your thoughts on this!
            > >
            > > - Holly Pendleton
            > >
            >
          • Holly Pendleton
            ... Well, Tony, consider the post that I just made to Com-Prac, I do hope the answer to #1. is Yes ! There are several groups already doing the theological
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 14, 2006
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              --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Karrer" <akarrer@...> wrote:
              > 1. Does this group provide problem solving help to people who have
              > problems related to communities of practice? It could be that the
              > prior answer of "not really Tony" was accurate - but it's just
              > disappointing.

              Well, Tony, consider the post that I just made to Com-Prac, I do hope
              the answer to #1. is "Yes"! There are several groups already doing
              the theological debate and I am more in need of practitioner support.

              I look forward to the responses.

              - Holly
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