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CoPs and unpaid volunteers

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  • Roy Greenhalgh
    Hi A simple question. Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I m currently
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 18 1:29 AM
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      Hi

      A simple question.

      Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
      organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
      researching support structures for such volunteers.

      Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.

      Thanks

      Roy Greenhalgh
      Post Grad Research student
      University of Southampton
      UK
    • Nancy White
      Roy, I had to smile when I read your message. When I first started reading about CoPs, my first thought was hey, that s what we ve been using in the voluntary
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 18 12:12 PM
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        Roy, I had to smile when I read your message. When I first started
        reading about CoPs, my first thought was "hey, that's what we've been
        using in the voluntary and social action world forever!" I
        immediately recognized it. So my short answer is CoPs have been the
        bedrock for voluntary action in my experience, both as a volunteer,
        and as a staff who relied upon volunteers.

        We just never had the label or the language.

        For me, looking back, was that they dynamic was that groups of
        volunteers were CoPs and over the course of time, task focused teams
        emerged for project work, that then melted back into the community
        post-event. Nurturing of community was extremely important (lots of
        cookie baking, pot-luck meals, small rituals to acknowledge members
        work and ideas). Domain was pretty easy because passion around a
        voluntary cause was the motivation for participation. The trickiest
        bit was reflection and learning around sustained practice and
        participation. Again, at a potluck dinner, this was more effective
        than in a meeting. As I reflect back to when I was in the staff role,
        I took on a lot of the reification work in the form of newsletter
        articles, reports back to HQ (pleas for changes in structure too!).
        When I was a volunteer, the reification was mostly in the form of
        stories passed around and down. So I don't think we were explicit or
        especially conscious of our focus on learning, but because learning
        was key to our success, the passion drove it very informally. Does
        that make sense?

        Nancy

        At 01:29 AM 8/18/2008, you wrote:
        >Hi
        >
        >A simple question.
        >
        >Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
        >organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
        >researching support structures for such volunteers.
        >
        >Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.
        >
        >Thanks
        >
        >Roy Greenhalgh
        >Post Grad Research student
        >University of Southampton
        >UK
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
        >*-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >

        Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
        nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
        Twitter NancyWhite
        http://www.fullcirc.com/


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Roy Greenhalgh
        Hi Nancy ... I m not at all surprised at your note! I too recognise many aspects of CoPs in the voluntary groups I m involved in or am visiting. And their
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 18 2:25 PM
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          Hi Nancy

          ... I'm not at all surprised at your note!

          I too recognise many aspects of CoPs in the voluntary groups I'm
          involved in or am visiting. And their methods really don't change .. as
          you amply illustrate. Thanks.

          I wonder what else there is lurking in the com-prac group?

          Roy

          Nancy White wrote:
          > Roy, I had to smile when I read your message. When I first started
          > reading about CoPs, my first thought was "hey, that's what we've been
          > using in the voluntary and social action world forever!" I
          > immediately recognized it. So my short answer is CoPs have been the
          > bedrock for voluntary action in my experience, both as a volunteer,
          > and as a staff who relied upon volunteers.
          >
          > We just never had the label or the language.
          >
          > For me, looking back, was that they dynamic was that groups of
          > volunteers were CoPs and over the course of time, task focused teams
          > emerged for project work, that then melted back into the community
          > post-event. Nurturing of community was extremely important (lots of
          > cookie baking, pot-luck meals, small rituals to acknowledge members
          > work and ideas). Domain was pretty easy because passion around a
          > voluntary cause was the motivation for participation. The trickiest
          > bit was reflection and learning around sustained practice and
          > participation. Again, at a potluck dinner, this was more effective
          > than in a meeting. As I reflect back to when I was in the staff role,
          > I took on a lot of the reification work in the form of newsletter
          > articles, reports back to HQ (pleas for changes in structure too!).
          > When I was a volunteer, the reification was mostly in the form of
          > stories passed around and down. So I don't think we were explicit or
          > especially conscious of our focus on learning, but because learning
          > was key to our success, the passion drove it very informally. Does
          > that make sense?
          >
          > Nancy
          >
          > At 01:29 AM 8/18/2008, you wrote:
          >
          >> Hi
          >>
          >> A simple question.
          >>
          >> Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
          >> organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
          >> researching support structures for such volunteers.
          >>
          >> Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.
          >>
          >> Thanks
          >>
          >> Roy Greenhalgh
          >> Post Grad Research student
          >> University of Southampton
          >> UK
          >>
          >>
          >> ------------------------------------
          >>
          >> *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          > Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
          > nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
          > Twitter NancyWhite
          > http://www.fullcirc.com/
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
          Hi Roy, all of our collaborators at Macuarium are volunteers (some 40). This is a bit of a strange beast, being a de facto nonprofit organisation built
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 19 1:40 AM
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            Hi Roy,

            all of our collaborators at Macuarium are volunteers (some 40). This is a bit of a strange beast, being a de facto nonprofit organisation built initially to provide support for all types of Macintosh users... especially the over 70.000 registered members, but also several hundred thousand readers.

            Do let me know if we fit into your research domain; we always enjoy learning about these issues.

            Best regards,

            Miguel

            ________________________________________
            De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [com-prac@yahoogroups.com] En nombre de Roy Greenhalgh [rgreenh@...]
            Enviado el: lunes, 18 de agosto de 2008 10:29
            Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
            Asunto: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers

            Hi

            A simple question.

            Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
            organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
            researching support structures for such volunteers.

            Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.

            Thanks

            Roy Greenhalgh
            Post Grad Research student
            University of Southampton
            UK
          • Benoit Couture
            Hi Nancy, Roy and all,   From what I understand. CoP s are an effort to develop the tools that carry the sense of community at the work place. So what I
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 19 4:59 AM
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              Hi Nancy, Roy and all,
               
              From what I understand. CoP's are an effort to develop the tools that carry the sense of community at the work place.
              So what I understand from Nancy's post is that the pratice of community is needed at the heart of the community of practice.
              It dawned on me one day that the word community is made of "common" and "unity".  In other words, genuine togetherness.
              The spirit of community is cultivated by growing closer to each other, developing relationships from stranger to colleague to friend to family.  
              In practical terms, it means that CoPs are opportunities to facilitate conflict resolution, innovation, multi-discipline apprenticeship and implementation.  It is a means by which to meet at the work place, to do all the stratetigising needed by the demands of togetherness.
              It is an invitation to the obligation and responsibility to learn how to invest ourselves into strengthening the human bond and interaction...and so on...
               
              In conclusion, what I'm saying is that Communities of Practice cannot get anywhere if we do not focus on the practice of community.   
              That is the point of meeting where governments, business and home life must find the proper balance, as it can never be duplicated from artificial intelligence.  If we are satisfied within the limits of artificial intelligence, we are then back to the command and control structures that go on thriving by enforcing and policing from above, with our tax money.
               
              The following link is to an article I wrote to describe how I view the consequences of failling to make the difference:
              http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A37197417
               
              Does that add up to a contribution?
               
              cheers,
              Benoit Couture

              --- On Mon, 8/18/08, Roy Greenhalgh <rgreenh@...> wrote:

              From: Roy Greenhalgh <rgreenh@...>
              Subject: Re: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers
              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Monday, August 18, 2008, 2:25 PM






              Hi Nancy

              ... I'm not at all surprised at your note!

              I too recognise many aspects of CoPs in the voluntary groups I'm
              involved in or am visiting. And their methods really don't change .. as
              you amply illustrate. Thanks.

              I wonder what else there is lurking in the com-prac group?

              Roy

              Nancy White wrote:
              > Roy, I had to smile when I read your message. When I first started
              > reading about CoPs, my first thought was "hey, that's what we've been
              > using in the voluntary and social action world forever!" I
              > immediately recognized it. So my short answer is CoPs have been the
              > bedrock for voluntary action in my experience, both as a volunteer,
              > and as a staff who relied upon volunteers.
              >
              > We just never had the label or the language.
              >
              > For me, looking back, was that they dynamic was that groups of
              > volunteers were CoPs and over the course of time, task focused teams
              > emerged for project work, that then melted back into the community
              > post-event. Nurturing of community was extremely important (lots of
              > cookie baking, pot-luck meals, small rituals to acknowledge members
              > work and ideas). Domain was pretty easy because passion around a
              > voluntary cause was the motivation for participation. The trickiest
              > bit was reflection and learning around sustained practice and
              > participation. Again, at a potluck dinner, this was more effective
              > than in a meeting. As I reflect back to when I was in the staff role,
              > I took on a lot of the reification work in the form of newsletter
              > articles, reports back to HQ (pleas for changes in structure too!).
              > When I was a volunteer, the reification was mostly in the form of
              > stories passed around and down. So I don't think we were explicit or
              > especially conscious of our focus on learning, but because learning
              > was key to our success, the passion drove it very informally. Does
              > that make sense?
              >
              > Nancy
              >
              > At 01:29 AM 8/18/2008, you wrote:
              >
              >> Hi
              >>
              >> A simple question.
              >>
              >> Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
              >> organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
              >> researching support structures for such volunteers.
              >>
              >> Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.
              >>
              >> Thanks
              >>
              >> Roy Greenhalgh
              >> Post Grad Research student
              >> University of Southampton
              >> UK
              >>
              >>
              >> ------------ --------- --------- ------
              >>
              >> *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              > Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
              > nancyw@fullcirc. com | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
              > Twitter NancyWhite
              > http://www.fullcirc .com/
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              > ------------ --------- --------- ------
              >
              > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >

















              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • pete bond
              Roy, As Nancy has said, the voluntary sector is a good place, perhaps the best place, to look for CoPs. A couple of years ago I reported on the way in which
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 19 5:26 AM
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                Roy, As Nancy has said, the 'voluntary sector' is a good place, perhaps
                the best place, to look for CoPs. A couple of years ago I reported on
                the way in which the third sector on Merseyside made use of ICT and,
                having a CoP perspective myself, I did look, and found, supportive
                structures in the CoP mould. If you would like further info please get
                in touch off list. And........

                although Rosanna Tarsiero of this list has not replied to you I believe
                her 'specialsm' covers volunteers and CoPs and has written much on the
                topic. You might like to contact her.

                Pete Bond
                Learning Futures
              • Fred Nickols
                ... Hmm. I wonder if com-prac, being at least a community of interest with respect to CoPs and perhaps a CoP itself and one wherein the practice in question
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 19 6:46 AM
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                  --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Benoit Couture <benoitctr@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Nancy, Roy and all,
                  >  
                  > From what I understand. CoP's are an effort to develop
                  > the tools that carry the sense of community at the work
                  > place. So what I understand from Nancy's post is that 
                  > the pratice of community is needed at the heart of the
                  > community of practice.

                  Hmm. I wonder if com-prac, being at least a community of interest
                  with respect to CoPs and perhaps a CoP itself and one wherein the
                  practice in question is that of establishing/nurturing/supporting
                  CoPs, has arrived at or evolved to a stage where its focus is on
                  "community" instead of "practice." That would make com-prac's
                  practice that of community building, which might or might not involve
                  the original sine qua non of a CoP: that is, a work-related practice.

                  Regards,

                  Fred Nickols
                  Managing Partner
                  Distance Consulting, LLC
                  www.skullworks.com
                  nickols@...

                  "Assistance at a Distance"
                • Benoit Couture
                  Fred,   Thanks for the specification of the sine qua non of a CoP as practice by Com-prac.   My online participation is that of a stay-at-home-dad, with no
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 20 1:34 AM
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                    Fred,
                     
                    Thanks for the specification of the sine qua non of a CoP as practice by Com-prac.
                     
                    My online participation is that of a stay-at-home-dad, with no income.  I manage the household out of  everyone else's money, but I have no income of my own; a lot like house wives use to do and in some areas, who still do.
                     
                    In my case, home and work have no difference from one another, except for the luxury of caring or not, when it comes to all that is needed by everyone else, in the movement from home to work and back home. 
                     
                    Could it be that the safe and secure future of home, school, work and community is to eliminate the distance of isolation between the four? 
                     
                    Benoit Couture

                    --- On Tue, 8/19/08, Fred Nickols <nickols@...> wrote:

                    From: Fred Nickols <nickols@...>
                    Subject: Re: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers
                    To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 6:46 AM






                    --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, Benoit Couture <benoitctr@. ..> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Nancy, Roy and all,
                    >  
                    > From what I understand. CoP' s are an effort to develop
                    > the tools that carry the sense of community at the work
                    > place. So what I understand from Nancy's post is that 
                    > the pratice of community is needed at the heart of the
                    > community of practice.

                    Hmm. I wonder if com-prac, being at least a community of interest
                    with respect to CoPs and perhaps a CoP itself and one wherein the
                    practice in question is that of establishing/ nurturing/ supporting
                    CoPs, has arrived at or evolved to a stage where its focus is on
                    "community" instead of "practice." That would make com-prac's
                    practice that of community building, which might or might not involve
                    the original sine qua non of a CoP: that is, a work-related practice.

                    Regards,

                    Fred Nickols
                    Managing Partner
                    Distance Consulting, LLC
                    www.skullworks. com
                    nickols@att. net

                    "Assistance at a Distance"


















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Fred Nickols
                    ... Well, now that I ve re-read my post, I see a big glitch in it. If the practice of com-prac is community building, whether or not the communities involved
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 20 9:44 AM
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                      Earlier, I wrote:

                      > Hmm. I wonder if com-prac, being at least a community of interest
                      > with respect to CoPs and perhaps a CoP itself and one wherein the
                      > practice in question is that of establishing/nurturing/supporting
                      > CoPs, has arrived at or evolved to a stage where its focus is on
                      > "community" instead of "practice." That would make com-prac's
                      > practice that of community building, which might or might not involve
                      > the original sine qua non of a CoP: that is, a work-related practice.

                      Well, now that I've re-read my post, I see a big glitch in it.

                      If the "practice" of com-prac is community building, whether or not
                      the communities involved are CoPs, then community building would
                      indeed qualify as a work-related practice even if the communities
                      being built weren't themselves linked to a workplace-related practice.

                      Ouch. That makes my head hurt.

                      Regards,

                      Fred Nickols
                      Managing Partner
                      Distance Consulting, LLC
                      www.skullworks.com
                      nickols@...

                      "Assistance at a Distance"
                    • CompanyCmd@aol.com
                      Roy, Instead of thinking about CoPs in voluntary organizations, my focus has been thinking about volunteers in a CoP. We?might look at?the CoP as a voluntary
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 10, 2008
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                        Roy,

                        Instead of thinking about CoPs in voluntary organizations, my focus has been thinking about volunteers in a CoP.

                        We?might look at?the CoP as a voluntary organization.? Members who journey from the periphery of participation to that place of active participation and commitment -- and, who in the process -- take on important informal roles in the community of practice, might be looked at as volunteers.

                        The question I have asked myself is, "What is the experience of becoming an especially active member of a community of practice?"? In the process of searching out this question, what emerged for me was a sense for what makes members' experience meaningful.? It is the depth of meaning that they make from the experience of being an active member that seems to propel them forward in their journey.? In a nutshell, here are three factors that stood out to me:

                        The experience is meaningful to me (an active member) along three dimensions:

                        (1) Connection:? As a result of this experience I am becoming connected to like-hearted leaders who I value.??This?is about relationship.

                        (2) Contribution:? I am able to give back and make a difference--to contribute my unique experience and talent to something greater than self.? I am making a positive difference for people and a collective that I value.

                        (3) Personal Development:?As a result of this experience, I am personally developing and becoming more effective as a leader and a peson than I would otherwise be.? I am being exposed to people and experiences that change me.? I'm learning.

                        Given this understanding, a follow-up question follows:? "What can we as a community of practice do to be a catalyst for the meaningful experience of members?"

                        And, could we think of leadership in a CoP as creating meaningful experiences for members along these three dimensions?? If, after all, meaningful experiences are critical to the trajectory of participation of members, then that may be the sine qua non for the practice of leadership in a CoP.? And members are exercising leadership when they create meaningful experiences for each other.

                        Hope this helps,

                        --Tony


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Roy Greenhalgh <rgreenh@...>
                        To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 4:29 am
                        Subject: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers






                        Hi

                        A simple question.

                        Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
                        organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
                        researching support structures for such volunteers.

                        Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.

                        Thanks

                        Roy Greenhalgh
                        Post Grad Research student
                        University of Southampton
                        UK






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • pete bond
                        ... I discovered a pattern of CoP development. Let me explain. Many years ago I became involved with a local pressure group whose members wanted to improve the
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 10, 2008
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                          > Hi Tony, I'm interested how you came to these views. What you say
                          > certainly reverberates with my own experie3ce. I'm particularly fond
                          > of your idea on the function of leadership...."And, could we think of
                          > leadership in a CoP as creating meaningful experiences for members
                          > along these three dimensions??"
                          >





                          I discovered a pattern of CoP development. Let me explain. Many years
                          ago I became involved with a local pressure group whose members wanted
                          to improve the employment and income generating opportunities on a
                          particular out of town housing project afflicted by crime, drug abuse,
                          and organised gangsters. Nowadays this kind of initiative would fit
                          under a social enterprise heading, but we called it community led
                          enterprise.

                          First, concerned people somehow came together to discuss the problems of
                          the estate and eventually formed what we would now recognise as a CoP.
                          These were the volunteers. As they met more and more and talked about
                          their problems, they became more coherent as a group, more organised,
                          and more knowing, and eventually began to attract attention of the
                          press, then the local government officials and elected members. To
                          obtain funding for what they wanted to do they had to become official in
                          the eyes of the law and so formed a company. That's when the CoP began
                          to disintegrate, but that's another story.

                          This process took about 3 years. During that time, the volunteers, most
                          of who were unemployed, began to add to their roles as mothers, fathers,
                          grannies and uncles, and gain identities in other walks of life, such as
                          amongst local government officials and representatives, some of them
                          moving on to becoming elected members of government themselves. All this
                          time there was one guy who everyone looked to for leadership. He had a
                          professional background, but also had been involved in similar working
                          class projects so he knew what was needed. He acted exactly as you
                          suggest leaders ought to act. He recognised, that as a result of job
                          loss, there was a lack (not a complete absence) of meaning and
                          identity in these volunteers lives. He saw his function as giving it
                          back to them.

                          What developed before its final demise was a network, a real community,
                          of people who volunteered with a view to a role, a view to gaining new
                          meaning in their lives, whether as chairs of various committees to
                          support the development of, for example, art and dance classes for kids,
                          community repairs and garden maintenance services, as well as small
                          business development, or as the people who delivered these services to
                          the community. All this time the aforementioned 'leader' was influencing
                          things in the background, so not a conventional leader.

                          I have witnessed this pattern of development more recently in many
                          groups of people who have volunteered to do something about a problem.
                          Whether drug abuse in a neighbourhood, lack of care for carers, creating
                          playgroups for kids disadvantaged in one way or another, care of the
                          elderly, or provision of reading and audio materials for the blind.
                          Quite often, those who have talked up the formation of a CoP in the
                          first place, them selves go on to be leaders in a very official
                          capacity, such as managers of, say, a support centre for substance
                          abusers. I think at this point, when the informal CoP becomes very
                          (over) formalised, the volunteers begin to fade away. It's a leader's
                          task to make sure this does not happen, and so help to maintain new
                          found roles, new found identities, and new found knowledge and, in many
                          cases, competence.

                          pete



                          > Roy,
                          >
                          > Instead of thinking about CoPs in voluntary organizations, my focus
                          > has been thinking about volunteers in a CoP.
                          >
                          > We?might look at?the CoP as a voluntary organization.? Members who
                          > journey from the periphery of participation to that place of active
                          > participation and commitment -- and, who in the process -- take on
                          > important informal roles in the community of practice, might be looked
                          > at as volunteers.
                          >
                          > The question I have asked myself is, "What is the experience of
                          > becoming an especially active member of a community of practice?"? In
                          > the process of searching out this question, what emerged for me was a
                          > sense for what makes members' experience meaningful.? It is the depth
                          > of meaning that they make from the experience of being an active
                          > member that seems to propel them forward in their journey.? In a
                          > nutshell, here are three factors that stood out to me:
                          >
                          > The experience is meaningful to me (an active member) along three
                          > dimensions:
                          >
                          > (1) Connection:? As a result of this experience I am becoming
                          > connected to like-hearted leaders who I value.??This?is about
                          > relationship.
                          >
                          > (2) Contribution:? I am able to give back and make a difference--to
                          > contribute my unique experience and talent to something greater than
                          > self.? I am making a positive difference for people and a collective
                          > that I value.
                          >
                          > (3) Personal Development:?As a result of this experience, I am
                          > personally developing and becoming more effective as a leader and a
                          > peson than I would otherwise be.? I am being exposed to people and
                          > experiences that change me.? I'm learning.
                          >
                          > Given this understanding, a follow-up question follows:? "What can we
                          > as a community of practice do to be a catalyst for the meaningful
                          > experience of members?"
                          >
                          > And, could we think of leadership in a CoP as creating meaningful
                          > experiences for members along these three dimensions?? If, after all,
                          > meaningful experiences are critical to the trajectory of participation
                          > of members, then that may be the sine qua non for the practice of
                          > leadership in a CoP.? And members are exercising leadership when they
                          > create meaningful experiences for each other.
                          >
                          > Hope this helps,
                          >
                          > --Tony
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: Roy Greenhalgh <rgreenh@...
                          > <mailto:rgreenh%40attglobal.net>>
                          > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 4:29 am
                          > Subject: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers
                          >
                          > Hi
                          >
                          > A simple question.
                          >
                          > Have any subscribers experience of the use of CoPs in voluntary
                          > organizations? I specifically mean unpaid volunteers. I'm currently
                          > researching support structures for such volunteers.
                          >
                          > Either write to me off-line or we can all read it.
                          >
                          > Thanks
                          >
                          > Roy Greenhalgh
                          > Post Grad Research student
                          > University of Southampton
                          > UK
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                        • John D. Smith
                          Tony, I especially like your phrase: like-hearted . Seems really apt. John * * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd * Portland, Oregon, USA
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 10, 2008
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                            Tony,

                            I especially like your phrase: "like-hearted". Seems really apt.

                            John
                            *
                            * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                            * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                            * see http://technologyforcommunities.com/tools/
                            * "The only way out is through." -- Robert Frost
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                            Of CompanyCmd@...
                            Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 3:30 AM
                            To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [cp] CoPs and unpaid volunteers

                            Roy,

                            Instead of thinking about CoPs in voluntary organizations, my focus has been
                            thinking about volunteers in a CoP.

                            We?might look at?the CoP as a voluntary organization.? Members who journey
                            from the periphery of participation to that place of active participation
                            and commitment -- and, who in the process -- take on important informal
                            roles in the community of practice, might be looked at as volunteers.

                            The question I have asked myself is, "What is the experience of becoming an
                            especially active member of a community of practice?"? In the process of
                            searching out this question, what emerged for me was a sense for what makes
                            members' experience meaningful.? It is the depth of meaning that they make
                            from the experience of being an active member that seems to propel them
                            forward in their journey.? In a nutshell, here are three factors that stood
                            out to me:

                            The experience is meaningful to me (an active member) along three
                            dimensions:

                            (1) Connection:? As a result of this experience I am becoming connected to
                            like-hearted leaders who I value.??This?is about relationship.

                            (2) Contribution:? I am able to give back and make a difference--to
                            contribute my unique experience and talent to something greater than self.?
                            I am making a positive difference for people and a collective that I value.

                            (3) Personal Development:?As a result of this experience, I am personally
                            developing and becoming more effective as a leader and a peson than I would
                            otherwise be.? I am being exposed to people and experiences that change me.?
                            I'm learning.

                            Given this understanding, a follow-up question follows:? "What can we as a
                            community of practice do to be a catalyst for the meaningful experience of
                            members?"

                            And, could we think of leadership in a CoP as creating meaningful
                            experiences for members along these three dimensions?? If, after all,
                            meaningful experiences are critical to the trajectory of participation of
                            members, then that may be the sine qua non for the practice of leadership in
                            a CoP.? And members are exercising leadership when they create meaningful
                            experiences for each other.

                            Hope this helps,

                            --Tony
                          • CompanyCmd@aol.com
                            Wow Pete!? Compelling examples. In 2005-2006, I did an in-depth interview study of some of the most active members of a community of practice.? I looked at
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 11, 2008
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                              Wow Pete!? Compelling examples.

                              In 2005-2006, I did an in-depth interview study of some of the most active members of a community of practice.? I looked at their experience of becoming -- their experience of moving from the periphery to the "center."

                              The ideas I shared emerged from that study.

                              A short book (booklet really) I highly recommend that supported and served as a catalyst for some of my thinking on leadership in an informal social system is:? Making Common Sense: Leadership as Meaning-Making in a Community of Practice,? CCL Press (Drath & Palus, 1994).
                              http://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1246&productId=0-912879-97-1

                              In June, I?had coffee?with Bill Snyder (coathored the 2000 HBS article on Communities of Practice as the Organizational Frontier).? Bill recommended I read "A Company of Citizens" by Brook Manville.? I'm reading it now.?

                              We were talking about the key factors influencing the experience of members who become especially active in a community of practice.? I shared the framework of "To Connect" "To Contribute" "To Develop." We brainstormed how the framework might relate to other frameworks: e.g., from Etienne Wenger's work (as well as Bill Snyder and Richard McDermott):?

                              o COMMUNITY & belonging (To Connect);

                              o DOMAIN (To Contribute);

                              o PRACTICE (To Develop).

                              Another way to frame it, coming from Bill's thoughts here, is like this:

                              o BELONGING

                              o BEHAVIOR

                              o BELIEF



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • pete bond
                              Hi Tony, Thanks for the link. I will see if I can get a copy of the common sense book. Through the title there s a link to the work of Max Boisot on how
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 11, 2008
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                                Hi Tony, Thanks for the link. I will see if I can get a copy of the
                                common sense book. Through the title there's a link to the work of Max
                                Boisot on how cultural space forms and evolves from shared problem
                                solving and solution making.

                                I think your Connect, Contribute (through tasks/practices/behaviours)
                                and Develop (personal growth, knowing and competence development, which
                                may influence behaviour/practice/task strategy) activities make a lot of
                                sense. The first one perhaps being the most difficult for some people,
                                especially if the reason they are volunteering is because they have lost
                                their previous network of supportive conversations (or they are lost to
                                it). These are all activities and so they must result in something. True
                                they result in belief, belonging (identity/role) and when the
                                contributing and developing is shared the result is a CoP, which is the
                                domain of conversations in which their belonging/identity/role is realised.

                                Going back to Max Boisot's work, according to his model of knowledge
                                flow from problem solving, the result of connecting, contributing and
                                developing will be a cultural space supported by 'common knowledge'
                                (like common sense). His work might be useful to you (just google, later
                                book Knowledge assets best -avoid Information Space).

                                There's a lot of interest in developing the Third Sector in the UK, so
                                if you cared to share the findings of your research I'm sure my
                                colleagues will be interested.

                                pete



                                wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Wow Pete!? Compelling examples.
                                >
                                > In 2005-2006, I did an in-depth interview study of some of the most
                                > active members of a community of practice.? I looked at their
                                > experience of becoming -- their experience of moving from the
                                > periphery to the "center."
                                >
                                > The ideas I shared emerged from that study.
                                >
                                > A short book (booklet really) I highly recommend that supported and
                                > served as a catalyst for some of my thinking on leadership in an
                                > informal social system is:? Making Common Sense: Leadership as
                                > Meaning-Making in a Community of Practice,? CCL Press (Drath & Palus,
                                > 1994).
                                > http://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1246&productId=0-912879-97-1
                                > <http://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1246&productId=0-912879-97-1>
                                >
                                > In June, I?had coffee?with Bill Snyder (coathored the 2000 HBS article
                                > on Communities of Practice as the Organizational Frontier).? Bill
                                > recommended I read "A Company of Citizens" by Brook Manville.? I'm
                                > reading it now.?
                                >
                                > We were talking about the key factors influencing the experience of
                                > members who become especially active in a community of practice.? I
                                > shared the framework of "To Connect" "To Contribute" "To Develop." We
                                > brainstormed how the framework might relate to other frameworks: e.g.,
                                > from Etienne Wenger's work (as well as Bill Snyder and Richard
                                > McDermott):?
                                >
                                > o COMMUNITY & belonging (To Connect);
                                >
                                > o DOMAIN (To Contribute);
                                >
                                > o PRACTICE (To Develop).
                                >
                                > Another way to frame it, coming from Bill's thoughts here, is like this:
                                >
                                > o BELONGING
                                >
                                > o BEHAVIOR
                                >
                                > o BELIEF
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                              • Roy Greenhalgh
                                Dear Pete and other responders to my original question Thanks to you all for the contributions. I agree entirely with Tony, and his ideas are very close to
                                Message 15 of 15 , Sep 11, 2008
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                                  Dear Pete and other responders to my original question

                                  Thanks to you all for the contributions. I agree entirely with Tony,
                                  and his ideas are very close to mine. I'm currently re-reading Wenger's
                                  "Communities of Practice", especially the identity section. Slow
                                  reading, but good stuff.

                                  Please DO continue discussing: it is all illuminating as well as confirming.

                                  Thanks

                                  Roy

                                  Roy Greenhalgh
                                  MPhil/PhD Research Student
                                  School of Social Sciences
                                  University of Southampton
                                  Highfield
                                  Southampton
                                  SO17 1BJ

                                  Email: rg1o07@...
                                  Phone: 07976 881013

                                  pete bond wrote:
                                  > Hi Tony, Thanks for the link. I will see if I can get a copy of the
                                  > common sense book. Through the title there's a link to the work of Max
                                  > Boisot on how cultural space forms and evolves from shared problem
                                  > solving and solution making.
                                  >
                                  > I think your Connect, Contribute (through tasks/practices/behaviours)
                                  > and Develop (personal growth, knowing and competence development, which
                                  > may influence behaviour/practice/task strategy) activities make a lot of
                                  > sense. The first one perhaps being the most difficult for some people,
                                  > especially if the reason they are volunteering is because they have lost
                                  > their previous network of supportive conversations (or they are lost to
                                  > it). These are all activities and so they must result in something. True
                                  > they result in belief, belonging (identity/role) and when the
                                  > contributing and developing is shared the result is a CoP, which is the
                                  > domain of conversations in which their belonging/identity/role is realised.
                                  >
                                  > Going back to Max Boisot's work, according to his model of knowledge
                                  > flow from problem solving, the result of connecting, contributing and
                                  > developing will be a cultural space supported by 'common knowledge'
                                  > (like common sense). His work might be useful to you (just google, later
                                  > book Knowledge assets best -avoid Information Space).
                                  >
                                  > There's a lot of interest in developing the Third Sector in the UK, so
                                  > if you cared to share the findings of your research I'm sure my
                                  > colleagues will be interested.
                                  >
                                  > pete
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> Wow Pete!? Compelling examples.
                                  >>
                                  >> In 2005-2006, I did an in-depth interview study of some of the most
                                  >> active members of a community of practice.? I looked at their
                                  >> experience of becoming -- their experience of moving from the
                                  >> periphery to the "center."
                                  >>
                                  >> The ideas I shared emerged from that study.
                                  >>
                                  >> A short book (booklet really) I highly recommend that supported and
                                  >> served as a catalyst for some of my thinking on leadership in an
                                  >> informal social system is:? Making Common Sense: Leadership as
                                  >> Meaning-Making in a Community of Practice,? CCL Press (Drath & Palus,
                                  >> 1994).
                                  >> http://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1246&productId=0-912879-97-1
                                  >> <http://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1246&productId=0-912879-97-1>
                                  >>
                                  >> In June, I?had coffee?with Bill Snyder (coathored the 2000 HBS article
                                  >> on Communities of Practice as the Organizational Frontier).? Bill
                                  >> recommended I read "A Company of Citizens" by Brook Manville.? I'm
                                  >> reading it now.?
                                  >>
                                  >> We were talking about the key factors influencing the experience of
                                  >> members who become especially active in a community of practice.? I
                                  >> shared the framework of "To Connect" "To Contribute" "To Develop." We
                                  >> brainstormed how the framework might relate to other frameworks: e.g.,
                                  >> from Etienne Wenger's work (as well as Bill Snyder and Richard
                                  >> McDermott):?
                                  >>
                                  >> o COMMUNITY & belonging (To Connect);
                                  >>
                                  >> o DOMAIN (To Contribute);
                                  >>
                                  >> o PRACTICE (To Develop).
                                  >>
                                  >> Another way to frame it, coming from Bill's thoughts here, is like this:
                                  >>
                                  >> o BELONGING
                                  >>
                                  >> o BEHAVIOR
                                  >>
                                  >> o BELIEF
                                  >>
                                  >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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