The IDeA have published a report on the Community of Practice ‘Facilitator’s Workshop’ I organised for them on 27th April. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together the various facilitators of the on-line communities supported on the IDeA CoP platform, to learn from their experiences in facilitating communities of practice across local government, and in response to issues raised by the facilitators through their own dedicated CoP, namely:
- how can I keep momentum going?
- who can I turn to for support?
- will my opinions be seen as â€˜noviceâ€™ compared to others in the community?
Community adviser and activist Ed Mitchell spoke on â€˜Nurturing communities from networks: the gritty bitsâ€™. There was also a session from Hilary Messeter from the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).
As with many of these type of events, the coming together and sharing of knowledge can be a therapeutic process, i.e. the realisation that you’re not alone and that someone else has the same concerns and issues as yourself, and better still, finding someone who has solved the issue you’ve been worrying about.
One particularly encouraging piece of information that emerged from the workshop was that most of the CoP’s across local government have a 10% contribution rate, which is well beyond the ‘1% rule’.
â€œWe’re trying to sell two very ambitious concepts with this [IDeA CoP] platform. Firstly, we are asking people to tear down silos and start working together and sharing our knowledge â€“ something that is an anathema to some elements of local government culture. Secondly, we are asking them to do so using the web, with blogs, wikis and forums!â€
It was apparent to me that there is a close relationship between effective CoPs and effective facilitators – i.e. you can’t have one without the other.