Facilitating communities of practice (CoPs)

Day and time: Tuesday 26, 11.00-12.30.
Space: TBD
Convener(s): Lucie Lamoureux
Process coach: Ewen Le Borgne

Return to the Share Fair page

Outline of the session

Communities of practice (CoPs) have been hailed as a key legacy of knowledge management. But how to successfully facilitate them and what are the latest lessons and trends on the horizon?

Purpose: Why is this topic important to you and us as a community? >> Because communities of practice are perhaps the one legacy of the past/current generation of knowledge management and have been tried out in various contexts in global development, but we still may not have very clear ideas on how to run these properly.
Know the principles about CoPs but also that there's no silver bullet - persist and try new things out, listen...

Objectives/Products/Outcomes: What are the outputs and how will we know we've achieved them? >> A list of questions to shape up our practice as community leaders and participants? A sense that participants feel better about the CoPs they're involved in...

Detailed session outline:

Proposed flow:
  • Draw your CoP and get to know each other in that way (with how many members, governance, focus, activity) (20 minutes, 10 min walkabout)
    • Take a piece of flipchart and markers and make a drawing of your CoP (you can include key words and numbers but also visuals)
    • Gallery walkabout to look at the different drawins

  • Good CoP / bad CoP (1-3-all) (25 minutes)
    • What are positive elements in my CoP? What are negative elements in my CoP?
    • What are positive elements in the facilitation of the CoP? What are negative elements in the facilitation of the CoP?
  • Silent self-reflection by individuals (2 min)
  • Generate ideas in trios, building on ideas from self-reflection (13 min)
  • All: “What is one positive element that stood out in your conversation? One negative?” (10 min)

  • Troika consulting (30 minutes)
    • Invite participants to reflect on the questions: "What is your CoP challenge" and "what is the help you need?"
    • In groups of three, two people are consultants, one person is the client
    • Groups have first client share his or her question (1-2 min)
    • Consultants ask the client clarifying questions (1-2 min)
    • Together, the consultants generate ideas, suggestions, coaching advice (5-7 min)
    • Groups switch to next person and repeat

  • Popcorn debrief (5 minutes)