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Building a Community of Practice

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Excella is a community of experts—collaborators, teachers, creatives, and thinkers and we love to share what we know at Meetups and conferences. We have many shared passions ranging from specific technologies to personal hobbies. We’re bloggers, published authors, speakers, and active participants in many DC-area business and tech groups. Because of this, we’ve gained experience in building and growing Communities of Practice (CoPs) and wanted to share some guidance on how your organization or group can create your own Community of Practice (CoP).

In this fact sheet, you will first learn about Excella’s guiding principles to consider when starting your organization’s CoP. You will read about how to create alignment through aspirational vision and inspirational leadership—not control and conformity, (see Dan Pink’s “Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose” concept and Generative Culture from Westrum’s Culture Typology.) You will also explore the importance of giving everyone a voice to harness and build off the initiative and interest of team members, emphasizing learning as a primary objective, and how to construct strong networks that will spread behavioral change and accelerate the adoption of your CoP.

In this fact sheet, explore how to further develop your Community of Practice by utilizing our CoP building tactics, such as:

  • Showcasing your community’s vision by developing a strong brand identity
  • Creating a meetup model to start and grow your communities by learning how to publicize meetings and topics
  • Holding an internal speaker series or conference to generate buzz about the CoP

Finally, learn how enablers can help you gather pain points from community members, craft and refine messaging strategies, and proactively identify and work to resolve any fear related to organizational change. Other enablers we explore consist of gaining leadership support, conducting impact mapping, creating a budget, tracking metrics, and using causal loop diagramming to examine the culture and work systems.

Download the fact sheet to explore Excella’s guiding principles, building tactics, and enablers to help you create your own Community of Practice.

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