Topics

Types of Communities #CoP


Neil Olonoff
 

All

Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc. 

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these various models, to your knowledge? 

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff 



Stan Garfield
 

Neil,

Thanks for asking the question.  I used to differentiate between communities of practice and communities of interest, but I no longer find differentiating community types to be useful.  So I just use the term "communities" and talk about the characteristics and success factors for any community.  If you want to talk about the different objectives communities may have, that's fine, but I don't think this warrants different terminology for each.

Regards,
Stan

--- In sikmleaders@..., Neil Olonoff wrote:
>
> All
>
> Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
> of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.
>
> I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
> this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
> various models, to your knowledge?
>
> Regards,
> Neil
>
> Neil Olonoff
>


john.mcquary@...
 

Very early in our KM journey, we got tired of debating the distinctions and
trying to fit our communities into an outside definition. We decided to
call them Knowledge Communities and structured them to fit our business
needs.

- John

John McQuary | FLUOR | Vice President | Knowledge Management & Technology
Strategies | John.McQuary@Fluor.com | O 281.263.2533 | IODC 10.2533 | M
713.213.5342




From: Neil Olonoff <olonoff@gmail.com>
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Date: 12/06/2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities
Sent by: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com






All



Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
various models, to your knowledge?

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff





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Edited

Hi,
 
I put together a quick one slide overview of different types of collaborative groups from teams to crowdsourcing - referencing key thinkers/theorists/articulators of various models.   
Not exhaustive, but perhaps helpful to key orientations and value points.
Hope this is helpful to the conversation
Catherine Shinners
 
Merced Group
Silicon Valley, USA
+1-650-704-3889
 
Twitter: @catshinners  |  Skype: CatherinePaloAlto
 
Social Business Strategic Consulting and Enterprise 2.0 Services
 


Carl Frappaolo <cfraff@...>
 

We collectively call our "communities' practice areas but do distinguish between Communities of Practice and Communities of Interest - its not semantics. The design of the sites and the expectation of what is discussed is a bit different. practice revolves around developing methodologies and interest around building a competency in a subject area.

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM, <john.mcquary@...> wrote:
 

Very early in our KM journey, we got tired of debating the distinctions and trying to fit our communities into an outside definition. We decided to call them Knowledge Communities and structured them to fit our business needs.

- John


Neil Olonoff ---12/06/2012 11:17:12 AM---All Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types

From: Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...>
To: sikmleaders@...
Date: 12/06/2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities
Sent by: sikmleaders@...




 

All

Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc. 

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these various models, to your knowledge? 

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff 


------------------------------------------------------------
The information transmitted is intended only for the person
or entity to which it is addressed and may contain
proprietary, business-confidential and/or privileged material. 
If you are not the intended recipient of this message you are
hereby notified that any use, review, retransmission, dissemination,
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Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
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------------------------------------------------------------




--
Carl Frappaolo
blog:  www.takingaiim.com
Twitter @carlfrappaolo


Katrina Pugh <katepugh@...>
 

Hi, SIKM Leaders
 
I agree with John. Form follows function. In a research project I did with Larry Prusak for the Gates Foundation, we identified four primary "objectives" for communities:
 
1. Learning/Innovation (collaborative creation of knowledge products and insights about the CoP process)
2. Practitioner support (individuals getting just in time answers/dialogues)
3. Coordination (connecting the agendas, processes, languages of different organizations, like donors, academicians and service providers)
4. Translation/local adaptation (teams joining the community in tact, so that they can socialize among themselves what their learing, and so that they can improve the absorption of those ideas by the home organization).
 
I talked about this in a nonprofit (free) recorded webinar here:
"Beyond Partnerships: Tapping into the Agility of Knowledge Networks and Communities," Nonprofit Webinar series: http://nonprofitwebinars.com/past_webinars/11302011-beyond-partnerships-tapping-into-the-agility-of-knowledge-networks-and-communities/
(If you listen or read past the four types of communities, it has the knowledge network/community effectiveness model we synthesized from our research. A big thank you for people like Stan Garfield, Nancy Dixon, Dan Ranta, Beverly Trayner and John Smith who inspired this.)
Kate
 
Katrina Pugh
Interim Director, Columbia Information and Knowledge Strategy Masters Program
President, AlignConsulting
Author of Sharing Hidden Know-How (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011)
katepugh@...
www.alignconsultinginc.com
617 967 3910 (m)
781 259 0340 (l)

-----Original Message-----
From: john.mcquary
To: sikmleaders
Sent: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 4:35 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities

 
Very early in our KM journey, we got tired of debating the distinctions and trying to fit our communities into an outside definition. We decided to call them Knowledge Communities and structured them to fit our business needs.

- John
    John McQuary | FLUOR | Vice President | Knowledge Management & Technology Strategies | John.McQuary@... | O 281.263.2533 | IODC 10.2533 | M 713.213.5342

Neil Olonoff ---12/06/2012 11:17:12 AM---All Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types

From: Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...>
To: sikmleaders@...
Date: 12/06/2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities
Sent by: sikmleaders@...




 
All
Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc. 

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these various models, to your knowledge? 

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff 


------------------------------------------------------------
The information transmitted is intended only for the person
or entity to which it is addressed and may contain
proprietary, business-confidential and/or privileged material. 
If you are not the intended recipient of this message you are
hereby notified that any use, review, retransmission, dissemination,
distribution, reproduction or any action taken in reliance upon
this message is prohibited. If you received this in error, please
contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. 
Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of the company. 
------------------------------------------------------------


plessons@...
 

Thanks Kate for sharing this work


Richard Vines


----- Original Message -----
From:
sikmleaders@...

To:

Cc:

Sent:
Thu, 6 Dec 2012 17:07:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject:
Re: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities


Hi, SIKM Leaders
 
I agree with John. Form follows function. In a research project I did with Larry Prusak for the Gates Foundation, we identified four primary "objectives" for communities:
 
1. Learning/Innovation (collaborative creation of knowledge products and insights about the CoP process)
2. Practitioner support (individuals getting just in time answers/dialogues)
3. Coordination (connecting the agendas, processes, languages of different organizations, like donors, academicians and service providers)
4. Translation/local adaptation (teams joining the community in tact, so that they can socialize among themselves what their learing, and so that they can improve the absorption of those ideas by the home organization).
 
I talked about this in a nonprofit (free) recorded webinar here:
"Beyond Partnerships: Tapping into the Agility of Knowledge Networks and Communities," Nonprofit Webinar series: http://nonprofitwebinars.com/past_webinars/11302011-beyond-partnerships-tapping-into-the-agility-of-knowledge-networks-and-communities/
(If you listen or read past the four types of communities, it has the knowledge network/community effectiveness model we synthesized from our research. A big thank you for people like Stan Garfield, Nancy Dixon, Dan Ranta, Beverly Trayner and John Smith who inspired this.)
Kate
 
Katrina Pugh
Interim Director, Columbia Information and Knowledge Strategy Masters Program
President, AlignConsulting
Author of Sharing Hidden Know-How (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011)
katepugh@...
www.alignconsultinginc.com
617 967 3910 (m)
781 259 0340 (l)
-----Original Message-----
From: john.mcquary
To: sikmleaders
Sent: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 4:35 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities

 
Very early in our KM journey, we got tired of debating the distinctions and trying to fit our communities into an outside definition. We decided to call them Knowledge Communities and structured them to fit our business needs.

- John
John McQuary | FLUOR | Vice President | Knowledge Management & Technology Strategies | John.McQuary@... | O 281.263.2533 | IODC 10.2533 | M 713.213.5342

Neil Olonoff ---12/06/2012 11:17:12 AM---All Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types

From: Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...>
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroupscom
Date: 12/06/2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities
Sent by: sikmleaders@...




 
All
Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc. 

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these various models, to your knowledge? 

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff 


------------------------------------------------------------
The information transmitted is intended only for the person
or entity to which it is addressed and may contain
proprietary, business-confidential and/or privileged material. 
If you are not the intended recipient of this message you are
hereby notified that any use, review, retransmission, dissemination,
distribution, reproduction or any action taken in reliance upon
this message is prohibited. If you received this in error, please
contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. 
Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of the company. 
------------------------------------------------------------


John David Smith <john.smith@...>
 

Thanks for the shout-out Kate.  I agree that getting hung up on different “communities of this or that” can take a lot of effort that doesn’t yield anything much.

 

In Digital Habitats we talked about different “community orientations” that show up in different communities we’ve observed.  We’ve used a spidergram to help community leaders / designers think through what a community wants or is.

 

Etienne Wenger, Nancy White, and John D. Smith, Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities (Portland, OR: CPsquare, 2009). ISBN: 9780982503607.

 

The idea is that getting clear about orientations leads to a better mix of tools.  Even when a specific platform is a given, being clear about a community’s orientation helps with questions of what   components or tools to emphasize, etc.

 

John

* John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd http://gplus.to/smithjd

* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net

* "In a world presenting unique challenges and ambiguity,

* play prepares these bears for an evolving planet." -- Stuart Brown

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Katrina Pugh
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 2:08 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities

 

Hi, SIKM Leaders

 

I agree with John. Form follows function. In a research project I did with Larry Prusak for the Gates Foundation, we identified four primary "objectives" for communities:

 

1. Learning/Innovation (collaborative creation of knowledge products and insights about the CoP process)

2. Practitioner support (individuals getting just in time answers/dialogues)

3. Coordination (connecting the agendas, processes, languages of different organizations, like donors, academicians and service providers)

4. Translation/local adaptation (teams joining the community in tact, so that they can socialize among themselves what their learing, and so that they can improve the absorption of those ideas by the home organization).

 

I talked about this in a nonprofit (free) recorded webinar here:

"Beyond Partnerships: Tapping into the Agility of Knowledge Networks and Communities," Nonprofit Webinar series: http://nonprofitwebinars.com/past_webinars/11302011-beyond-partnerships-tapping-into-the-agility-of-knowledge-networks-and-communities/

(If you listen or read past the four types of communities, it has the knowledge network/community effectiveness model we synthesized from our research. A big thank you for people like Stan Garfield, Nancy Dixon, Dan Ranta, Beverly Trayner and John Smith who inspired this.)

Kate

 

Katrina Pugh

Interim Director, Columbia Information and Knowledge Strategy Masters Program

President, AlignConsulting
Author of Sharing Hidden Know-How (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011)

katepugh@...

www.alignconsultinginc.com
617 967 3910 (m)
781 259 0340 (l)

-----Original Message-----
From: john.mcquary <john.mcquary@...>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 4:35 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities

 

Very early in our KM journey, we got tired of debating the distinctions and trying to fit our communities into an outside definition. We decided to call them Knowledge Communities and structured them to fit our business needs.

- John

John McQuary | FLUOR | Vice President | Knowledge Management & Technology Strategies | John.McQuary@... | O 281.263.2533 | IODC 10.2533 | M 713.213.5342


Neil Olonoff ---12/06/2012 11:17:12 AM---All Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types

From: Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...>
To: sikmleaders@...
Date: 12/06/2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Types of Communities
Sent by: sikmleaders@...





 

All

Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc. 

I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these various models, to your knowledge? 

Regards,
Neil

Neil Olonoff 

 

------------------------------------------------------------
The information transmitted is intended only for the person
or entity to which it is addressed and may contain
proprietary, business-confidential and/or privileged material. 
If you are not the intended recipient of this message you are
hereby notified that any use, review, retransmission, dissemination,
distribution, reproduction or any action taken in reliance upon
this message is prohibited. If you received this in error, please
contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. 

Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of the company. 
------------------------------------------------------------

 


Neil Olonoff
 

Stan, 

My primary impetus for asking is that my leadership (in Army Medicine) insist on using for communities for purposeful, non voluntary activities. They are more properly termed initiative groups or teams, but they want the "benefits" of communities. 

So I feel the necessity to at least differentiate them. 

but I take your point. 

Neil 



Neil Olonoff 




On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM, StanGarfield <stangarfield@...> wrote:
 

Neil,


Thanks for asking the question.  I used to differentiate between communities of practice and communities of interest, but I no longer find differentiating community types to be useful.  So I just use the term "communities" and talk about the characteristics and success factors for any community.  If you want to talk about the different objectives communities may have, that's fine, but I don't think this warrants different terminology for each.

Regards,
Stan

--- In sikmleaders@..., Neil Olonoff wrote:
>
> All
>
> Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
> of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.
>
> I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
> this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
> various models, to your knowledge?
>
> Regards,
> Neil
>
> Neil Olonoff
>



Maria Brindlmayer
 

Hi, Neil,
 
I have sometimes found it useful to differentiate based on the way in which people can join a community - e.g. can anybody join or does it need some kind of approval (eg. by an administrator, perhaps even approval by a community leader, or even just an invitation only type of community). And thus I have differentiated between formal (with a bit more process and some kind of approval) and informal communities (anyone can join, open access).
 
But I agree with Stan that the differentiation between C of Interest and C of Practice has typically been more confusing for the users than helpful.
 
Best,
Maria


 

On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 7:04 AM, Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...> wrote:
 

Stan, 


My primary impetus for asking is that my leadership (in Army Medicine) insist on using for communities for purposeful, non voluntary activities. They are more properly termed initiative groups or teams, but they want the "benefits" of communities. 

So I feel the necessity to at least differentiate them. 

but I take your point. 

Neil 



Neil Olonoff 




On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM, StanGarfield <stangarfield@...> wrote:
 

Neil,


Thanks for asking the question.  I used to differentiate between communities of practice and communities of interest, but I no longer find differentiating community types to be useful.  So I just use the term "communities" and talk about the characteristics and success factors for any community.  If you want to talk about the different objectives communities may have, that's fine, but I don't think this warrants different terminology for each.

Regards,
Stan

--- In sikmleaders@..., Neil Olonoff wrote:
>
> All
>
> Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
> of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.
>
> I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
> this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
> various models, to your knowledge?
>
> Regards,
> Neil
>
> Neil Olonoff
>





--
---------------------------------------------------
Maria Brindlmayer
cell: 202-365-2440



Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Neil –

 

Although there are different reasons why communities exist, underneath it all, a community is a community.  I tend to think of practice as something that is primarily professional or work related and interest as something that is more personal but the boundary between the two can be quite fuzzy.  Everything about how both types operate is pretty much the same.  The main difference is that work-related CoP outputs need to be “harvested” and processed by the organizational structure to capture the value embedded in the content.  

 

But your story is quite familiar.  A commander once asked me about establishing a community.  I started using words like voluntarism and engagement but he quickly cut me off.  “That’s not a problem here.  We’ll simply tell them: You shall do this and you shall do that.”  I immediately concluded two things.  1) His cultural imperative is not going to change in the course of a 30-minmute briefing.  2) Half of the management spectrum (partnership agreements and responsible autonomy) is not available to him.  Although he was using the word community because it sounded good, he really wanted (or was going to get) a committee or work group.

 

And therein lies the key difference, in my mind.  When people and tasks are assigned, the group lives squarely in the organizational structure regime (right next to authoritative hierarchy).  This is somewhat to the right of Wenger’s “structured” communities.  The group will function like a committee or work group with all their capacities and limitations.  The personal relationships and nature of the interactions in communities and committees are different and most military types have difficulty in wrapping their minds around the difference.  Unfortunately, the organization cannot have its cake and eat it too.   In fact, it was only after I started working for Defence R&D Canada that I began to fully appreciate the challenges of implementing KM in a command and control culture which led to the idea of the soon-to-be published knowledge manageability framework.

 

Whether or not you wish to pass this message along depends on how much stuff  the others have on their shoulder boards relative to yoursJ

 

Al Simard


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Neil Olonoff
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 7:05 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Re: Types of Communities

 

 

Stan, 

 

My primary impetus for asking is that my leadership (in Army Medicine) insist on using for communities for purposeful, non voluntary activities. They are more properly termed initiative groups or teams, but they want the "benefits" of communities. 

 

So I feel the necessity to at least differentiate them. 

 

but I take your point. 

 

Neil 




Neil Olonoff 



On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM, StanGarfield <stangarfield@...> wrote:

 

Neil,

 

Thanks for asking the question.  I used to differentiate between communities of practice and communities of interest, but I no longer find differentiating community types to be useful.  So I just use the term "communities" and talk about the characteristics and success factors for any community.  If you want to talk about the different objectives communities may have, that's fine, but I don't think this warrants different terminology for each.

 

Regards,

Stan


--- In sikmleaders@..., Neil Olonoff wrote:
>
> All
>
> Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
> of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.
>
> I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
> this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
> various models, to your knowledge?
>
> Regards,
> Neil
>
> Neil Olonoff
>

 


Nancy Dixon
 

Neil,
I can see the paradox you face. It's the kind of mixed message managers often give when they tell their folks, "Do it this way, but be creative." or  "I want you to take the initiative but check with me before you act."  You can hear in their language the desire for something beyond command and control, but also the worry that if they don't set limits, some disaster will occur. 

I sometimes find it helpful to talk with the   person to get clearer about the benefits they want and why those benefits are important to them. What they hope will happen if those benefits are enacted.

Nancy
On Dec 7, 2012, at 6:04 AM, Neil Olonoff <olonoff@...> wrote:

 

Stan, 


My primary impetus for asking is that my leadership (in Army Medicine) insist on using for communities for purposeful, non voluntary activities. They are more properly termed initiative groups or teams, but they want the "benefits" of communities. 

So I feel the necessity to at least differentiate them. 

but I take your point. 

Neil 



Neil Olonoff 




On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM, StanGarfield <stangarfield@...> wrote:
 

Neil,


Thanks for asking the question.  I used to differentiate between communities of practice and communities of interest, but I no longer find differentiating community types to be useful.  So I just use the term "communities" and talk about the characteristics and success factors for any community.  If you want to talk about the different objectives communities may have, that's fine, but I don't think this warrants different terminology for each.

Regards,
Stan

--- In sikmleaders@..., Neil Olonoff >
> All
>
> Various theorists (Wenger, St. Onge, others) have proposed different types
> of communities: communities of practice, interest, purpose, action, etc.
>
> I'm wondering if the KM community has reached any sort of consensus around
> this idea? Has anyone crafted a really satisfying integration of these
> various models, to your knowledge?
>
> Regards,
> Neil
>
> Neil Olonoff
>




Nancy M. Dixon
Common Knowledge Associates
 512 912 6100

now blogging at www.nancydixonblog.com