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Community of Practice Series - #1

07/06/2018 9:51 AM | Shaun Krietemeyer (Administrator)

How many of you enjoyed math in school? If you did, you will represent the one person in my example. For me, in school, I hated math class. I also hated the lone person in the class who liked it. Hate may be a strong word, but I just could not understand the appeal. I felt as though the rest of my class was on my side on this one. Each day there were audible sighs when we were told to open our books to the next “exciting chapter” of math. Those sighs seemed to fuel the appreciation even more for the one student and the teacher. I thought to myself on many occasions what it would be like to love the subject of math as much as these two did. Would the overall class experience be better?

Let’s take this a step further, and probably more applicable. In your current role/department/team, how well does a process or project work when everyone is excited about the process/project? In my own experience, the times when I have worked on a project when everyone on the team was excited and provided input and creativity, the time passed incredibly well and we were successful! In a way, it felt as though we were a community rallying together to accomplish the same goal. The term “strength in numbers” probably applies here.

I’d like to explore this “community” a little more. There is an industry term, “Community of Practice”, that you may be familiar with. This community is a group of like-minded, often similar in role and responsibilities, that strives to help one another in their respective work-environments. They share best practices, discuss difficult situations that they have worked through or overcome, and bring new innovative approaches to the group to improve industry standards. Think back to the math class. How do you think math would have improved for you with a community like this to assist? We’d probably all be in math-related fields of work!

What does all of this mean for the ATD Valley of the Sun chapter? Well, simply, we’d like to be that community of learning and talent development professionals. Imagine an organization with members that can improve their understanding of a specific topic, probably job-related, by communicating in an ongoing format. This format would allow for the asking and answering of questions, knowledge management and sharing, stealing borrowing ideas, problem solving, etc. Your membership in ATDVOS should include this community and we’d like to establish it. Soon, we will be posting a series of blog communications for you to interact with, begin to establish a regular cadence of communicating as a community, and begin solving problems for one another to build-up our career aspirations.  In the interim, take a look a Stan Garfield’s Communities of Practice article, posted on LinkedIn in 2016. There is a great deal of information to learn about how communities will benefit us. Stay tuned!


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