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BEtreat workshops in Canada, October 2014

»Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog, News | 0 comments

BEtreat California is hardly over and we’re busy planning for the next one in October. This time in Canada. Special locations This is the second BEtreat workshop we’ve done outside California. The first was in a beautiful wine estate near Cape Town in South Africa, and this one which, we hear, is amongst beautiful wine estates in Pentincton, BC. Each time we do a BEtreat workshop somewhere else we find ourselves revisiting what it means to be a BEtreat workshop for leaders of social learning, communities and networks. Why BEtreat? What distinguishes it from other workshops we do? While we can’t quite put our finger on it, it includes the following: Four days in an informal and special setting Small groups focusing on each person’s project Integration of online...

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I’ll take you with me…

»Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog | 0 comments

I’ll take you with me…

“I like being carried” “I feel very taken care of” “I could only see legs in that last session” “Yikes, I’m feeling sea-sick” No, those comments don’t come from a class of kumbaya gymnastics but from online participants in our BEtreat workshop for social learning leaders who were being carried around on laptops. We’ve been developing our skills for integrating online and face-to-face participants in our workshops and are definitely coming closer to making it a full experience with fewer technical hitches. Our ambition has always been to be able to do it smoothly with technology that is within range of non-specialists. Almost gone are the days of “hello can you hear us?” … A combination of better quality sound on most devices, people’s adeptness at using different...

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Registration is open for BEtreat ’14

»Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in BEtreat, Blog, News | 0 comments

The 2014 dates are set for our July workshops for leaders of social learning, including communities of practice and networks. Registration is now open for online or face-to-face participation Early bird registration until April 30. Spaces are limited as the workshops are small and focused on working with the cases you bring. July 7 – 10: State-of-the art professional for a solid grounding in the practice July 14 – 17: Cutting-edge professional for exploring emerging issues July 21 – 24: Academic for theory and research See a summary of previous BEtreats...

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Social learning workshop in South Africa

»Posted by on May 30, 2013 in BEtreat, Blog, News | 1 comment

We’re just back from BEtreat South Africa, which we held at the beautiful Fynbos Estate outside Cape Town. Lovely surroundings, delicious food and warm hospitality at the Estate was a wonderful way to launch our first BEtreat workshops outside our home in California. As well as professionals and academics from South Africa we also had people participating from Sweden, France, Nigeria and Tanzania. Joining us online was someone from New York who was getting up at 3:00 a.m. to join us each day (applause) and someone from Italy. It was a great mix of people and some deep dives into interesting cases. We were happy (and relieved) to know that we could reproduce the BEtreat atmosphere conducive to a sharp collective inquiry in another part of the world –...

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Leadership groups for social learning

»Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Practice, Resources | 10 comments

Leadership groups for social learning

A few years ago we started a practice of setting up leadership groups in the communities of practice that we work with. We are sharing a document we’ve produced about this practice which you can download at the end of this post. The practice goes like this: everyone at a meeting belongs to a leadership group – and each group stewards one part of the learning process of the whole group. In this way leadership of the community meeting is distributed over the entire event. Leadership here is seen as an act of service, that is, not leadership in terms of telling others what to do, but helping the group develop itself as a learning partnership. We’ve seen these groups lead to some transformational turn-arounds in group dynamics and the learning...

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Four BEtreat workshops in 2013

»Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog, News | 0 comments

Four BEtreat workshops in 2013

Registration for BEtreat workshops in 2013 is now open. Early bird discount until March 31. This year we are running four different BEtreat workshops. And it is the second year we are running a one-year certificate professional development program. BEtreat workshops in 2013 You can see all the BEtreat programs outlined on this page. Again we are running BEtreats for professionals and for academics. While we are keeping two BEtreats for professionals, the difference this year is that we have also split the academic BEtreat into “state-of-the-art” and “cutting-edge” so that we can cater both for people who want to make sure they are up-to-date with the theory and research for their academic practice and those who want to look into the...

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The BEtreat genre

»Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

The BEtreat genre

This is the third year we are holding our BEtreat workshops. This summer we had three BEtreats – you can see the highlights here. Seeing the BEtreat genre evolve over these three years has been interesting. It was also good to have quite a few people come back for a second or third time. They have become witnesses of and players in this evolution. Here are some observations. Integrating social media There is increasing familiarity with social media. Fully integrating the use of a wiki into our activities and interactions was still quite a novelty when we started. Today it seems unremarkable, almost expected. Our goal is to achieve seamless face-to-face and online participation with commonly available community resources. Something we’ve noticed is that...

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What equipment do we use at BEtreat?

»Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog, Practice | 0 comments

What equipment do we use at BEtreat?

We were asked at the cutting-edge BEtreat to go through the equipment we were using to bring online people into the room and to give some idea of how much it costs. Our intention is to use technology and equipment that would be within the budget of an average community (usually rather modest) and which doesn’t require an expert to come in and set up. It also has to be compatible with our Macs. In whole group discussions “online folk” are projected onto a big screen at the front. We use Adobe Connect for the video-conferencing and Skype for sound. The sound quality on Adobe Connect is not nearly so good as Skype. However, as we discovered at the Academic BEtreat, Skype sound with more than four people quite often drops. It’s tiring for...

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Experiential learning at Hong Kong University

»Posted by on May 30, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 1 comment

Experiential learning at Hong Kong University

In April, Etienne was invited to give this year’s public Distinguished Lecture at the School of Education of the University of Hong Kong. The university has embarked on a new initiative focused on experiential learning. This invitation to give a public lecture was related to an initiative that the University of Hong Kong has launched as part of a curriculum reform project. Under the leadership of Professor Amy Tsui (the book she and her colleagues published on university-school partnerships is a good example of a social-learning perspective applied to action research), this initiative is placing what they call “experiential learning” at the heart of the university’s pedagogy. Under this initiative, students conduct concrete projects in their area of study, run by...

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Stories, networks and our practice

»Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

Stories, networks and our practice

In April Bev was in London working with ABSugar, a global corporate group of companies seeking to develop synergies across its businesses in different parts of the world by cultivating communities of practice. After the session, Debbie Jennsen, who is leading the ABSugar initiative, asked me if I could connect her with people at Deutsche Bank, also based in London. She had seen the blog post we had written about them “Social learning at Deutsche Bank” and that story made Debbie want to talk with them directly. This made us reflect on the role of stories in our practice and the ways they reflect our roles as consultants and what we do to: Open up imagination: expand what is possible by showing what others are doing Carry learning: convey what we and...

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Serendipitous social learning instead of a dinner speech

»Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

Serendipitous social learning instead of a dinner speech

We were at the conference dinner of the psychotherapy network in DC earlier in March, where we had been invited to create some side conversations at the conference on social learning … It’s a massive conference (around 3000 people) and the dinner was a big affair. In that environment it made sense to have a speaker. Jane Fonda was scheduled to give the dinner speech, but news came that she wasn’t going to show up. On learning that she couldn’t make it the organizers created what we thought was a great social learning activity – and that turned out to be much better than a keynote. Two of the big names in the Psychotherapy network played some video snippets – from the Soprano series, the film Analyze This, and In Treatment (HBO...

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Singapore Public Service

»Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

Singapore Public Service

In March Etienne went to Singapore for his fourth annual visit with the initiative to cultivating communities of practice across the Public Service. Is this going to be a model for the Public Service in other countries? Four years ago, I became involved as an advisor with the KM group at the Center for Organizational Development in the Singapore Civil Service College (CSC) as they started to support the cultivation of communities of practice across the entire Public Service. My role also includes workshops and courses for practitioners, speaking at government-wide events, and participation in managerial meetings, including a private conversation with the Head of Civil Service. During last year’s visit, Bev and I even had a review session with the design team of...

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A run of blog posts

»Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All entries, Blog | 1 comment

A run of blog posts

We’re trying to get more disciplined about blog posts, which is why you might get a bunch of them all at once. No promises – but the idea is that once we’ve caught up they’ll appear more routinely. We are also trying to find that shared voice. Etienne is used to writing to perfection before putting out his thoughts, while Bev is more into reflecting on unfinished ideas – in what she sees as a discipline of finding out the answer. Recently, clients have remarked how buzzy it is when the two of us are working together – more than the sum of two people. Let’s see if we can do that in our writing….

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Workshops this summer for community and network leaders

»Posted by on May 28, 2012 in All entries, BEtreat, News | 1 comment

Workshops this summer for community and network leaders

Wonderful blue skies, the Californian poppies shouting orange and the roses competing for attention. This is the time to start reminding people of our workshops in Grass Valley, California, where we spend four intensive – but informal – days working on state-of-the-art and cutting-edge issues in social learning and leading communities of practice and networks. There are a few places left, if you are thinking of coming. Participation is face-to-face or online. Partners or children are very welcome to join us in the face-to-face evenings, where we dine outside in the garden, trying the very special wines grown in this region. At the foot of the Sierra Mountains, the heart of the Gold country, the scenery is spectacular and the two local towns –...

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Social learning at Deutsche Bank

»Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

Social learning at Deutsche Bank

We have just spent two days with the social learning team at Deutsche Bank. A dynamic project Banks have had a bad rap of late, so it was a really pleasant surprise to see the work they are doing. It did not seem an obvious home for an ambitious social learning project, but it is what we found there. In less than a year the project has launched about two-dozen communities of practice. They have established a process for starting new communities and a framework for guiding their evolution. They are reaching the stage of forming a community for community leaders. Focus on people Again we were reminded of the importance of starting a social learning initiative by focusing on the social first and the technology second. Their Jive platform has opened the door, but...

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“Learning citizenship” in Israel

»Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

“Learning citizenship” in Israel

We had an interesting visit to the Mandel Institute in Israel. The occasion was the annual conference with graduates of their two-year, intensive leadership program. The theme was “professional identity”. Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey opened the day with their work on “immunity to change” and we led the afternoon with our work on “learning citizenship”. It was exciting for us to introduce the concept of learning citizenship in this context for two reasons: it is a major theme of our joint work going forward, and it also happens to be critically relevant to both the theme of the conference and the work of the Mandel Institute with its graduates. Spearheading such an approach in a place in the world where political challenges (which we would view as social learning...

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Assessment as meta-learning

»Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 0 comments

Assessment as meta-learning

Something got us excited in a strategic meeting with Executive Networks the other day in San Francisco. Executive Networks is a company that builds communities of practice for executives mainly in HR. The Community Directors were very appreciative of our Assessment Framework. They were particularly taken by the value-creation matrix (Figure 7.1, page 39). They liked the idea of integrating quantitative indicators and narratives of value creation and the fact that the usefulness of the framework is both retrospective (what learning a communities has enabled) and prospective (what learning a community may enable). In other words, the framework can be used to account for the value of an existing community and also to imagine the development of a community through...

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Three BEtreats in 2012

»Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 in All entries, BEtreat, Blog, News | 0 comments

Three BEtreats in 2012

We are running three different BEtreat workshops in 2012 and starting a one-year certificate as a professional development program. A primer BEtreat – July 9-13: By popular demand we are holding a “State-of-the-art BEtreat” Primer BEtreat for people just venturing into this field and want to get a head start in knowing what to do. It will take place just before the regular BEtreat for anyone who wants to do both. The Primer is an introduction to the state of the art in cultivating communities and networks for social learning. It would also be good for people who want to review the basic principles of the field. BEtreat 2012 – July 16-20: As usual we’ll have our cutting-edge BEtreat for community and network leaders. The theme is...

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Multiple communities, identity and information anxiety

»Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in All entries, Blog, Reflections | 3 comments

Multiple communities, identity and information anxiety

We had an interesting online conversation with members of KC Blue, the community-leader community at IBM. The meeting was hosted by Laurie Miller and Sandy Yarchin. Many of the members have followed Etienne’s writings to cultivate IBM communities so it felt like a meeting with friends. Information anxiety We addressed many topics, but a highlight for us was much of the conversation focused on dealing with the excess of information and multiplicity of communities – referred to as “information anxiety” by Ed Easton. Identity question An identity question for members knowing who they are (becoming) in relation to so much information from different sources. A practical question for community leaders is how to filter, summarize, recycle and highlight that information....

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New beginning!

»Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in All entries, Blog, News | 1 comment

New beginning!

Hello world! Our reasons for adding one more offering to the already crowded blogosphere are several. We are: excited to share some of the resources we’re creating and to hear how people are using them; keen to answer some frequently answered questions; looking forward to thinking out loud as we reflect on what we’re learning from specific events; happy to publish news updates of events we’re organizing or places we’re going; considering some general ramblings. You’ll be able to subscribe – by RSS or email – to all blog posts or to a specific category.

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