We help devise strategic plans for developing communities of practice, networks and social media policies and for carrying out strategic conversations with executive sponsors. This includes: High-level meetings. We hold strategic meetings with executives who will be playing an active role in setting the direction of initiatives and integrating the cultivation of communities of practice and networks in the strategy of the organization. Strategic plans. We explore the potential of social learning approaches in your context and develop strategic plans to leverage this potential for improved performance. Ongoing consultancy. We carry out audits and hold ongoing conversations at different levels of the organization written up as a report with recommendations.
We work with internal teams to help them plan, run, and review organizational initiatives aimed at developing strategic capabilities through communities of practice, networks, and the use of social media. Plan. We help the team conceive and prepare the initiative, including developing a workplan, securing sponsorship, and working together. Implement. We coach and advise the team through the various phases of the initiative, getting involved in implementation details when necessary, but always very conscious that our goal is to develop the team’s internal capability. Renew. We participate in strategic reviews of the initiative, interviewing participants, analyzing data, reporting to sponsors, and planning next steps.
We develop capacity through different types of training activities that can be carried out online, face-to-face, or as a combination of the two. Awareness presentations. We give general presentations (including via broadcast or recording) to raise awareness of the existence and potential of communities of practice and social learning. Educational workshops. We conduct focused workshops for people who are interested in exploring the value and implementation issues of communities of practice. Leadership coaching. We provide specialized training or coaching for leaders and sponsors of communities of practice and other social learning processes, focusing on the art of launching, cultivating, sponsoring and supporting such communities and processes.
We get involved in the nuts and bolts of implementation. We help design, launch, facilitate, and revitalize communities and networks. Community events. We work in partnership with you to design small or large events, including agenda, learning activities, use of technology. Community launch. We prepare and conduct community launches – or renewal workshop to revitalize existing communities – including designing and implementing an agenda and developing internal leadership to carry it through. Facilitation. We facilitate or coach the facilitator for one-off meetings or series of community or network events.
We pay attention to technology and the potential of social media. We integrate the use of social media into your overall learning strategy in innovative and pragmatic ways. This includes: Social media audits: reviewing existing tools in the current technology infrastructure Exploration of possible solutions: jointly exploring further needs with the support team and possible IT groups Recommendations for practice: thinking strategically about the use and practices of social media for community or networked learning
Convening learning processes and spaces across complex social learning systems with difficult boundaries is a key form of leadership that is still largely misunderstood in organizations. We work with people who are taking on (or are thrust into) a convening role to help through the challenges of this delicate art. Coaching conveners. We act as coaches to conveners who are often isolated in their role and benefit from the partnership of people with experience with their challenges. Convening events. We work with conveners to organize small or large gatherings and social learning spaces that bring together voices from across the system. Value proposition. We help the convener to create a value proposition that is compelling across multiple constituencies and institutional sponsors.
We are increasingly asked to help organize small or large-scale learning events in complex settings that involves multiple or cross-boundary stakeholders. Or we are called in to help develop the learning potential at such an event. Participants at these events are usually expecting high value for time. Beyond presentations. Involving us often reflects an attempt to move beyond a series of presentations with Q&A and find ways to engage people in active learning processes. Active participation. We use social learning rather than content as the driver and design a set of learning activities ranging from participant-driven discussions to a tailored mix of scaffolded, collaborative tasks. Boundary crossing. We create cross-boundary learning spaces to bring multiple voices and constituencies into productive dialogue. Taking ownership. We coach groups of participants to take leadership in facilitating the process as a way to cultivate their sense of ownership of the event. Technology. We integrate the appropriate use of technology to connect people, bring different voices into the event, and produce artifacts that capture the learning.
We carry out on-demand research to serve the purpose of our clients. Examples of the type of research we do include: Case studies. We interview people and tell the story of a community, a network, an event or an initiative to capture what was important to remember and communicate it in a compelling way. Literature/document reviews. We conduct reviews of the literature and documentation on a topic of interest and produce a synthesis of findings for the purpose of the client. Benchmarking. We collect information about how different organizations address an issue of interest and what the best examples suggest for action. Social network mapping. We map the networks of relationships in a social system to highlight important patterns.
We monitor the value creation of communities through a value assessment framework developed in partnership with the Open University of the Netherlands. The framework uses story telling and traditional data collection techniques to monitor the value creation of a community or network. The outcome is designed to be useful for sponsors, community members and other stakeholders. Evaluation processes. We work with our clients to set up processes for capturing the value created by communities of practice, networks and social learning processes. Business case. One reason for assessing value creation is to produce a business case to sponsors. Reviews. We conduct broad reviews of social learning and communities of practice initiatives and report on our findings and recommendations. We specialize in participatory processes that involve all constituencies in the evaluation.