Communities of Practice - Learning as a Social System by Etienne Wenger
The following are some key points that stood out to me:
A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
- purpose or topic
- roles people take towards the purpose or topic
- product - this may not be a physical or electronic project, it may be a sense of communiyt or the learning held by the members individually or the "whole is more powerful than the sum of its parts"
- Communities of practice develop around things that matter to people. As a result, their practices reflect the members' own understanding of what is important.
- it defines itself in the doing
- participation has value
- community of practice is different from a network in the sense that it is "about" something
Communities of practice...
- retain, exchange and interpret information
- give a home and opportunities for displays of 'identity'
- can be a liability
- to legitimize the community as a place for sharing and creating knowledge, recognized experts need to be involved
- the best place to start is to foster the formation of communities of practice that leverage the potential that already exists