Can you remember when you first heard about communities of practice? I wish I could. I know I've had Etienne Wenger & Co's book "Cultivating Communities of Practice" on my shelf for a long time. I may have "borrowed" it from my Mum. (Thanks Mum).
And recently, I've been asked to step up and assist, or help manage, 2 or 3 CoPs at work. We have many Communities of Practice, and Communities of Interest at Red Hat. Open Source communities also have examples, both formal, and informal. They're not new.
But for the first time, I find myself needing to think through what they are and how they work, to draft some guidelines for introducing CoP as a formal practice. I feel like a fish being asked to describe water. Fortunately, there's no need to reinvent the wheel here as there's much already written.
So, I'm about to deep dive and scour the web for good stories that showcase where theory meets practice.
Do you have a story you'd be willing to share? What are your "GoTo" resources about Communities of Practice. What's worked, and perhaps more importantly, what hasn't?