Communities of Practice LO26532 -Online Course May 14

From: John D. Smith (
Date: 04/17/01

Etienne Wenger is leading an online workshop on Communities of Practice
the weeks of May 14th, 28th and June 11th. It's sponsored by the
Communities of Practice Consortium, and taught in collaboration with John

This online workshop examines what communities of practice are, why they
are important to organizations, how to develop, nurture, and leverage
them, and how to build a knowledge strategy around them. As you may know,
the workshop continues to evolve each time it is presented. I've appended
some notes about some of the things we learned the last time we conducted

Schedule: The workshop is held in three separate weeks, stretching over a
five-week period, in a one-week-on, one-week-off cycle. As it simulates
participation in an active community of practice but compresses the
experience into a short period of time, the workshop can take around 2
hours a day (or more, in some cases).

Topics: The workshop explores a broad range of topics, including:
* The composition and life cycle of communities of practice
* The function of communities of practice in the development and
  transmission of knowledge
* Techniques for stimulating, connecting and assessing communities
* Successful community strategies at leading companies

Tuition: Tuition for this workshop is $695. To encourage group learning,
a discount is available when 3 or more people from the same organization
have taken the workshop.

Details and registration:

Contact us at and


--* John D. Smith, 503.963.8229, 2025 SE Elliott Ave, Portland OR 97214-5339
--* ICQ: 72789757 cell: 503-975-7799
--* "The map is not the territory" -- Gregory Bateson

Question: What did you (the instructors) learn from leading the workshop
[in the Winter of 2001]?

Here are a few of the insights that we've discussed so far (and some of
the actions we're taking as a result):

 ** One group of 4 people from one organization who took the workshop
together had regular face-to-face conversations and shared a lot of common
concerns (although they had quite different perspectives and different
jobs). Their conversations, whether at breakfast together or struggling
around a computer malfunction, seemed to come back to the workshop and
enriched the discussions for all of us. Apart from noting this phenomenon
and encouraging people to participate in groups, we thought we could
encourage such groups by increasing the discount and extending it so that
it would apply even when people from one organization took the workshop at
different points in time.

 ** The workshop space that we've developed is not perfect: it involves
its own learning curve, especially at the beginning. Participating takes
effort and leading the workshop is a huge time commitment. But it
definitely works and we'll continue to refine it.

 ** The workshop's content is rich but also huge: there's a lot to learn,
whether you are completely new to the subject or whether you've been
thinking about it for years. We've decided to specifically invite people
who had previously participated in the workshop to come back, share their
experience, and explore specific questions further.


"John D. Smith" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.