Taken from the Dec/Jan edition of “The Business Communicator”
by Martin White – managing Director of Intranet Focus Ltd
1. RESOURCES COME FIRST – you won’t get far without management support and funding. Management cannot enforce a CoP but they can kill it off
Not sure I agree with the first bit – we have managed without management support and funding so far. How would management support and funding be beneficial to our CoP?
2. YOU NEED A LEADER – a leader that defines scope, quietly encourages other members or builds links with other CoPs. They will need training in order to stimulate good minds to work on a problem well
Agree that a leader will enhance a CoP but do they need training or should they have these traits naturally rather than be trained in them?
3. USE THE BEST TECHNOLOGY – or rather that best meets users’ requirements. These change with time, topic and membership. Don’t lose sight of f2f and don’t substitute f2f with IT.
4. BEWARE OF INDIVIDUAL AGENDAS – CoPs work within two extremes of behaviour: market logic (the needs of the organisation) and group logic (the needs of the group). A CoP often starts with market logic and moves to group logic, putting needs of team members first. Be alert to hidden agendas
An interesting thought – I shall now be deeply suspicious of you lot going forward!
5. BE PREPARED FOR FAILURE – Not all CoPs will be successful. If they fail, look at why but remember it could be due to personality differences. Remember sometimes CoPs don’t die, they hibernate