Best Practices for Communities of Practice

(Mick Brian) #1

I have been asked to look at best practice and thought leadership around Communities of Practice and how to get them to stay the course and become effective both inside businesses but also as a tool for Change Management Practitioners.

A colleague put me onto someone who recommended the site so any insights or info you have on the above would be greatly appreciated.



(Sarah Hawk) #2

Hey Mick,
Sounds interesting! I’m sure we can help, but I have a couple of clarifying questions first.

We definitely have a LOT of info about CoPs – what kind of best practices are you referring to? Strategy, engagement, management, retention, something else?

Do you mean creating a community that is sustainable, or getting members to stay once they join?

(Mick Brian) #3

Hi Sarah

In relation to best practice it’s exactly how you say below. Building a strategy to get the buy in, engagement and benefits from the CoP.

In relation to staying the course, how to get people to continue the community and sustain it.

Really interested in best use of digital and social media platforms. My worry is people get so inundated with digital platforms now they almost become meaningless to certain people. How can we use other areas to prolong and grow the engagement ?



(Sarah Hawk) #4

Ok great – thanks for the clarification.

There are two options here

  1. I can drop a whole lot of resources into this message for you. (Note: at the time of writing, this was a private message).

  2. You can post your question publicly, I can give you the same resources.

The benefit of no 2 is firstly that others will chime in with their thoughts and resources, and secondly that the post will have value for the wider community both now and in the future. (This is my first CoP best practice tip!)

Some people aren’t comfortable posting publicly though, and that’s fine. Let me know where you sit.

p.s. If you’re ok with going public, I can transfer this for you so you don’t have to retype.

(Mick Brian) #5

Hi Sarah

Any resources you have would be really appreciated if you could send them over.

No problem posting at all.

Thanks so much for your help :+1:

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Great – topic moved into the public forum.

So, resources:

Building a Community Strategy (why, how, and tactics)
Calculating the Value of a Community (to get organisation buy in)

Strategies for converting newcomers to regulars
(initial engagement)
Using Automation to Support Motivation in Online Communities (prolonged engagement)
Retention strategies (keeping members engaged)

Some reading on digital/social platforms and the pros and cons of social media vs dedicated s/w
Can forum communities survive?
Boxing against a tidal wave

And a huge list of general community building resources here:
How to Build an Online Community

That should get you going! Furthermore, almost every topic in this community is about some aspect of conceptualising, building, launching, growing or retaining a healthy community.

Once you’ve waded through the above, if I’ve missed specifics or you have further questions, please ask.

(Mick Brian) #7

Thats awesome, some real good stuff. Thanks a lot. Also bought Richards book, buzzing communities the other day so looking forward to reading that as soon as possible.