Your Practice and the Power of Community of Practice

This article was inspired by Bob Chartier’s book “Handcrafted Leadership” published in 2015 by Doghouse Publishing.

Your job is not just your core work duties outlined in your job description. Most of us have something we do at work that goes beyond that. Maybe you are an expert in some area, have an on-going side-of-the-desk project, or are working with others to resolve some issue. This is a practice.

We all should have a side-of-the-desk practice, or better yet a community of practice. If your goal is to improve your leadership abilities, then develop a leadership community of practice. Anyone can have a leadership practice, you can lead from wherever you are, whenever you can help. All you have to do is ask “can I help?”.

The traditional way of doing things was to put together a committee. A Leadership Committee, a committee on process improvement, a committee on standards, etc. But these tools may be outdated. A relic of the “old boys club” days.

Committees have challenges, they are bureaucratic, energy intensive, and non-inclusive as membership is restricted. Whereas a community of practice is entrepreneurial, creates energy and is all-inclusive, no restriction on membership.

The practice and community of practice therefore is a valuable tool to effect change, self-improvement and empowerment.

So what are some ideas for communities of practice at your workplace?

  • Social Media
  • Writing
  • Leadership
  • Mapping & GIS
  • Union work
  • Workplace Engagement
  • Workplace Fitness and Wellness
  • Public Speaking
  • Relationship Building
  • Event Planning
  • Volunteering
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Facilitation
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Trend analysis
  • etc…

Try this. Next time you have a goal, aspiration, side of the desk project or something, create a community of practice with others who share the same passion.

Remember, there is power in relationships. Relationships – Possibility – Action. Having a community may uncover benefits and possibilities you could not realize on your own.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading this post. But those are just my thoughts. I think it would be more interesting to hear yours. If you have any thoughts, opinions, questions or ideas, please share them in the comments below.

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