Benefits of Community of Practice

A Community of Practice is a group of professionals who talk about topics in the field that they are expert in. It should be differentiated from a Community of Interest wherein people who join this group are only interested in a particular subject matter.

To make things clearer, an example of a Community of Practice for Educators are composed of members who are teachers, professors, deans, principals, and other professionals who work in the field of education.

A Community of Interest, on the other hand, can be a group of individuals who bought a camera and are interested in learning more about specifications of cameras, and how to use the products that they just bought. These people are not professionals in any way. They just collaborated and joined together because they have the same interests.

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You can get outside help

A community of practice has members who are experts in the same field that you are in. No matter how much you learn from school or from your own experience, you will still encounter new problems that you will have no idea how to solve.

By asking help from the community, you can make the whole process of problem-solving faster and easier. It is learning from the experiences of another. There is a high possibility that the situation that you are in is the same as what others had been into before. Take advantage of their previous circumstances and turn their predicaments into your own company’s solutions.

You can build a website to create a Community of Practice for the same profession that you have. Or you can look for sites and be one of the website visitors who contribute information and give a solution to others’ problems.

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It creates cooperation between teams

A community of practice can also be created inside an organization. This works great especially in big manufacturing firms where there are a number of different products but the same processes. The company can make a group that gives an opportunity for a collaboration between the employees of the same process departments or positions. They can ask questions to each other and find solutions together. It also connects people inside your company.

3 Comments

  1. Jelke Heij says:

    Thanks for the article. People should put a line between a Community of Practice and a Community of Interest. Professionals who are seeking answers to the problems that their company has only need responses from people who know what they are talking about. If you do not have experience on that matter in your work, you can either not comment or say that you are not a licensed professional.

  2. Nanna Gündüz says:

    We have a Community of Practice for all the managers of the different major departments of my company. We meet, at least, once a month and talk about the problems that we encountered in our sections and processes. If anyone has a solution, he immediately gives the solution that his team used and shares it with the group.

  3. Noémi Zoethout says:

    Every professional who thinks that he does not need anybody else in his career is just kidding himself. We all need a community that we can talk to and depend on in times of crisis. It will make problem-solving quicker. It will give professionals more options. And they will give you angles to your problems that you are not aware of.

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