E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Rebuilding a Community of Practice – The Power of Networks

If you would remember a couple of weeks ago I created a weblog post over here where I was detailing an unfortunate event regarding the sudden disappearance from the actKM community of practice in Yahoo! due to some issues with company trademarks. Over the following few days there have been lots of different e-mails, phone calls, conversations and whatever else to try to get things back to normal and in the end actKM came back, in a new form. You could read all about it at Anecdote‘s Rebuilding a community of practice, amongst other places.

The very good news about this whole issue, although provoked by an unfortunate incident, is how the community got things back into shape by making extensive use of its multiple levels of networks. Shawn provides some really good account of how things actually happened in order to get the community back in shape; how multiple networks from within the community stirred things further up to try to get things back to normal and get, perhaps, an even much stronger and re-energised community.

While going through Shawn’s account of how things got back into a normal state I just couldn’t help thinking about the weblog post I created yesterday around the topic of The Art of Creating a Community – 8 Key Items to Take into Account and ponder about how different methods of helping build a community could actually have such a great success. In the case of The Art of Creating a Community – 8 Key Items to Take into Account it more or less details some kind of formal procedures towards the building and sustaining of a community of practice; whereas in the case of the actKM community it was all down to a bunch of folks with the courage, motivation, commitment and passion to get things back to normal for the rest of the community members to enjoy the way things used to be. I know that quite a few folks would eventually be saying that everything has worked out just fine because of a little bit of luck. In my opinion though I think that examples like the one that Shawn shared is what makes it worth while belonging to the community. That critical mass of folks, regardless of what hurdles may lay ahead, will eventually be succeeding in the building and sustaining of such a community.

And perhaps the main lesson we could all learn from this example is how in most cases it may not be necessary to have all of the different processes for the building and sustaining of a community as I have mentioned already elsewhere, but perhaps the right group of folks with the right leadership skills, with the right level of commitment, and, above all, with a passion to make it all work. Rebuilding a community of practice is certainly a fantastic account of how even the most successful of communities could suffer from some sort of disruption, that could get them into much bigger trouble, but that with the right focus and perseverance the community will still prevail. Regardless.

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