A friend of mine sent in a piece that they picked up off another blog (sorry no link provided - but thank you Jim)
It relates to a chinese saying and as it approaches the Chinese new year, i thought that this was quite apposite.
Go to the People
Live with them
Learn from them,
Start with what they know,
Build with what they have.
But with the best leaders
When the work is done
the task is accomplished
The people will say,
‘We have done this ourselves.’
This is a good thought to how an internal community of practice should work. Provide people with the tools either through a wiki or a blog, help them set it up provide them with a framework to capture knowledge, through storytelling etc, but also empower them to self explore and to come to realisations themselves and to internalise it.
I wass thinking about this and what I call the curious cat approach to management (yes I know what happens to curious cats) or as the Japanese call it genchi genbetsu which is to go and talk to people and go and observe the situation at first hand which helps you to define the problem and to hopefully refine the solution. It's not always possible but within COP's they are because they are closer to the problem and then able to design a solution.
i've always beleived that people when they have been involved and have a handle in designing the solution can reach that last line.
I'm planning to listen over the weekend to some recent downloads of podcasts from a few of the business schools so I plan to post some comments next week.
Gung Hei Fat Choy