Building TogetherNurturing Leadership through     Communities of Practice                     LMI 2012
Communities of Practice arehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/infusionsoft/4821602882/in/photostream/                           ...
Communities of Practice are not                               http://www.flickr.com/photos/30975003@N06/3837106588/http://...
CoPs at ASUCollection MaintenanceOrganizational DevelopmentResearch and WritingEmerging TechnologiesLibrary Supervisors
How could   Communities of  Practice be used to     address yourorganization’s goals or     challenges?
ImplementationHow will CoPs fit in your organization?          http://www.flickr.com/photos/54027476@N07/4999919941/
What challenges would your   organization face in  implementing CoPs? What strategies could be  used to address these     ...
Challenges   Solutions      http://www.flickr.com/photos/52890443@N02/4892536396/
Nurturing                LeadershipEncouragingCollaboration
Additional Resources Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, by  Etienne Wenger, Cambridge/New York City...
jeanne.davidson@asu.eduscott.muir@asu.eduvirginia.pannabecker@asu.edu
Building Together: Nurturing Leadership through Communities of Practice - LMI 2012
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Building Together: Nurturing Leadership through Communities of Practice - LMI 2012

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In the current era of never-ending change, effective library organizations must be nimble and flexible. Formal committee structures and reporting lines often get in the way of making changes quickly and may not provide opportunities for leadership development. Communities of Practice (CoPs), as realized at Arizona State University Libraries, provide a flexible model to gather employees from diverse areas and levels of an organization to address a common interest, project or problem. The issues and projects addressed by CoPs at ASU Libraries have benefited overall organizational dynamics and promoted management/staff interpersonal relations, leadership skills, self-awareness, and increased involvement from employees of all areas. Many who participate in these groups go on to participate in further leadership roles in formal groups within the organization. In this workshop, participants will learn about CoPs as an organizational and leadership development resource, including discussion of the theory behind the practice, resources useful for these collaborative working groups and an interactive discussion break-out time for an opportunity to consider how such groups might work in individual organizations.

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  • Attention grabber Did you ever encounter a problem and wonder if a colleague probably knows how to easily solve it Jeanne Our goals for this workshop are first to provide you with background on CoP’s – what they are, what they are not and how we came to use them at ASU. Next, we’ll explore strategies for using and implementing CoP’s at your institutions, including looking at challenges and best practices. Finally, we’ll look at the organizational benefits to using COP’s, including leadership opportunities and overall organizational development. Introductions I’m our names Scott Before we start we’d like to know a bit more about who you are Size:  Small, medium, large Type: academic, public, school, medical, corporate  -- OTHER Classic story of the photocopy repair techs meeting over breakfast Example about insurance workers and shared knowledge from the book (citation later) Importance of a common purpose
  • Scott Slide text: What they are What they are NOT Examples: Photocopy repair techs, insurance companies Focus around a common purpose Inclusive of all levels of the organization Replacement for formal organizational structure Evaluated as part of employee performance Examples Classic story of the photocopy repair techs meeting over breakfast Example about insurance workers and shared knowledge from the book (citation later) Importance of a common purpose Definition   A group of people who share a craft and/or a profession.  It is through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group that the members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally. (Wikipedia) CoPs what are they? focus around a common purpose they come and go needed based on the needs of group or organization might be replaced by a formal structure, or morph into soetehig else Typically inclusive of all level of the  organization Transition AUL created Sustainability group dealing with recycling, being more green, appointed two chairs, started meeting regularly Not a “true” CoP
  • What are they not? Does not replace our formal structure.   For example we have supervisors forum which is a formal organization chaired by the library Business Operations Manager.  It meets monthly and shares formal communication and practices that we all must follow. We also have supervisors CoP.  One “rule” it has is not Dept heads can be on it.  The goal was to allow supervisors who are lower in the management hierarchy to talk more freely and build their own confidence in dealing with supervisory challenges Not formally  evaluate If an employee mentioned they are in a CoP that their willingness to volunteer and contribute can be part of their evaluation, but we do not evaluate their performance in the CoP. We had a supervisor ask that very question about how should he evaluate that performance and the answer is you don’t.
  • Jeanne In 2006 ASU changed from a decentralized university with 4 independent campuses to a single university with 4 campus locations. In this new arena the library was charge to become “One Library in Many Places” in spite of the different organizational cultures on each campus. By 2009, the libraries has 4 top level administrative vacancies so the UL formed a steering committee to work out a reorganization. CoP’s were introduced through this reorganization effort as a way to help build community for those doing similar work across the campuses. These are examples of the CoP’s that have formed since then. We’ve seen many benefits from using CoP’s. They have greatly increased the feeling of “one library in many places.” In particular, the OD CoP proposed, planned and sponsored a first ever library-wide all-day retreat in which we closed all libraries and met for a day of community building and professional development. This retreat built community across all campuses and even across departments that did not interact regularly. People met people they had only seen via email or names mentioned in the directory. CoP’s have also increased trust and collaboration across the organization because people have opportunities to work with peers from other libraries that do the same work they do and they can work out issues and problems together. Have provided flexibility to the organization in that groups can come together to work on problems or issues without having to form formal workgroups or committees. As some of our survey participants noted, CoP’s help keep things from “falling through the cracks of the formal organization” The CoP’s have provided opportunities for peer leadership. The retreat planning, for example, included people from all areas and levels of the organization leading different parts of the event. Scott How do they work at ASU?    All have developed organically, with the OD CoP being the first one No formal head – although there may be a highly interested facilitator or convener. Meetings can be scheduled on a recurring basis, or on an as desired basis There are rarely any formal minutes or reporting. Most groups have a check your title at door policy.  So a person can be an entry level clerk or a department head.  Their contributions are considered equal. Most CoPs at ASU maintain a “what is said in this meeting, stays in this meeting”.  This is critical so that people can build their own confidence in their ability, or allows them the ability to ask about a problem they are experiencing. 
  • Ginny Overall involvement How many? 35+10+10+15+20 = 90 employees Who? representing every type of employee (classified staff, service professional, academic professional/librarian), every level of employee (from library assistant to department head to director), and every work area (collections, preservation, user services, front-line staff, technical services, archives & preservation, IT, administration) Example comments from survey “ They fill a long-standing and much-needed gap to: share truly valuable information, help and encourage each other, and to make us feel like we belong to a real ‘community’ that cares about our quality of worklife and our development.” “ Departments that seldom interact are coming together and communicating. In a workplace that is very compartmentalized, this is refreshing.” “ Communities of Practice foster unexpected ideas and innovation, peer-to-peer help in problem solving.” Replace with word map based on survey results
  • Scott will find ideas for moving people around (15 minutes total) 7-10 minutes for them to discuss Report out of 2-3 groups, 2 minutes each (5-7 minutes)
  • Ginny Clarify how CoP’s fit into the formal structure --State support of Administration, department heads, supervisors (Not formal committees) --Purpose: brainstorming, innovation, free sharing and discussion of ideas, sharing of best practices, project work, proposal creation, etc – to fit your organization’s needs --Official contact method for proposals/project ideas Organizational Support --Meeting spaces and scheduling (rooms available, calendars, contacts to arrange) --Announcements/Info – How to let others know about meetings, etc.? (organization distribution list? Staff newsletter? Other? – how to submit info to these) Resources For collaboration Choose a collaborative work space: department intranet? Wikispaces? Wiggio? Google sites/docs? Process for resource requests if needed
  • Scott will find ideas for moving people around (25 min. total) Up to 15 minutes for group discussion Report out briefly with example groups (10 minutes)
  • Our survey of employees asked what they didn’t like about CoP. Several challenges arose, including: CoP’s can become dependent on a single individual to keep the group going. If that person leaves, changes job responsibilites, etc., the CoP may flounder or die altogether. A related issue is participants in the CoP who dominate and forget that the group is about everyone and not just them. A solution for this is identifying those with facilitation skills and /or providing facilitation training as needed. A good facilitator can help the group set agendas and enable everyone’s participation. In addition, setting and discussing ground rules and expectations for the group and group members at one or more early meetings in important. Lack of formality in CoP can be good and can be a challenge. Solution: ground rules and identifying a mechanism for intersecting with the formal organization. Participants may not recognize the opportunities for leadership presented in CoP’s and the also may not recognize what they are doing IS leadership. Example quote for “unknown leadership:” “The knowledge that I might actually be able to improve something so we (the library) can help to fulfill ASU’s goals of a better, more productive and sustainable university. Many times I feel like I’m treading water and the CoP's are the only way I can actually participate in the big picture and help fulfilling ASU’s overall goals.”
  • Ideally, 10 minutes minimum
  • Building Together: Nurturing Leadership through Communities of Practice - LMI 2012

    1. 1. Building TogetherNurturing Leadership through Communities of Practice LMI 2012
    2. 2. Communities of Practice arehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/infusionsoft/4821602882/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/sillydog/284292212/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ghoseb/4891145558/
    3. 3. Communities of Practice are not http://www.flickr.com/photos/30975003@N06/3837106588/http://www.flickr.com/photos/john_hall_associates/3238420703/sizes/m/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/umpqua/60761789/
    4. 4. CoPs at ASUCollection MaintenanceOrganizational DevelopmentResearch and WritingEmerging TechnologiesLibrary Supervisors
    5. 5. How could Communities of Practice be used to address yourorganization’s goals or challenges?
    6. 6. ImplementationHow will CoPs fit in your organization? http://www.flickr.com/photos/54027476@N07/4999919941/
    7. 7. What challenges would your organization face in implementing CoPs? What strategies could be used to address these challenges?
    8. 8. Challenges   Solutions http://www.flickr.com/photos/52890443@N02/4892536396/
    9. 9. Nurturing LeadershipEncouragingCollaboration
    10. 10. Additional Resources Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, by Etienne Wenger, Cambridge/New York City, Cambridge University Press, 1999. “Library Leadership 2.0: the intersection of diversity and leadership,” ALA webinar, presented by Karen Downing and Alexandra Rivera on May 15th, 2012, archived recording: https://alapublishing.webex.com/alapublishing/lsr.php? AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=5238417&rKey=f53bfc4593e5cc42 Today’s presentation, Building Together: Nurturing Leadership through Communities of Practice, available on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/bluemus/lmi-presentation
    11. 11. jeanne.davidson@asu.eduscott.muir@asu.eduvirginia.pannabecker@asu.edu
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