Peeling the potatoes

Posted by Shawn Callahan - December 6, 2004
Filed in Communities of practice

Denham Grey draws attention to Etienne Wenger’s idea that communities of practice can form the centre piece of a knowledge strategy. And then makes the observation:

What I found missing here is the community level practices to grow knowledge – think patterns, ontologies, distinctions, concept mapping, collaborative writing, knowledge mapping and beyond

One of the community level practices I think is useful, which was employed on Etienne’s community workshop, is the creation of home groups which focus on the mundane logistics of the community like organising speakers, suggesting topics for discussion and arranging face to face events. My friend, Paul Dowling, calls this ‘peeling the potatoes’, referring to those day-to-day jobs you do while (say) you are on holidays with friends that help you to get to know one another. Home teams (call them whatever you like) help create ‘community’.

About Shawn Callahan
Shawn is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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