For some time now I’ve been advocating what I call ‘action-oriented communities of practice.’ The model is described here and it’s in use by a range of communities of practice. The starting point is to convene short, intense discussions around topics of interest to the community. This can be done online or face to face but should be limited to about 12 people per discussion table so everyone who attends is present. But what do you talk about?
One option is to organise a Wikipedia raid where a group of people work on a single entry in the Wikipedia encyclopedia. The community just picks a single entry related to its domain and as many people from the community that can be mustered work to improve the entry over a short period of, say, 24 hours. At the same time the community might conduct an online discussion to talk about ideas for future community actions this activity prompts. At the end of the raid the community will have improved an artefact directly relevant to its interests, worked together as a community (a bit of a barn raising activity) and developed new ideas for the future.
Here’s an example of an invitation to a Wikipedia raid.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, 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: