Requested: permission to innovate

Communities of practice are facilitated online spaces where people with a common interest can learn from each others, solve problems, and maybe develop innovative solutions. I think CoPs hold lessons for anyone trying to use social media for social benefit, so I was delighted last week to be invited along to workshop run by Steve Dale and Michael Norton at IDeA
Steve Dale designed the CoP platform that enables local government officers to share knowledge across a wide range of topics – and it has an excellent set of functions, and support. That in itself does not, of course, mean people can easily steps outside the confines of their institutions.
Steve captures that in his item about the event when he recalls someone saying:

“I’m not sure that we have permission to innovate in our organisation”

and adds:

I’d like to think that CoPs do empower people to make change, but the heavy hand of command and control is still evident in many organisations, and could in some cases snuff out that spark of innovation that is in all of us.

More positively, he heard:

“Someone read and commented on my first blog! I got a real buzz out of that – it’s not an ego trip or anything, I’m just so pleased that someone thought I had something interesting to say”

Michael and Steve offer more insights in this video … which in retrospect, I should have recorded in a quieter spot. As you can hear, all the facilitators present were finding the workshop a great opportunity to share experience. Nothing beats face-to-face CoP.

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