Community Catch-up: January

Last month (December), a number of us got together for almost two hours to talk about what we’re collectively doing in different organizations to promote learning using community models.  It was a very productive discussion and we’re going to continue it on January 29, 2010 from 2pm – 4pm (Central).

Basically if you’re running a learning or knowledge community or are gearing up to design one, we use this discussion to share the goals for our communities, our approaches as far as tool and people resources AND the lessons we’re learning by doing (and thus, from each other).

We had about 8 people last time and that was pretty awesome.  We can probably make room for a few more so if you’re interested, comment below and I’ll handle the inviting.

This meeting, we’re hoping to follow up on a few threads from last time, including…

  • How some people are using NewsGator as a way to drive community learning activity.
  • How narrow or broad a focus does a community need to have to be effective.

And other key themes anyone wants to bring up before, during or after.

We have a small set of ground rules for these discussions if you’re interested in participating:

  • This should be sacred ground among trusted peers and colleagues across organizations. Participation here is to improve all our organizations, not to gain some competitive advantage. In other words, please be cool.
  • Don’t give away your super duper top secret sensitive company information. Please provide the context needed for us to help you and learn from your examples. Again, please be cool.
  • Please don’t blog/tweet/socialize specifics about anyone’s projects shared here. EXCEPTION — Sharing these learnings with your team and your organization for learning purposes? Totally cool. I mean, that’s kinda the point, right?
  • Conversely, PLEASE blog/tweet/socialize what you’re learning. If people resonate with what we’re learning, this community can grow.
  • Embrace candor. We’re all here to grow, improve, trust and learn from each other. If you have an idea to make something better, share it! This includes suggestions to improve these ground rules and/or conventions.

We also used Google Wave in real time while we were on the phone with each other, and that seemed to turn out pretty well.  We’ll likely continue.

Our results are not open to the public, because most of us are informally benchmarking for our organizations.  If you’re interested in learning what’s going on, you need to participate and share.

With all that said, I hope we see you next Friday for another awesome discussion!

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