“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.”
―from “Speaker for the Dead” by Orson Scott Card
I imagine that anyone who participates in the TalentCulture community agrees with this quote. Whenever any of us invests time or talent in #TChat events, social channels or this blog, a bit of our identity becomes connected to something larger than ourselves.
Of course that’s not unusual. The rise of the Internet has made community membership a common occurrence. In fact, “community” has become a buzzword for any group of people that uses digital technology to interact. But many business-related communities are much more than just loosely connected people. They are, like TalentCulture, communities of practice or purpose.
Here’s how social learning expert, Etienne Wenger, defines Communities of Practice: “Groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do — and who learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” It’s important to keep in mind that this proccess of continuous learning isn’t necessarily intentional. It’s also important to remember that, although communities may start as a flash of inspiration, they must be cultivated. They require consistent presence, clear communication and sufficient resources to function and flourish.
Not every virtual community is a community of practice. What differentiates them from others? According to Wenger, there are 3 critical components:
- DOMAIN = shared topics of interest (e.g. today’s “world of work”)
- COMMUNITY = members + their relationships (e.g. #TChat/TalentCulture social media connections)
- PRACTICE = channels and collective body of knowledge (e.g. chat archives, video and audio interviews, blog commentary)
Want deeper insight into how you can get value from a community of practice? Watch this energetic, idea-packed video by Nancy White, who is passionate about the care and feeding of communities!
How do these community of practice concepts extend to enterprise communities? For insights and inspiration, check out our stash of resources from this week’s #TChat Forums. Throughout the week, experts challenged us to think in new ways about familiar community concepts.
#TChat Week in Review
#TChat Preview + Sneak Peek Videos: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in interviews with our special guests, Maria Ogneva, Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce Chatter Communities, and Jeff Willinger, Director of Collaboration, Social Computing and Intranets at Rightpoint consulting. See the preview: “Finding Value in Enterprise Communities.”
Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro considered how business organizations can effectively apply community management principles and practices in her Forbes column, “5 Ways Leaders Empower The Social Enterprise.”
#TChat Radio: Maria and Jeff joined our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to examine key issues and opportunities associated with the care and feeding of digital business communities, in “Why Enterprise Community Management Works.”
#TChat Twitter: As we do each Wednesday, #TChat-ters took to the Twitter stream to share ideas, concerns and opinions — this week about enterprise community best practices, with Maria and Jeff leading the way. Were you in on the action? If not, or to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:
#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Finding Value in Enterprise Communities”
Closing Notes & What’s Ahead
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about digital communities? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week — we’re shifting gears to look at the hiring process from the candidate’s perspective. How have employers improved about the hiring process — and what could be improved? You won’t want to miss it!
But until then, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The lights are always on at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.
See you on the stream!