Creating a Community of Practice with the 5 P Framework

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so good morning everybody my name is

Mike Collins I work for a company called

EPG developing people globally we

specialize in HR and L&D qualifications

so we develop capability in H R and L

and D my area of interest my area of

special ISM if you like is specifically

around developing learning communities

both offline and online and some of the

work that I've done at DPG over the last

three years has been around connecting

people and getting people to share

knowledge to develop to learn to then

apply and make themselves better at what

they do

so I'm hope you enjoying the two-day

conference was anybody here yesterday

show of hands anybody here yesterday

fantastic you've come back today first

day anybody today fantastic ok so you'll

have probably got your kind of to grips

with the layout so over there you've got

this huge area that's all specializing

in technology shiny gadgets amazing

technology and then as you walk over

here there's a tiny tiny tiny little bit

that's focused on skills quite an

interesting balance around tech tech

tech tech small area for skills when

actual fad really what we should be

doing is flipping it and concentrating

on skills because technology is just me

love the enabler so this talk isn't

going to be about technology although

there is a small part of technology this

is about hearts minds and behaviors this

is about others as people as humans and

how we can apply and use the tools

around us to help foster those

connections and relationships so just to

show our fans who's a member of a

community of practice at the moment

what's a community of practice that's a

very good question I will I will share

with that very soon who's thinking about

learning communities in their own

organization at the moment yeah so this

is something that's you know been out in

the towards maturity benchmark reports

in every sort of report that you look up

for LMD who talked about social they

talked about mobile they talked about

connectivity they talked about

harnessing the power of the organization

and one of the ways in which you can do

that is through learning communities so

if learning communities and social

networks aren't part of your L&D

strategy and how you're trying to help

people become better at learning and

getting access to knowledge within your

organization then it's something that I

really do hope that you leave today

thinking that this is what we need to go

this is what we

to do this one we need to approach so

five P's I'm going to talk through five

P's each one a little letter starting

with P but it's not just words okay what

I like to think of them I'll just turn

this on there you go

it's these are pillars these are the

basis e2 the foundations in which you

can apply your knowledge and work

through this framework to create a

successful and thriving learning

community this is a handout that you've

gone I'm going to kind of take you

around each of the five P's and

hopefully make some sort of sense so

let's look at the first one purpose when

you're looking at a community of

practice and you're starting to think

about what we're going to do and how

we're going to apply the community into

whatever context you've got to start

with purpose because without purpose you

can't go on there's no foundation to

start with the purpose is absolutely key

so when you're thinking about when

you're going to create and start a

community that's going to support

learning your purpose is key we're going

to spend a couple of minutes thinking

about what your purpose is and rather

than me talk about it I'm going to bring

in a guy that you probably heard of

simon Sinek who talks about how great

leaders inspire action and some of the

things that you probably battling with

your own organization is getting buy-in

and getting people to support the idea

that actually we want people to talk to

one another who actually want to connect

people we want people to share knowledge

we don't want people to hoard knowledge

so purpose is absolutely key so

hopefully this is gonna work and before

we do that I'm going to answer your

question which is what is a community of

practice so this is a community of

practice so according to lave and Wenger

a community of practice is groups of

people who share a concern or passion

for something they do and learn how to

do it better as they interact regularly

so I'll get I'll get on the way if you

wanna take a picture so this is about

people the sharing a concern of passion

and interest they need to know something

and it's about getting these people to

interact regularly of course now in the

21st century that doesn't just have to

be face-to-face there are so many tools

that you can do that connect people

offline as well as online

so the way that I like to think about

creating a purpose is starting with why

if you can help decide what the Y is

then it helps people understand the Y

for them and what they're going to get

from this community so there's more

chances than joining getting game

getting getting involved so I'm going to

hand over to Simon and Simon's going to

talk you through starting with why and

it's probably the world's simplest idea

I call it the Golden Circle

why how what this little idea explains

why some organizations and some leaders

are able to inspire where others aren't

let me define the terms really quickly

every single person every single

organization on the planet knows what

they do 100 percent some know how they

do it when you call it you're

differentiating value proposition or

your proprietary process or your USP but

very very few people or organizations

know why they do what they do

and by why I don't need to make a profit

that's a result

it's always a result by why I mean

what's your purpose what's your cause

what's your belief why does your

organization exist well as a result the

way we think the way we act the way we

communicate is from the outside in it's

obvious we go from the clearest thing to

the fuzziest thing but the inspired

leaders and the inspire or inspired

organizations regardless of their size

regardless of their industry all think

act and communicate from the inside out

so there you go really simple premise

don't start with the watts or the how

you start with the why an assignments

just said they're the inspired people

the inspired organizations start with

wife they help people understand the

reason why they need to be involved in

something and I am assuming because you

here today that you are all inspired

people you're thinking about how you can

connect people and create learning

communities in your own organization so

one of the things I want to challenge

you with today is know your purpose I

want to think about why you want to

create a learning community why you want

to bring people together what's the

purpose okay so you don't need to kind

of come up with it right now but just

think about in your own organization or

in the work that you're doing what is

your purpose just 30 seconds thinking

about your purpose take your time shut

your eyes get up move around 30 seconds

just think about your purpose and be

really clear on how you would explain

that purpose to somebody else

write it down

take something away from this session

tangibly that you can take back into

your own organization have a

conversation with somebody talk about

purpose start with why if people buy

what you believe and people believe what

you believe then that's the most

powerful concept to start with so answer

the why okay so once you know your

purpose what you need to be able to do

is package that purpose and you'll be

able to work it up into something called

an elevator pitch because if you can't

explain your purpose when somebody says

right why should I invest in you know

learning community and you got well

everybody else is talking about it so it

must be great but if you can actually

talk and summarize in a paragraph or a

few sentences to why you shouldn't

invest in creating learning communities

and that's a really powerful thing to be

able to get buy-in and support and

obviously the people who are gonna be

using your community will start to

understand one of the key things and

that takes onto the second P as I say

this is a bit of a whistle-stop tour so

number two P it's people cuz of course

without a without people you have no

community you just diverse kind of you

no longer having conversations with

themselves so people is absolutely keen

if you understand your purpose and you

understand your why you've got that

motivation then the answers are what's

in it for me and you'll hear they saw

everywhere don't ya what's in it for me

answer than what's in it for me but W

wifm of course but truly think about why

people would want to invest their time

in a community what they're gonna get

from it how can you sell the benefit how

can you sell the value for them how can

you demonstrate value so that actually

people want to come and join in this

community and get something from it so

if you answer the what's in it for me

and then straightaway they can see a

benefit and then will give you the time

and effort that it deserves as opposed

to well I don't really see the point and

so many learning communities turning to

gold towns because they don't answer the

what's in it for me especially in an

online capacity if you aren't listening

to your people and they're not telling

you and you're not understanding what

that concern and what that shared

interest is that your community is not

going to get off the ground in any way

shape or form and it will become a ghost

town and then people will say oh well

it's not oh it's not the right way to go

so think about that what's in it for me

the other thing that you need to think


is what's in it for business what is in

it for your organization is it to

support knowledge management more

effectively is it to enable people to

get access to sales materials or sales

knowledge is it about creating a network

so that actually communication is

two-way as opposed to one-way just email

through internal communications think

about why this is better for business

it's a very brief way I want to talk

just through this this law of innovation

curve so think about your own

organization at the moment think about

your L&D team think about the people who

were in that team might just be yourself

or you might actually have a team so

think about where the people in your

team actually are are the innovators you

know they the ones over in the learning

technologies going oh my god I'm a

magpie where's a shiny gadget I want to

go and try this because it's cool it's

great and it'll look say it's gonna cost

me a lot of money or they sort of early

adopters so actually they get something

they can see the value they want to play

they want to experiment they want to be

quite brave and this is what we need in

L&D you know we need bravery we need

experimentation we need people that can

actually see technology and see a

purpose in a way and actually apply it

in a very real way that benefits people

supporting them learning that links of

course to improve performance and

increase knowledge so this chasm here is

a big gap between the innovators and

early adopters and it's that touching

point where actually it starts to become

the early majority so that's where

people start to start to get it and then

all of a sudden the late majority kind

of like what everyone else is doing it

so I'm feeling a bit weird now I'm

feeling a bit isolated so I'm gonna join

in now anyway

and the Lagarde's every team has a la

Garde every team has a Luddite somebody

who's pen and paper that's the way we

communicate none of that fancy dangled

technology stuff but every team has a la

garde and these are really important

because they're usually quite

influential people so think about the

approaches that you're going to take and

getting buy-in and support from people

I'm just very briefly cuz you can go

into this road but a communities has a

life cycle I don't think that your

community is gonna last forever nothing

lasts forever a community can be quite


it can be supporting part of a formal

learning programme it can be something


you know your organization is looking at

changing the way means in which they

communicate and share information so it

could be quite large-scale could be

quite short small scale but you kind of

get this inception this inception phase

where the community is forming you ain't

got the establishment phase where people

are starting to understand how they're

using the community and how they get in

information from it then you get to sort

of a maturity phase where actually this

is just the way that it's done until

finally you come out of the end and your

community within the break-up because

there's actually no need for it or that

community will actually form other

communities because people have

connected and shared information about

what they actually need so that

community is not meeting their needs

anymore so they go on and form their own

community so community life cycles can

just very briefly this is one of the the

ways in which I kind of thought about

the slope of enlightenment so if you

think about changing your organization

change is pretty hard it's not easy

you've got you've got to kind of roll

your sleeves up you've got to dig deep

and you've got to stick to what you

believe otherwise you know change change

initiatives will start they'll start the

falter and then something else will


so very quickly anyone familiar with the

Gartner hype cycle where you introduce a

bit of Technology and or something

different and all of a sudden you think

oh my god yes we're going to change the

world come on and then you introduce it

and better all of a sudden you go oh

actually this is not going to be easy

there's gonna be really hard work and

you end up in the trough of

disillusionment and the people that are

usually doing that if you think that's

the innovation curve are the early

adopters the innovators and people who

are being brave and as soon as that

happens they hit the trough of

disillusionment and that's where most

change programs that's where most

technology that's where most bravery

sort of disappears because to change a

culture in an organization or to change

the way a means that people actually

genuinely just believe because that's

the way we've always done it it's very

easy just to give up however what we

need to do is focus on these we need to

focus on hearts and minds we need to

focus on skills development around how

people communicate both offline and

online the benefits of people connecting

and sharing and actually sharing is a

skill you know being able to share

information to find and filter in

information to curate content to bring

people in to be a connector that is a

key skill for Learning and Development

professionals in my opinion and it is

about how you can apply that knowledge

and how you can create value for others

in the organization not just yourself

and then all of a sudden you keep going

up this slide slope of enlightenment

until you get the early majority the

late majority and all of a sudden it's

just the way that things are done and in

five years time you'll look back going

why why didn't we communicate in this

way why do not we connect and share with

people in this way and especially an

awful lot online communities one of the

biggest challenges is getting sort of

people who just lurk and consume

information how do you get them to be

active contributors and actively

involved in your community

and in large part that is down to one of

the other P's I'm going to talk about

but love your lurkers lurkers will tell

you a lot of information about what

content is valuable

what contents being used and ultimately

your lurkers form a huge part of your

your community if you look at the 99 the

ninety-nine one rule so one percent of

people will contribute a lot of content

nine percent of people will get involved

on an irregular basis and that 90

percent will just sit back and consume

and that's very much how the internet

works okay so people are absolutely

fundamental you need to explain your

purpose and people need to buy into that

purpose so what are people actually

looking for in a community then any

ideas it's on your handout they are

looking for run-ups

say third P absolutely essential because

you've got to get your product right

okay I'm going to show another video and

I have to I have to say it's a bit of a

naughty video there are two swear words

in it and so if you are easily offended

just put your hands over your ears and

I'll wave to you when it when the swear

words have gone away but I just think

this sums up perfectly for me

supply and demand Brad so Marge done Ben

sell me that pen watch pen that's my boy

right there it is pretty sell

anything do me a favor why'd you named

out a napkin for

I don't have a pen exactly supply and

demand like creating urgently getting to

want to buy this no okay so supply and

demand creating urgency creating in need

if your product is not meeting the needs

of your audience your people and that

doesn't tie in with the purpose of what

the community is there for then you're

not you don't have a product you've got

no reason for people to get involved you

all know people know no reason for

people to connect and to come and to

share so you need to understand your

product your product is absolutely

essential think like a marketeer don't

think like an Ellen D professional think

like a marketeer how do we sell what we

do to the people that we work with you

know people outside of work are awash

with sexy commercials great-looking

video great-looking content that content

is out there so we just have to find it

we need to harness it we need to curate

create and we need to use the tools

around us to be able to create a

compelling reason why people need and

want this product so in a community in a

learning community what do you think are

our product is no change yes or change

could be an outcome of a community

getting together either change an

individual behavior or organizational

culture or think done anybody else

anybody think of any other experience it

yeah fantastic product company things

around through stories for example so

your product could be stories how do we

how do we capture and combine stories

within our organization to help people

understand what change is happening one

of the things from a learning community

the people are going to come from is

knowledge a thirst for knowledge why are

they going to come to your community

because actually people in the community

are sharing and actually quite

knowledgeable on the subject on the

product right I actually understand the

what's in it for me because that applies

to my job role talking about sales

techniques or operational processes or

risk you know that community on webinars

actually I'm interested in in in that so

there's a reason for me to go there some

knowledge and one of the biggest

barriers that you will find creating

communities is this concept that

knowledge is power

and this is this is this is sometimes I

true oh that the knowledge is power

and one of our roles is learning

professionals as community managers as

connectors is to change that mindset

from knowledge is power to this one this

is absolutely essential this is key so

power is gained by sharing knowledge and

not hoarding it however in so many

organizations so many individuals hold

on to that concept though what I know

makes me unique makes me a power points

in the organization why would I want to

share what I know with other people why

do I want to give them an advantage in

the 21st century in a workplace where we

want to work and we want to feel

meaningful work why isn't it that you

can't go and help other people and

develop other people's knowledge from

what you know that is where true power

comes from in sharing knowledge with

other people in abling other peoples

have become better at what they do and

Ellen do you have a key part to play in

that sonali sharing how did you go about

doing that

okay so there's a couple of things

around your needs to create content so

where's this content is it going to come

from minutes is it going to come from

webinar is it going to come from

meetings is it going to come from

clustering content is it going to come

from Fletcher is it going to improve

resources photographs video logs

discussions video interviews where's you

where's your content you know get

creative you know where is the content

coming from in your organization where

can you create content from people to

contribute content that is on the vein

to your product you know go and talk to

people about what the things that their

work if you want to check out work for

John stepper which is working out loud

so John stepper has created this service

this working out loud approach which is

five steps to working out loud it's a

really powerful compelling way to

encourage people to what they're working


was it swapping over cuz this happened

yesterday and it's just it hurts your

ears if I'm cutting out on probably

hurting you anyway but so what he does

that talk about think about your product

think about where you're going to create

this content from and the second way and

probably easier in some respects okay so

which I again it's to curate so this

creation and this curation so one of the

one of the guys that I encouraged it to

look at our followers a guy called

Martin Martin cousins so if you think

about curation in a museum context what

do what do curators do they they find

artifacts they put them in order they

filter and find and explain what it is

so for an Ellen D professional this is

absolutely essential because if we can

curate and find different articles and

posts and content from externally as

well as internally then we've got the

ability to create compelling content

we've got a product so a couple of

things that you can look at when you

curate think about curation as finding

filtering and sharing so this is


aggregation so aggregation is like an

RSS feed where you're just pulling in

lots and lots of different contents and

there's lots of different RSS feeds out

there that you can tools that you can

use curation there is a human element

there is finding content and there is

filtering content so that means that

you're filtering what actually what

content you want people to see in your

community and then you can add your own

insight you can add your own context you

can encourage people to comment on that

you know what does that mean for example

if I'm sharing a you know issue on

difficult conversations you know how

does that apply to the work that you're

doing tell me a story from when you when

you've had that and then that might get

twenty thirty readers so again that's

that can create change and once you've

done that you can share it and a couple

of things that we're doing DPG is using

these three tools so Flipboard create

wonderful looking magazines you can

embed them in in a web page

scoop it so scoop it's a great tool for

finding content adding a little bit of

context of yourself and then again

adding it to an online format you can

share it in links you can embed it and

then Storify so if you're not checked

out still

if I before again Storify is a great way

of telling stories you can drag content

in from YouTube from Twitter from

WordPress you've got all these kind of

online tools that integrate into it and

you just create nice little stories of

what people have been talking about and

share in so just three tools that you

can have a look at okay so soon as

somebody starts talking about

communities and this is there was my set

to begin with I always thought about

online so online communities were I've

had the majority of my experience

however a lot of those communities also

had offline presences so one of the

great examples is lndeed Connect which

is a network of L&D professionals who

get together on on a sort of quarterly

basis they run events but there's a

really strong online presence as well

and when you think about communities

it's not about online versus

face-to-face it's about a balance so

like going back to your purpose is there

a need for people to get together face

to face how can we use the online

environments to support either pre

during or after those face-to-face

events how can you keep the

conversations going so if you're working

on a formal program at the moment

whether it's for managers leaders

whether it's for sales staff whether

it's for claims people whether it's for

a complaints department how can you use

online tools to get messages and get

interaction and creates that sort of

connectivity before the event how can

you then harness that event during the

workshop or during that face-to-face

time and then how can you encourage

those conversations to continue

afterwards and then how can you amplify

the great conversations that people have

been having and the outputs of those and

sharing those stories with others

because all it takes is one good story

one little spark to be able to create my

movement and momentum and this is where

DPG ourselves have had great success

over the last three years is blending

the sort of online community of practice

with face-to-face activities workshops

programs so that we can help people

connect and get access to content before

they even come near the faceshop

before they're building relationships

with one another before they're even

before they've even met and what it does

it really strikes that strong

relationship to enable people to you

know foster better relationships and

Trust and Trust is essential when you

talking about sharing information and

sharing knowledge how do you build trust

just just very quickly on that as well

the DPG community is completely free so

you can access it I'll send out the link

or you can chat to us on the stand in a

little bit but feel free to kind of have

a look at how its structured how the

sorts of things are laid out the sorts

of content that we share you know still

with pride is a great motto feel free to

come and just replicate it somewhere

take the contents and pass it on to your

colleagues and one of the good things

about it is it's accessible mobile

tablet and desktop and that's another

thing that we need to think about when

you're talking about access how do we

provide people with access and then

finally the last P and I'm think I've

got about four minutes left so this is

the the key the key P the Pied Piper and

guess what you are all Pied Pipers what

do I mean by Pied Piper so these people

are the ones that lead talk about that

innovation curve you're the innovators

you're the people that take an idea and

actually do something with it you gain

momentum you build a following you help

people see the Y you help people connect

you nurture you support you coach you

discuss you have conversations with

people and the Pied Piper is essential

to that because L&D is that are really

interested in time at the moments and I

don't know whether you ever saw though

that the post by Jane ha armed

traditionalists versus the modernists of


and whether you disagree or not L&D is a

fantastic opportunity to harness the

tools that enable better skills

development they give us so many more

opportunities to build our skills and to

offer more benefit to organizations and

I think we should be doing the exact

opposite we shouldn't be putting them

asleep we should be waking them up to

what they have inside of themselves

but the model we have is this it's I

believe we have a system education that

is modeled on the interests of

industrialism and in the image of it

I'll give you a couple of examples

schools are still pretty much organized

on factory lines ringing bells separate

facilities specialized in two separate

subjects we still educate children by


you know we put them through the system

by age group why do we do that you know

why is there this assumption that the

most important thing kids have in common

is how old they are you know it's like

the most important about them is their

date of manufacture I mean well I know

kids who are much better than other kids

are the same age in different

disciplines you know or at different

times of the day or better in smaller

groups and in large groups or sometimes

they want to be on their own if you're

interested in model of learning you

don't start from this production line

mentality these are it's essentially

about conformity in increasing it's

about that as you look at the growth of

standardized testing and standardized

curricula and it's about standardization

I believe we've got to go in the exact

opposite direction that's what I mean

about changing the paradigm so that's

the Ken Robinson talking about changing

the paradigms in educational system I

firmly believe that we've got it exactly

the same in the corporate world we've

got to change that mindset that actually

training happens in a conformed way so

how do we disrupt the corporate model of

Education one of the ways in which we do

that is give people the opportunity to

connect with one another through

communities so there's a lot of

different options and a lot of different

roles in L&D at the moment whether this

is happening in your organization or not

so again this work is by by jane harp

and you can see you know whether you

talk about being a performance

consultant a learning advisor course and

resource developers trainees course

facilitators LMS facility - traitors

you've got training performance support

and then this key one here collaboration

advisors so I attended the learning

technologies conference in 2007 and

heard a talk and the day after I went

back into my organization created a

community there was a free platform at

the time and only through experimenting

and trying something different

have I been able to kind of learn as

I've been going and it's still you know

we're finding everything as you go

through but it's about being that

catalyst it's about creating that

movement and having the sheer guts and

determination to say actually I'm gonna

do something else and I want to take you

on that journey I want to show you how

to do that you know and you can help me

do that as well so I'm pretty much out

of time there's a couple of things left

I'm not going to show you the video but

if you want to learn how to create a

movement and you

I'm just going to turn that off because

it's quite loud but if you if you ever

feeling down in the dumps and you think

you know I'm not getting a lot of love

here go and watch leadership lessons by

dancing guy because that is the guy who

will give you the inspiration and

motivation to stick with change and to

find that first follower and that's

really key and trying to change the way

a means in which we do things in L and D

okay so I talked about elevator pictures

before I thought about sort of

compelling reasons to want to get

involved and do things so this is my

elevator pitch so DPG we sell L&D and HR

qualifications what a buy one that's not

good enough okay so let's try again

so we believe DPG believe in a space for

people to connect share and learn a

space to be the best they can be

we help people grow and transform

creating the future workforce today want

to learn with us so the same thing just

to play into a different what's in it

for me

and what's in it for me is developing at

L&D capabilities about understanding L&D

learning methodology and how we can

apply it in new in different ways so

that's our time today hopefully you

found that useful you made some notes

just scribble down I'm gonna be honest

and are to throughout the day there's

some bags with some DPG goodies in here

first-come first-served

well please feel free to come and come

and grab a bag thank you very much for

your time and if you've got any

questions but happy to kind of filled

them afterwards thank you for time