Author: ewebber

My weekly newsletter: Posts from Awesome Folks (and some love for blogs)

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I recently started a newsletter digest of blog posts and articles I like. I started doing it to read more blog posts again; committing to sending something out helps keep me on track and is similar to something I regularly did back when I was at GDS (archived by Tom Banister here). People have started subscribing and telling me how much they appreciate it too, which is an added bonus.

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A community and a practice are not the same, but they are brilliant together

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I have worked with Communities of Practice in organisations for several years. One recent trend I have seen is people using the term community when talking about the more formal construct of a practice. When people overlook the attributes and values of a community, they miss out on what makes a community of practice magic,  this post will explain the differences and overlaps.

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Building a progression framework for a multidisciplinary organisation

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I recently had the opportunity to work with the awesome people at Citizens Advice, guiding them in creating a capability and progression framework for the newly formed design, data and technology (DDaT) function. Being a forward-thinking organisation, they were open to trying something a bit different; this post describes the approach I used to help them do that.

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Daily Outside Photo: Adding a bit of humanness to your Slack group

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A quick post to share something that makes me smile. A slack* channel, yes another one, but it is one worth having.

Many of us are working from home, one of the challenges that come with this is leaving the house. It’s important to get outside to take a break, get some air and move our bodies. I find making public commitments a big motivator, so I started a slack channel in one of the communities I run called #daily-outside-photo. The point is to get outside, while there take a photo and share it with the channel. I love this channel. I love seeing people’s pictures and short comments. It brightens up my day.

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Social group sizes, Dunbar’s number and implications for communities of practice

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Communities of practice have a significant impact on organisations for all the reasons which I have spoken about in my book and many times on stage. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore the correlation of communities of practice and natural human communities with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. This lead to a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, co-authored with Dunbar.

Webber E, Dunbar RIM. 2020 The fractal structure of communities of practice: implications for business organisation

What it shows us is that the business world has a lot that it can learn from evolutionary psychology and natural social communities.

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Facilitation feedback tool

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Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement

Helen Timperley and John Hattie

Many of us facilitate workshops or agile habits regularly and we know if a workshop has gone well if the outcomes are useful. There are also lots of elements of facilitation that we don’t often get feedback on. So here is a tool I use to help think about and frame facilitation feedback.

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Agile in the Ether, a remote meetup

Reading Time: 2 minutesI have a habit of bringing people and communities together, this means I can’t seem to help myself setting up or getting involved in running meetups (my current count is at six*). Faced with not enough time to devote to my existing meetup, I naturally decided to start a new one. This time a remote one.

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Mapping skills and capabilities with communities of practice

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I first wrote about skills mapping in my book Building successful communities of practice. This post digs a little deeper into identifying skills and capabilities with communities of practice.

Skills and capability maps help organisations identify gaps and where to invest in skills development. So it makes sense that many want to create them.

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