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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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 between communities of practice and natural human communities with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. This led 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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Posters to show how awesome communities of practice are

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Update, the posters are no longer available, but you can learn more about communities of practice in my book and you can download my community of practice tools and templates here.

If you regularly read my blog, then you will know that communities of practice are my specialist subject and core to a lot of the work that I do. I help lots of organisations who are building their specialist skills in digital and agile delivery and those communities form an essential foundation for just that.

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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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The team collaboration party game

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I recently put a workshop together to take a new team through to help describe some important agile concepts including the benefits of working collaboratively and swarming on tasks; the value of communication; how to self-organise; how limiting work in progress achieves more value and what we mean by T-shaped teams.

The workshop itself was a lot of fun and left us with a bunch of balloons and sweets to share with our colleagues(which can’t be a bad thing), as well as a good grasp of the concepts above.

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The 4 Ps of effective standups

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This is a quick blog post with some tips for effective stand-ups that a friend asked me to write so he could share it with someone else. So here it is Mark.

These 4Ps came to life when I was working with Amy Wagner creating and delivering some training in Brussels. The training was intended to help a team get better at the way they worked together and stand-ups were an area that needed attention. This isn’t uncommon for digital teams, they may be having regular stand-ups, but the real value can sometimes get lost.

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What learning to knit reminded me about learning

Reading Time: 6 minutes

**Post updated Sept 2023**

I have recently taken up knitting (as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know), and as well as helping me build an increasing collection of brightly coloured hats, it’s helped remind me about the process of learning and how this relates to people learning in general. This post covers five concepts and tips to remember about learning.

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