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Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge
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Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Today's economy is fueled by knowledge. Every leader knows this to be true, yet few have systematic methods for converting organizational knowledge into economic value. This book argues that communities of practice--groups of individuals formed around common interests and expertise--provide the ideal vehicle for driving knowledge-management strategies and building lasting ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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I am an Executive Secretary for a large E/A Company with 15 district offices and and admin. staff of 84 people. Through "Cultivating Communities of Practice" I am learning how to set-up a CoP, elicit buy-in of other community members with the goals of sharing knowledge expediciously throughout the admin. staff.
J.R. Woodward
Cultivating Communities of Practice is a manual and guide created by a community of authors in order to help businesses and organizations more thoughtfully and intentionally steward the knowledge of the community for the benefit of the whole. They understand that energy and “aliveness” about any topic is not created or manufactured, but simply cultivated. Just like a farmer must cultivate the soil, plant the seeds, nurture the crop, and identify and deal with the weeds; the authors help
An unusual guide to developing communities of practice

Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott and William M. Snyder have written an exceptionally clear and honest book. While they obviously are deeply committed to communities of practice and exuberant in embracing the concept – particularly in the realm of knowledge management – they also have observed enough of these communities to see how they can fail to crystallize, can go bad or can survive but never gain recognition. This gives a distinctly rea
Another good and quick KM primer. Not a lot of books on CoP, so I found this helpful.
Bonnie  Zink
Although the information is a bit dated, the details of managing, forming, and using a community of practice to learn and grow as a professional is invaluable. I found the prose to be fractured in the sense that I could tell when the information was being put forth by one of the other authors. I'm looking forward to the possibility of a re-release of this title as communities of practice information has grown and the techniques have evolved.
There is an interesting and useful idea here, well researched and explained. That's the first 50 pages. The next 200 pages are spent repeatedly beating that same idea into the ground or spinning out ever more complex implementations of the idea. If you have a community that needs an executive support committee, a knowledge management committee, and guidance from a community of community managers, what you have is in no way a community.
This was Kindle-gifted to me by our communities team at Microsoft, and I found it really practical and full of helpful tips for working with groups with a common technical interest for tasks large and small. There is, as you might imagine, a bit of fluff to explain what I feel to be fairly obvious concepts, but overall the information density and readability was excellent. I was glad I spent the time to read this one.
As an introduction to COP, I thought this was extremely clear and very thorough -- covering both the bad and the good of COP and offering examples at the beginning of every chapter as well as concrete suggestions for building COP. However, despite all the thoroughness, I did find it to be somewhat narrowly tailored for the corporate world.
A good introduction CoP with many real life examples to put things into perspective. Wenger lists some of the common problems faced by organisations when trying to set up communities and what are some of the steps that community managers can take to get management support and to strengthen existing communities.
Torben Rasmussen
This is a great book to read for people working with learning in one for or the other. Especially relevant when working with organisations where it is neccesary to facilitate learning across organisational barriers.
Jack Vinson
Very good reading that covers the authors' experience and research into communities of practice. There were extensive examples from industry, highlighting various aspects of their approach and thinking. ...more
Dave Bolton
A subject very interesting to me, but this text was a bit too academic. Many of the lessons here are rather self evident, but I'm sure I'll refer to it from time to time.
NWP  Site Leaders
With examples and reflections drawn from business consulting, this book provides practical advice inkeeping with the theory base in communities of practice.
Dalaina May
Good info, but very business oriented and hard to translate into other situations (like my own). I was bored.
Excellent handbook for starting, building, and closing down communities.
Cultivating Communities of Practice by Etienne Wenger (2002)
the quintessential book on communities of practice
This is the more practice oriented companion to Wenger's original book on the topic.
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“communities of practice are a practical way to frame the task of managing knowledge. They provide a concrete organizational infrastructure for realizing the dream of a learning organization.” 0 likes
“COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis.” 0 likes
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