The community of practice, an innovative organizational solution
Problématique des organisations
An organization without an active community is less able to innovate, takes longer to bring newcomers up to speed in their positions, capitalizes less on critical knowledge, and risks losing critical knowledge when key people leave.
Communities of practice survive as long as their members find value in their involvement in the community
Amallte is an expert in engaging virtual communities and implementing a large-scale community of practice program.
Communities of Practice
A community is a group of individuals who share a common passion for a given field of knowledge. The regular interactions and sharing of best practices between members of a community constantly generate a lot of new ideas. This creativity can naturally be seen as a powerful source of innovation for organizations.
Collaboration with communities of practice requires the implementation of new management methods. These informal groups are increasingly playing the role of real active units in the innovation process, through which creative ideas emerge, are validated, tested and implemented. They also play an active role in situated learning processes and business process improvement.
Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP) facilitate learning and knowledge sharing between employees located in different sites or countries, via the enterprise social network (ESR).
Communities of practice are the subject of numerous scientific publications by researchers (E. Wenger, J.P. Bootz, P. Lievre, A. Haas, P. Cohendet…).
Innovative solution by Amallte
Amallte’s innovative solution mixes several modes of appropriation on how communities are built and led. We follow a bottom-up approach. We consult stakeholders (existing community leaders, community members, department/BU managers, etc.) via a survey and a few workshops, either face-to-face or remote. Then we make an inventory of the cross-functionality needs (innovation, learning, process…) and suggest potential communities. We use our community maturity model, designed from research in this field.
We co-construct a model of communities of practice, adapted to the culture of the organization and to existing communities, which will allow future community leaders to take ownership and to quickly increase their competencies, in particular when the members of these communities are located on different sites (virtual communities).
We are also co-constructing a governance model for all the communities, via a community of communities. We will facilitate the development of the internal team in charge of developing the communities.
We help these virtual communities of practice to rely on the enterprise social network (Yammer, Workplace, etc.) to facilitate mutual exchanges and support between members. We propose knowledge management methods, used by other organizations, to capitalize and reuse the community’s knowledge.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Build a community program in an organization of 2000 people
Challenge: Develop knowledge sharing approaches.
- Increase the number of communities of practice (CoPs)
- Rejuvenate existing virtual communities
- Develop and anchor existing knowledge management systems
Our approach: Helping to set up community governance
- Co-construct the community repository
- Co-construct the training kit for CoP facilitators
- Identify community needs
- Train the community leaders
- Support the launch of the first CoPs
- Diagnosis of existing communities and their impact on the organization
- Community repository (operating modes, roles and responsibilities, model charter, etc.)
- List of new communities that could be launched
- Training kit for community leaders and members
- Community management indicators
- For each CoP launched, charter and materials for the launch meeting
Results: Communities are part of the landscape
- More knowledge sharing and collaboration between sites
- Managers are convinced of the value of communities to help solve problems, improve processes or innovate
Implementation time: 5 months
Amallte, an innovative company on enterprise communities
Practical business experience
Amallte is a start-up, created in December 2018, by Louis-Pierre Guillaume, after 25 years of experience in knowledge management and digital transformation in large industrial companies such as Schlumberger or Areva.
As Director of the Knowledge Management Office at Schneider Electric for 10 years, he designed and led the governance and global implementation of knowledge management projects, in particular the 220 communities of practice program and the internal wikipedia. These two achievements have been the subject of publications and conferences.
Relationship with the KM practitioners
Louis-Pierre Guillaume is Vice President of CoP-1, an association that brings together about forty practitioners (ArianeGroup, Framatome, Total, Schneider Electric, SNCF …) and researchers (Paris Sud, Dauphine) in knowledge management. This association is a community where members share their experiences.
Each year in November, CoP-1 members organize a seminar open to all on a specific area of knowledge management. The video recordings are available in replay.
Relationship with researchers
Amallte is a partner of KEDGE Business School’s KCO (Knowledge Communities Observatory) .
The KCO brings together researchers from the academic world (KEDGE BS, IAE Grenoble, CERAG Grenoble, BETA CNRS Strasbourg, etc.), partner researchers (HEC Montréal, etc.) and corporate practitioners (Schneider Electric, Engie, Spie Batignolles, Expleo, Crouzet, Sartorius Stedim, Laerdal, etc.), who explore and exploit the role of communities in the service of enterprise business development.
The KCO organizes seminars, symposiums and conferences on the theme of collaborative innovation, inter-company training, learning expeditions, and workshops to exchange practices.
To go further
- Afraid of engagement? Towards an understanding of engagement in virtual communities of practice
- Communities of practice (CoP). Harnessing collective intelligence (Les communautés de pratique. Exploiter l’intelligence collective. In French)
- Collaborative Innovation: How to lead remote communities?
- The communities, a new model of organization?
- What is the ROI of my Community?
- A community without a sponsor is dead!
- Communities of Innovation – How Organizations Harness Collective Creativity and Build Resilience
- Communities of practice and the management of learning (Communautés de pratique et management de la formation, in French)
- Comment faciliter l’innovation et partager les bonnes pratiques, à distance ? L’apport des communautés virtuelle
- La communauté, collectif de confiance mutuelle indispensable au partage et à la gestion en commun des savoirs
- Les communautés apprenantes dans les grandes organisations
- CoP-1 – Learning Communities in Large Organizations (Les communautés apprenantes dans les grandes organisations, in French)