Category: Community of Practice

In Social Learning Spaces, all team members take turns creating fun, effective meeting agendas that spark amazing creativity and eagerness to attend.

Can Effective Meeting Agendas Be Fun? Yes, Through Shared Responsibility!

A cute toddler waddled into the room where the business meeting was being called to order. If you were at this meeting how would you have reacted? Shocked? Appalled? Intrigued? Amused? You may not think a toddler could contribute toward a team having more effective meeting agendas, but it actually did. You’ll find out how, later on in this article.

If you’re used to stuffy, boring meetings in a rigid boardroom structure, you might not think there’s any other way to conduct effective team meetings. As a result, your meeting agendas have probably been a little on the dull side…cover point 1, move to point 2, until everything has been hashed out. 

What I love about Communities of Practice (CoPs) is that they spark enthusiasm, innovation, and engagement because they function as a collective; the focus on Community is intentional. Therefore the meeting agendas are handled in a way that may seem foreign to you at first. But they are fun and highly effective.  In the following video, I share why fun is so important in the business setting.

Agendas, Productive Team Meetings

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When you focus on building community in the workplace or your organization, you create cohesive, highly productive teams that support and elevate each others’ efforts.

No Sense of Belonging? Focus on Building Community in the Workplace

There’s a huge chasm between being assigned to work together as a team and having a sense of belonging that comes from building Community in the workplace. Case in point, there was a team I had been hired to coach and right away I noticed there were a few team members that felt it was enough to show up, compare  notes, and call it good. Sound familiar? 

Together we began building a Community of Practice for this team — a group of people who share a common concern and are committed to working together. Even the team members who initially were hesitant about leaving the sidelines began to see that they had been vastly missing out and, in essence, robbing themselves and their coworkers of something extremely valuable — Community!

Even if your job seems mundane, your attitude and behavior at work determines, in part, how physically and emotionally healthy you are. It’s possible to do nitty gritty work and still have a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and belonging that elevates WORK to COMMUNITY. Let’s see how that happens.

Team Leadership Skills

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Community collaboration is one of our best problem-solving tools personally and professionally.

Community Collaboration — 3 Ways to Use This Problem-Solving Tool Effectively

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

How many teams do you belong to? I venture to say many more than you realize!  In the broadest sense, when we interact and collaborate with one other person, we are part of a team. Therefore, as family members, as coworkers, as best friends, in neighborhood or community settings or in our involvement with various organizations, we form teams that need community collaboration to flourish. 

In life and business, if we want to accomplish the most good and avoid the worst frustration, we need to develop a team collaboration mindset. Too often, people approach their work with others through adversarial eyes that are clouded by jealousy, competition, and self-promotion. This is not surprising, since these characteristics have been fostered by the hierarchical managerial models of yesteryear. And for some, the thinking remains that if you want to get ahead you have to look out for Number 1, yourself. 

As a society, we’re being challenged like no other time in recent history. If you’re feeling frustrated, isolated, or helpless to affect real change, I urge you to embrace the power of community collaboration! It’s one of our most potent problem-solving power tools. 

Here are three ways you can learn to value a community collaboration mindset:

Community Mindset

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Why Communities of Practice Are Essential to Equity Work

“Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to Dance. Equity is allowing you to choose the Music.”― Cynthia Olmedo

Equity — just how important is it to you, to your team, to your organization? In previous posts, I’ve been sharing the deep, introspective work that is required for leaders who want to be guardians of equity. However, it can be frustrating when not everyone shares your sense of urgency on equity.

I had the opportunity to consult with an equity team recently who felt challenged by their sense of urgency. This group of volunteers agreed to take a look at equity issues within their organization and, from this bird’s eye view, make some recommendations. One of their first tasks was to help guide the hiring process of an equity officer. But then they found themselves doing a delicate dance. They needed to balance their own growing passionate perspective for equity while still supporting the new equity director, who would be taking a slower, more corporate approach to change. 

This group didn’t want their passion for equity to burn out so they asked me to come in and consult about how they might continue their work. I shared with them the concept of a Community of Practice and showed them what it could accomplish. They loved the idea, as it gave them permission to continue supporting one another as they worked on their passion while maintaining their distinct role and lens advancing the larger work of the organization.

There is also something incredibly powerful to be gained by doing equity work within a Community of Practice. In Communities of Practice, there are three essential elements: community, domain, and practice. Let’s examine how an intentional adherence to each of these three elements is essential to making lasting change in our equity work.

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Women Are Ready — But how can we support each other as we move forward?

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Muriel Strode 

Despite the pandemic, I recently had the fantastic opportunity to attend a virtual event sponsored by Conferences for Women and provide the attendees with pro bono coaching. If you know me at all, you know I love talking to women who are passionate about leadership. I got my wish as I met some amazing women dedicated to their companies, their careers, and their growth. 

My big takeaway from this conference: WOMEN ARE READY.

 

Women are ready to create a new model in the workplace. The traditional hierarchical model of work doesn’t appeal to many women today. Thankfully, more and more workplace systems acknowledge and support the growth of women in the organization. Some women are even fortunate enough to have women’s networks within their company where they can brainstorm and openly discuss the pros and cons of different workplace systems. If that’s not the case for you, keep reading to discover how you can find or create that kind of support.

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Louise J Santiago, PhD
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant

Where Leadership is Intentional Work

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