Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage  book cover
1st Edition

Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage

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ISBN 9780750674584
Published July 19, 2011 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

How can you build a successful community of practice that is integrally linked to your company's strategic vision? Learn from the first-hand experience of Hubert Saint-Onge, recognized by Fortune magazine as a leader in the field of knowledge capital, and co-author Debra Wallace, the people responsible for a recent project to establish a community of practice for independent agents at Clarica Life Insurance Company— voted one of the most admired knowledge enterprises in the world by practitioners and researchers.

'Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage' combines theory and practice to outline a model for developing successful communities of practice and proposes a direction for establishing communities of practice as an integral part of the organizational structure. Saint-Onge and Wallace relate what worked, what didn't, and why as they tell the story from inception through implementation to assessment. Whether you're developing communities of practice or want to learn how to leverage existing communities for strategic gain, this book provides you with everything you need to launch successful communities of practice in your organization.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Setting the context for communities of practice: Increasing capabilities in the knowledge-driven organization; Communities of practice: high-trust vessels for increasing capabilities; Situating communities of practice in a strategic context; A Blueprint for Building Communities of Practice;
Building communities of practice as a strategic tool: The community development process model; Phase I: community design and launch; Phase II: community implementation and growth; Establishing community value: measurement and reflection;
Creating communities: a course of action; Community design and launch: illustration of activities; Community implementation and growth: illustration of activities; Communities as catalysts for change; Appendix: Community development: quick-start toolkit.

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"Fantastic. We have been waiting for a book like this: the unabridged story of building a strategic, web-based community of practice in an organization that has made a full commitment to the idea. You get it all: the conceptual framework, the business rationale, the detailed processes and workplans, the successes and the missteps, the actual documents used, and the vision of where it is all going. A must-read for anyone serious about building strategic capabilities in organizations." - Etienne Wenger, co-author, "Cultivating Communities of Practice"

"This book is so valuable because it is intellectually stimulating and at the same time, it's chock full of practical advice. Through their success at Clarica, Hubert Saint-Onge and Deb Wallace have risen above all of the chatter about collaboration and have given us a best-of-breed primer for people who want to get results from communities of practice." - Diane Hessan, President & CEO of Communispace Corporation, author, "Customer-Centered Growth: 5 Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage"

"Practical, focused, specific, detailed. It doesn't get any better than this! If you are looking for a case study in supporting and leveraging communities of practice for business success - this is it. Saint-Onge and Wallace have created an indispensable guide for increasing knowledge sharing and learning across the organization." - Verna Allee, author, "The Knowledge Evolution" and "The Future of Knowledge"

"Hubert Saint-Onge and Deb Wallace point us to the undeniable core foundation of knowledge management -- that it is, first and foremost, a collaborative and uniquely human activity. Their book goes beyond a simple focus on technology to provide a wealth of strategies and tools for the more challenging, and ultimately more valuable work of engaging people directly in the creation and use of knowledge." - Marc J. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Senior Director, Diamond Cluster International, Author, "E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age"

"Clarica Life Insurance is one of the most admired knowledge enterprises in the world. Here is the inside scoop on how Clarica is creating business value by sharing knowledge through its online communities. Hubert Saint-Onge, Canada's best known KM strategist, and Deb Wallace, community builder par excellence, have written an engaging practitioner's guide on how to develop communities of practice as forums for learning and knowledge sharing." - Chun Wei Choo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto, co-author, "Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge," author, "The Knowing Organization"

"With a wealth of practical experience to augment their insightful case study analyses, Saint-Onge and Wallace compellingly demonstrate how communities of practice foster learning and facilitate knowledge sharing to add value to an organization and enhance its competitive advantage." - Lynne C. Howarth, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Dean, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

"In Saint-Onge and Wallace's book, the ongoing connection to real-life experiences at Clarica helps maintain the relevance to practitioners while the conceptual foundation will satisfy more scholarly readers. An excellent source for practitioners on this important topic and a much awaited addition to Saint-Onge's groundbreaking work in intellectual capital and tacit knowledge." - Steven McShane, Ph.D., Professor, The Graduate School of Management, The University of Western Australia; co-author, "Organizational Behavior"

"This book is sure to become THE leading resource for every organizational learning and knowledge management practitioner. The enlightening insights and new perspectives are presented with clarity in an enjoyable conversational style that will make people want to read it in a single sitting and then come back to the work time and time again." - Ted Ruddock, CLO, MBIA Insurance Corporation

"Many people talk about Communities of Practice, but few actually know how to make them thrive and grow! In this book, Hubert Saint-Onge and Deb Wallace generously share their years of experience, from the strategic conceptual plane to the tactical implementation process. It is an essential companion to anyone seriously considering Communities in an organizational setting." - Eric E. Vogt, Founder and Director, Communispace Corporation; CEO, the Interclass Network

"In spite of the billions of dollars we spend on training every year, we now know that most adult learning happens person-to-person and by actively applying new ideas. Communities of practice stimulate and support the type of learning that leads to innovation and better results. This book is a gold mine for understanding how to stimulate and support communities of practice." - Joyce Wycoff, Co-Founder, InnovationNetwork