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"Community of Practice (CoP)" Definitions


Bonding by exposure to common problems
  There are many shades of
definition of this concept, but we define it as "a group of
professionals, informally bound to one another through
exposure to a common class of problems, common pursuit of
solutions, and thereby themselves embodying a store of
knowledge."


Peter & Trudy Johnson-Lenz,

Awakening Technology
   


Common sense of purpose
  They are peers in the execution
of  ‘real work’. What holds them together is a common sense of
purpose and a real need to know what each other knows. There
are many communities of practice within a single company, and
most people belong to more than one of them.


John Seely Brown & Estee
Solomon Gray,


The People Are the Company
 


Members evolve more creative practice
  A community of practice is "a
diverse group of people engaged in real work over a
significant period of time during which they build things,
solve problems, learn and invent…in short, they evolve a
practice that is highly skilled and highly creative."


Robert Bauer, Ph.D.,
Director of Strategic Competency Development, Xerox PARC



Groups that learn
  Groups that learn, communities of practice,
have special characteristics. They emerge of their own accord:
Three, four, 20, maybe 30 people find themselves drawn to one
another by a force that’s both social and professional. They
collaborate directly, use one another as sounding boards,
teach each other.



Communities of practice are the shop floor of human capital,
the place where the stuff gets made. Brook Manville, Director
of Knowledge Management at McKinsey & Co., defines a community
of practice thus: "a group of people who are informally bound
to one another by exposure to a common class of problem." Most
of us belong to more than one, and not just on the job: the
management team; the engineers, some in your company and some
not.

Thomas A. Stewart,


The Invisible Key to Success

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