Cultivating communities of practice
In an organisational life, the CoP has been readily accepted by people. It will flourish irrespective of whether the organisation recognises them or not. The growth of CoP depends on the voluntary engagement of the members and on the emergence of the internal leadership. The ability to steward the knowledge as an active process depends on how informally it is organised and how autonomic they function. Care must be taken not to second guess these communities or over manage it. The observations might lead to argument by some that nothing can be done to cultivate the CoP or that the organisations would interfere in the CoP unnecessarily. But the fact remains that organisations will have to cultivate CoP actively and systematically for the profit of the members and the communities themselves. There are seven principles in communities of practice and they are as follows:
The communities getting developed without any intentional cultivation will depend on the spare time of the members. The participation is also likely to be spotty especially when the resources are lean. The design and development of the communities are about eliciting and fostering the participation rather than planning, directing and also organising the activities.