Found in the archives, an interesting view from my friend Johnny about how communities of practice can start from the bottom up.
"To start off a community, you really need to have a "Something" to go after; a common purpose, a common goal. You find out very very quickly what that is, there are a lot of them out there, you just start to see what people are struggling with. What are the issues in the company; what are the issues around you in your team? "Oh, it's this - OK, lets go and see what this other team over here are doing". So you speak to 10 people., and one of those people - you will know right away that you can build a relationship with that person. So you can do that either formally or informally, and its usually better to have an informal start-up. Just to see how it works, see if there is any "meat" here, and you get it running - up and trucking - and you get regular meetings going.
"The you start to say "We could look at this, and we could deliver this". Then once you have set that up, and you are happy that you know you could go and work something, then you have to approach your line manager, because you will need their support. There are no two ways about it; you will need their support to work outside your core role, so it's very important to try and get that support, so you have to do that.
" For me it's about like minded people getting together with a common purpose and trying to solve something quite small that may lead to something bigger. Deliver on it, and just show the difference it can make from just getting into a room together."