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December 04, 2004



I stumbled upon this site while I was in the process of doing some online research. What a fascinating discussion this turned out to be! As a writer, an educator, and an avid blogger, this gave me a lot of food for thought.


Thanks for the summary. When I think about tools, I think of the items you
mention missing. The
'essential structural components' are the portions I need to consider when determining if a grassroots effort can take off or not..

Can a tool's existance create a CoP? Perhaps, but without the essential structural components, will it thrive?

Sponsorship seems to be primarily a momentum factor.

Michael Jones


I wrote up a bit on this a while back. I don't really see the cyclical connection in the doughnut analogy, but agree with his conceptualization of the function of management in self-organizing learning systems.

I'd disagree with David's comment above. Yes, COPs exist and can work without explicit sponsorship or even in the face of management opposition. But clearly things work better if management acknowledges, supports and defends the activities of its COPs. The more time practicioners spend fighting bureaucracy and executive ignorance or hostility, the less expertise they will build.


Denham, I'm getting a blank page with that link.

May just be line problems it takes some time to download pdf

David Locke

Sponsorship is standard change management. As long as COPs represent a change, ok, get an exec. But, if you are managing your executive and managerial focus, then you have to ask the questions is the COP in offer and strategic, because if it isn't then, no, you don't get an executive sponsor.

If you need an executive to change, then frankly, you can't change.

COPs happen regardless of sponsorship or not. They might even happen better inspite of sponsorship. This because of the standard fad practice of silo busting is contrary to COPs, communities, domain based cultures, and domain semantics.

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