No, it’s not the revolution, yet. It’s just an open question.
I’ve been kindly asked to speak at a training event for a group of local government public servants. They happen to be among the people with more experience in the field of communities of practice in the public sector in Spain, and they want me to share ideas and tips on how to increase the participation in them.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, I told them that myself :-). But on the other hand, I do have a bit of experience on community participation in a couple of sectors, and I’ve looked over several experienced shoulders. So I hope it will be interesting. I expect I’ll learn a lot from the conversations, at least :-).
But the fact remains that the public sector is indeed one of the toughest nuts to crack in terms of getting a CoP initiative rolling and active. There are some very interesting examples, but there are also many echoing, empty or decayed attempts… and especially, many tiny groups of dedicated people soldiering on with the feeling that their colleagues don’t much care. And the more I delve, the more I see that I’m only scratching the surface of a huge effort that’s been under way for years in many countries. From New Zealand to the UK, from France to Spain, or Canada, or the US, there’s literally thousands of initiatives. It’s a huge trove of experiences.
So this is an open question. What is your experience of public servant communities of practice? Have you ever been a member? Have you been a manager? Have you consulted for one or promoted one? Can you share your impressions, or any “ideas and tips” I can shamelessly deploy as examples for the talk (duly accredited, of course :-))? Or can you point me to cases, or references?
Your comments should enliven the Barcelona meeting. And I’ll certainly appreciate your views.