When you hear the phrase "community of practice," your mind might dart to the groundbreaking theory of Etienne Wenger. Or perhaps you think about those self-generating affinity groups formed at organizations of all sizes and industries. It's clear that "community" might well mean different things to each of us. To me, as an ASTD Community of Practice manager, it indicates how I serve youâ€”with the resources and services you rely on to help deliver the best possible training results to your organization.
ASTD's Learning and Development Community of Practice is created for those practitioners who design, facilitate, and evaluate training programs. It is probably ASTD's largest community of practice since it undergirds much of what L&D professionals do.
If you work in these areas, you're constantly absorbing information to help you solve major business challenges such as how to incorporate informal learning into traditionally formal programs; how to choose the right LMS for your company; and how to implement courses on time, on budget, and in support of top-notch performance outcomes. Meanwhile, the field is changing so rapidly. And in your day-to-day work, sifting through the loads of literature to find the information, resources, and best practices you need is not how you want to spend valuable time.
That's where I come in as the Community of Practice manager for L&D. As Tony Bingham stated in last month's column, "ASTD produces a lot of content ... The one-size-fits-all approach to how we deliver this content simply doesn't work." My job is to better serve your needs by making sure the content on our L&D community site is relevant to the work you do.
So whether it's our new website, upcoming books and literature, new blog posts from trusted sources, or new events and initiatives (such as our Yammer network for ISD professionals), one thing is for sure: I work for those of you in the L&D community. And I need your feedback so this community can reach its full potential.
Reach out to me with your knowledge and ideas about what works and what could work better. Tell me what you're looking for to help you do your job better. Help me ensure that your ASTD does what you need it to do by connecting with me on Twitter, posting your comments on articles or on the blog, or just dropping me a quick email.
I look forward to hearing from you and to working to build this community together.
Community of Practice Manager, Learning and Development