Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Leadership Challenge #1

LdC Template

Module 1 ldc Steps 1, 2 and 3 on provocative question #1

Provocative Question #1 (LdC)
How are groups and communities of practice (CoPs) different?  How are they alike?  So what?  What now? 

Communities of Practice (CoP) are “groups who share a concern or passion for something they do” (Wenger, 1998). The member of these groups interact with one another with the purpose of learning how to improve on their practice. There are three aspects of CoP that distinguishes it from other groups. The first is domain, which is a shared identity between the group members. The next is community, which describes the interactions between the members and these interactions help them to learn and grow. The last is practice. The members of the group need to be practitioners in the respective field.

Other groups may be formed but are not necessarily CoP. Groups of people may not have a united cause and purpose and have varying interests.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Step 1. Prepare for an on-line Conversation

Quote/ideas from the book; applications/instances from your workplace setting
Page number
I am the faculty advisor for the newly formed Public Health Student Association, group with the purpose of developing their skills professionally in preparation of the workforce. Working with grad and undergrad students in recruiting for this CoP.
 I am on the board of AzPHA and am the chair of the Professional Development & Academic Relations Committee. Working on recruiting and retaining members, creating professional development opportunities.
 Practice is both explicit and tacit.
page 47 
 Practice as a community - coherence of a community (in particular figure 2.1), mutual engagement
 pages 49, 73
 Practice as locality - limitations, constellations of practice  
pages 50, 126-8 
 Modes of belonging - engagement (figure 8.1)
pages 174, 178-187


Step 2. Hold an on-line Conversation

After participating/viewing the “fishbowl” conversation record notes here (below) about your responses to your peers or new thoughts based on their postings.  Be certain your notes here are comprehensive, as were your responses to peers. (If you participate as a “fish,” in the fishbowl your notes, which should be entered below, can be much more succinct.) (This space expands to accommodate your writing.)
Model example of the fishbowl.

Steps include reviewing the provocative question and then holding a conversation with your group members about it. As people listen to the conversation, take notes about the discussion itself and any thoughts it may provoke for their own context and PoP.

How are groups and CoPs different, alike, so what, now what?

pp 4-5 members in a group do not have to do anything, doesn't involve practice. CoP has a purpose and must do something, work together, shared purpose. pp 73 - CoP involved in mutual engagement, joint enterprise, joint repertoires. Figure on p 73, the EdD program itself, our cohort...are we a group or CoP? (I would argue we are currently a group, we will be working with each other in the future in small groups for our action research and collaborations, so we may become a CoP). What is the enterprise we are engaged in?

p 96 - task forces or teams come together for a brief amount of time. What is the definition of brief? CoP seem to be more long-term. Teams may function somewhat like CoPs but I see them formed more often in my workplace than CoPs, more short term goals. Example, search communities are not CoPs, short-term, specific goal, not about improving practice. Courses are delivered together and coordinated. That is deeper than just a task force. Comes about by the CoP established around that among the faculty. The faculty is also learning continually about their own practice relating to teaching and the program.

pp. 125-126 list of 14 criteria CoP (do not need all 14 to be considered a CoP)
#7 - knowing what others can do, what they can contribute
#11 - local lore, shared stories, etc., this is a community, a culture

Reminds me of good leadership skills, know what your team can do, play on their strengths, pair people up with one another, etc. The work environment is crucial as well!

Notes on past leadership challenges: small, create a community of people to work with.

Step 3. Determine your Leadership Challenge

Based on your own quotes/ideas from Wenger, your workplace experiences, and new insights you developed as you reflected on your peers’ work, what behavior do you want to experiment with/try out for your leadership challenge in the next few days? (Write one sentence.)
I would like to try to develop a small CoP among my public health and health sciences co-workers with the purpose of developing our mentoring skills. We have required service for mentoring students; however, we do not have any guidance or training on it. A formal place to develop these skills are needed.

Step 4. Implement and Reflect

This past week, I reached out to several of my co-workers to gain their perspectives. This unfortunately is still rather informal and I ran into some road blocks. I talked to the director of the Public Health program; however, she was a bit reluctant to participant. I later discovered that she will not be renewing her contract as director at the end of next semester and will be returning to the economics department full time. This was not only surprising, but caused some turmoil as far as the direction of the department. This was coupled with the unofficial (yet soon to be official next week) news that I will be removed from the department of health sciences and put full time into public health. Not knowing who my supervisor will be and what role I will have in the department after spring semester has been difficult. I did reach out successfully to the Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Christy Lespron, and gain some insight about some of the reasons why students may be retained in our departments. I expect to utilize her further as my stage 0 continues.