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Is your New Year’s Resolution to Read More?

December 31, 2009

Some of us who have been reading Peter Block’s Community: Structures for Belonging are feeling like we’d like to get together and talk about his ideas…  or about other ideas around building community that we’re reading about.   If you’d like to join us for a monthly group and talk about where we might meet and what we’d read and talk about it, let us know:     This offer is open to anyone at all who is interested in this conversation.

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  1. January 1, 2010 4:07 am

    My New Year’s resolution is to learn more, particularly in collective settings. One formal objective of collective learning is to further a group’s “existence as a continuous work community – in short, as a living, learning company” (De Geus, 1997, p. 21). My hope is to join companies of individuals who are passionate about learning. Wenger (1998) suggests that learning should be understood as “competent participation in a practice” (p. 137). The collective community’s continued engagement in learning as a practice facilitates the existence of a community of practice. I haven’t read Block’s Community, but according to Kikoski and Kikoski (2004), a community is a group of people that are united by a common vision who find oneness by engaging in many “self-organized” actions. Now, I live in Cincinnati, so any interaction will have to be virtual. Nevertheless, goal-oriented individual action within communities is a precursor to group action that is oriented towards some purposeful end (Weber, 1947). According to Gheradi and Nicolini (2001) “the various forms of goal-oriented activities are important for understanding how people become members of a community of practice and how they come to master the specific knowledge embedded in the various activities” (p. 47). Organizations and communities that advance and become communities of practice support the “development, exchange, and application of knowledge” (Zboralski, Salomo, & Gemueden, 2000, p. 547) through mutual commitments, obligations, responsibilities, and accomplishments of individuals. In a community of practice individuals engage in specific practices that benefit the group. Hopefully, in 2001 I will engage in practices that benefit the wider community. Count me in!

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