Communities of Practice offers food for thought

I’ve been working with HCA colleagues recently on putting together a group on the excellent Communities of Practice website for public sector professionals.

For those unfamiliar with the site (although it seems like an awful lot of people use it), Communities of Practice is a series of networks, set up by people working right across the public sector to share information and communicate on a vast range of topics. It appears to have benefitted from the huge increase in social media usage in the UK, which is interesting for a sector that is often portrayed as not embracing digital commnuications. 

However, you can’t argue with the stats: it seems that there are more than 42,000 individual members and more than 1,600 groups, ranging from ABC Benchmarking to Zero Waste. More than 60 HCA staff are invovled in various groups, with our Head of Delivery Partnerships Andy Nelson involved in a live Q&A session today with more than 600 members of the LGA’s Strategic Housing Community of Practice group.

We have set up a small pilot group, involving colleagues and council staff who put together Local Investment Plans for their area. We hope it will be a useful way for members to collaborate, share best practice and interact with the HCA – without perhaps always having to travel long distances to attend meetings.

We have only just finalised the group, and are still finding our feet with it. But we hope people who join find it worthwhile. In the spirit of collaboration, we’d welcome ideas on how to make this work well!

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