At the Open Social Summit ‘23, Frederic Williquet, a key member of the team behind the Communities of Practice Playbook, offered a deep dive into the inception, evolution, and practical applications of the Playbook.
Empowering Transformation: The Playbook for Building and Nurturing Internal Communities
The Playbook, a product of rigorous collaboration among a small team including Williquet, was conceived approximately four years ago. One of the main drivers behind the Playbook’s creation was the desire to capture and showcase the experience of different internal communities within the European Commission. The goal was to gather knowledge from peers on how to facilitate transformative changes, integrate innovative ways of working, and adapt to new scenarios.
The Playbook’s foundation wasn’t just based on the theoretical; it was based on real-world data, with interviews of 35 community managers forming its backbone. These interviews helped identify common challenges and opportunities experienced by these communities. This understanding was then translated into toolkits – essentially the Playbook, with subsequent add-ons created over the years.
Guidance is at the heart of the Playbook. It’s designed to help someone starting a new community figure out the initial steps, consider different aspects, and determine the right questions to ask. The Playbook encapsulates common issues identified by community managers and provides solutions.
A Roadmap for Collaboration and Effective Community Management
Drawing from scientific studies on communities of practice, the Playbook introduces a model divided into three parts: Co-ownership, Seven Seas (referring to various aspects of collaboration), and Community Management. Co-ownership refers to the establishment of common objectives and a shared vision for the community. It underscores the importance of stakeholders’ understanding and agreement on community purpose. The Seven Seas component is about fostering collaboration, which is far more than just posting on a platform and liking comments. It’s about crafting a shared vision, setting measurable objectives, determining the governance structure, creating a safe environment, and identifying all potential stakeholders. Lastly, the Playbook delves into community management, outlining the roles and responsibilities of a community manager. This section emphasizes the need for clear governance, involving members in decision-making processes, and building a stakeholder mapping to understand the community’s dynamics and create a risk-free environment.
In essence, the Playbook provides a roadmap for building successful communities, highlighting the need for clarity in vision, a well-defined governance structure, and an inclusive, safe space for all members. It underscores the importance of leadership and the role of sponsors, making it an invaluable tool for anyone looking to establish or manage a community of practice.
Below is Frederic’s presentation on the Communities of Practice Playbook, as well as his slides on the Education For Climate project. Want to know more about Education for Climate? Check out the case study from the Open Social Summit ’23!