We were asked to initiate and launch 5 transformative communities of practice (CoP) in the field of organizational health issues, equal opportunities, personnel development programs, sustainability matters, and temporary work. The members of these 5 CoPs worked across organizational boundaries and we supported them in identifying their problems as well as in developing practical solutions and action plans.
Strategies for Organizational Transformation
Client Challenge: The client, a service organization that represents the rights of employees and workers, has been challenged to come up with innovative problem-solving strategies aimed at improving conditions at work. The task was to provide a platform for shop stewards and trade unionists where they could collaborate across hierarchical and organizational boundaries and develop innovative strategies together.
Our Solution: In close cooperation with the host, we set up 5 cross-organizational communities of practice (CoP). The domains were defined by the CoP members - employees' representatives. We kicked off with a world café setting. The result of this world café were five domains that participants considered relevant: precarious work, occupational health issues, training and development programs for workers, corporate social responsibility, and working conditions in healthcare occupations. In follow-up meetings, members of the individual CoPs worked out a mission statement, did a stakeholder analysis and developed concrete action plans for implementation. We applied state-of-the-art tools and methodologies that supported them in their CoP work. The process was based on action research, trial and error, and peer exchange learning.
Benefits for CoP Members: CoP members were given the opportunity to connect with peers across organizational boundaries so that they could reach beyond their organizational silos and access new expertise. Thanks to trust and mutual respect, which is characteristic of CoP environments, they felt comfortable sharing their thoughts openly across hierarchies and organizational cultures. They felt empowered and motivated to take action and effect change in their real world environments.