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GreenTech Troubleshooters Case Study:Community of Practice

GreenTech Troubleshooters, Inc (GTTI) provides consultants to small rural enterprises who feel that "going green" will help them improve their profits by allowing them to compete in the "green" market and by decreasing their overhead expenses through the more effective use of their resources. GTTI has created an online CoP for these consultants, who may be traveling 80% of their time and need to tap each other's expertise. However, the community is really not very active and may be experiencing its own issues of sustainability. You have been called in to observe the group's interaction online and to shadow/observe several consultants as they work. You are on the airplane preparing to visit GTTI's headquarter. Create a checklist of the top 10 artifacts and behaviors that you want to see as evidence of CoP and sustainability. State the intent and describe why you want to study these artifacts and behaviors.

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A Community of Practice is more than people working within the same company or even people with similar interests. It is a group of people interacting with one another, exchanging knowledge and information for the betterment of the overall community. A successful community of practice "enables colleagues to learn from one another through the sharing of issues, ideas, lessons learned, problems and their solutions, research findings and other relevant aspects of their mutual interest" (Nickols, 2003) in order to generate value added, tangible benefits for the business.

In order to prove evidence of a Community of Practice an organization would need to show evidence of the following:
1. Proof of key roles and responsibilities within the community of practice. This would include a champion of the community, a person who serves as the administrator of communications; members who are interact with one another, sharing information, participating in discussions and solving problems. Etienne Wenger (2006) identifies 3 main levels of participation: The core group who participate intensely in the community through discussions and projects. This group typically takes on leadership roles in guiding the group. There is also an active group who attend and participate regularly, but not to the level of the leaders. And, larger, peripheral groups who, while they are passive participants in the community, still learn from their level of involvement. This is important in showing the participation level within the organization of the community.
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Solution Summary

This solution discusses a case study in which Green Tech Troubleshooters provides consultants to small rural enterprises and suggests a checklist of the top 10 artifacts and behaviors to look for as evidence of CoP and sustainability. Intent is stated as well as importance of identified artifacts and behaviors. Sources are included