Michelle was talking about training in her last post and about encouraging people to step outside their comfort zones.
I am a member of the International Institue of Business Analysis (IIBA®). This is an industry-wide organization that is a formalized community of practice. In one of their quick tips posts, the author describes building an informal community of practice with this underlying tenet: “The core of a community of practice is a group of people focused on a common interest, supporting each other’s development and growth.”
When your organization starts a change initiative that impacts people, try to encourage your employees to develop their own informal community of practice. This is one way that they can support each other through the change, and come out of it stronger and prepared as a team for any ongoing improvements that will be needed. In fact, they may become your innovators and not only be ready to tackle future change, they may be suggesting it!
One way to get the group started may be to form a “forum” of people with the common interest mentioned above. Task them with reviewing and refining the change that is being proposed. From their perspective as the impacted group they’ll have an opportunity to weigh in with their thoughts, listen to everybody else’s thoughts, and feed off of each other to create something in the end that is part of all of them and that they all have a vested interest in making work!
This may be asking them to step outside of their comfort zone, because they’ll need to be willing to speak up with their opinions and to negotiate with their peers. Having somebody facilitate the forum at the beginning can help the group to develop their skills and move to owning their own community of practice and keep it moving forward.