Cultivating an engaged, vibrant community offers many challenges and some surprising opportunities. Community members may not know each other, may be geographically separated, may include people from multiple business areas with no previous experience working together, and each may have separate goals. Other challenges include learning to work as individuals, as a team, and as an organization in the undefined, not-widely-understood social space while using technology that may be very foreign to many of the community.

Participants in this case-study session will learn what was accomplished in the Northwestern Mutual community of practice (the “RightStart Community”) as the company experimented with using technology to connect people to people and people to content to create business value. You’ll hear the lessons learned from their experience and get a planning template for starting up an online community of practice based on the ADDIE model, a project proposal for senior leadership, examples of content and engagement plans, a mission statement, a measures template, and an apprenticeship model for new community managers.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Relationship-building techniques that you can use in establishing an online community
  • How important learning agility is for community architects and managers in the workplace
  • How to flex adaptability and project skills when pioneering into the social space
  • The various tools used in starting up and running an online community

Intermediate-level participants should have experience in workplace learning and audience analysis, but need only limited understanding or experience with a community of practice.

Technology discussed in this session:

Student technology needs: