Archive | October, 2012

Community of Practice (CoP) Strengthening

2 Oct

Worked with World Bank Task Teams this past Spring on Community of Practice (CoP) Strengthening. Ah hahs…
-It helps to have a “Core Team” working in tandem to fully engage strategic communities of practice. Solitary practice leaders too often become the narrow end of the funnel when they go on mission, take leave, or need to focus on competing priorities putting the momentum of the CoP at risk.
–It helps to have a regular dialogue with “sponsors”/higher level leaders or financial sponsors or strategic dialogue to ensure the CoP is connected to organizational mission and that potential barriers to engagement are mitigated, and to ensure that key resources are connected to the CoP and alligned with CoP endorese and sponsor endorsed objectives.
– It is often helpful to have a community connected (at least in part) to a collaboration platform.
– If task teams are focused on engaging external partners or development colleagues then it is useful to be more intentional in how the team and its partners work together to design focused collaborative member engagement activities.

How do you strengthen your CoPs and external partnerships? Example do you develop community “charters”; do you utilize a “core team”?

Does anyone have best practices for retaining volunteers they are able to share?

2 Oct

Retaining volunteers is rather a challenging opportunity. A few of proven practices based on results from a nationwide volunteer satisfaction survey…
– Survey volunteers to measure satisfaction and motivation, they like to be asked.
– Volunteers are more satisfied if you periodically offer them a variety of volunteer opportunities. They are equally satisfied whether or not they change volunteer positions.
– Volunteers are more satisfied when you offer them job specific training. They are equally satisfied whether or not they change volunteer positions.
– When designing a volunteer satisfaction surveys ask questions that provide actionable results. Analyze the results, and then make adjustments to your volunteer engagement program matched to your analysis.
– Volunteers are more satisfied if they have a supervisor, preferably a supervisor who cares…

Bonus practice…
– Ask volunteers how they would like to be recognized, and then incorporate the results into a year round volunteer recognition program, including saying thank you for volunteering or for contributing your time and talent.

Would be interested in other proven, best and innovative practices?

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