Evolving practice around research and dissertations

CPsquare’s “Research and Dissertation Fests” were partly based on a strategy of trying to cope with the amount and variety of good work about communities of practice being produced out there.  We would try to create a reflective space to look at as much of it as we can and do so in a way that facilitates comparisons allows for one piece of work to spark insights around the others.

It turns out that the way we had organized the events was too intense.  For several years we held a 2 or 3 week series in which 7 to 12 people presented their work.  I assumed that nobody would actually try to participate synchronously in all of those events and that doing them in a short period of time would force people to choose, which was assumed to be OK.  We did a little polling and reflecting and have changed our practice.  By way of a report on the new format, here is a welcoming announcement by Alice MacGillivray:

Welcome to the first in a new series of research and development events with CPsquare member Grady McGonagill. Grady will present a draft report on leadership implications of the evolving web, which he is writing for the Bertelsmann Foundation. I’m Alice MacGillivray, one of the event hosts, and I’m sharing some of my perspectives on this event.

As you know, we have many learning events and processes in CPsquare. One ongoing tool is the “Help in Real Time,” forum. in which anyone can ask for advice on a current challenge. Another was “Dissertation Fests,” which morphed into “Research Fests” and have now grown into this “R&D Series” concept. I believe the event we are now launching has roots in both Research Fests and Help in Real Time, and therefore the potential for synergies from this overlap.

Grady has brought us a timely topic and format for the first event in this series, for several reasons:

  • The work is not yet complete, and we have often found dialogue about research-in-progress to be more provocative and multi-layered than presentations about completed research (no matter how excellent and informative those sessions have been).
  • Grady is modeling the opening of a consulting project, including the engagement of his client, into the CPsquare space. Imagine the potential for learning and excellence if CPsquare members regularly consulted with each other in this way. On the flip side, there may be some cautions about jumping into “someone else’s” consulting, and we might learn about such cautions and approaches during Grady’s event.
    • This project addresses at least two topics which are firmly woven throughout Community of Practice work: social media and leadership. We talk about both, but neither has been a dominant focus. As a meta-community of practitioners, we are used to working with ideas and with the real world: this event has the potential to stretch the boundaries of those conversations within CPsquare.

      Grady will be with us to pose some questions and engage in conversation, beginning Wednesday morning. I encourage you to introduce yourselves before we dig into Grady’s requests. A typical introduction is fine, but I challenge you to consider telling a story from which we can learn more about you as a person, your interest in the topic, and how you came to this gathering.

      Bring good questions, think about how you can learn from these exchanges, and enjoy the week.

      Alice MacGillivray, PhD

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