After a bit of a disappointing session, I now hope for a very inspiring and innovative story. I have chosen this session because of my curiosity towards knowledge sharing processes (difficult to support!) and communities of practice.  This session promises to be practical in the sense that is build around one to two cases.

Edward Gallier (hotel group Jurys Inn) and Kandy Woodfield…

Beating the silo trap

Schermafdruk 2015-01-29 09.41.10Ed’s story starts with the aim of doing the work more consistently and efficient. Therefore they developed ‘Grow online’ as the online platform for new employees. Available 24/7. And we needed the ‘noisy’ ones to like it. We organized management support, and the opportunity for people to provide feedback. There also is a very close link with the Sharepoint environment we used.

The developed 2000 courses and it was a real success. What happened as well was that people had the impression that Learning & Development ‘had all the knowledge’. For this reason they started working with the people in de organization itself. Get more people involved in creating content. Start small. Pick the project. Pick the audience.

For example: How to make an excellent cup of coffee: Who is the knowledge holder? Who is really good at this? What was rather static content they translated it to video, online discussion, exercises. We have great consistency now. We have improved our culture.


Kandy Woodfield works for NatCen Social Research, and this organization is in a very competitive market. They had formal trainings, but were looking for knowledge sharing mechanisms, closely linked to the work.  How to get people out of the silos?

Schermafdruk 2015-01-28 16.09.57They introduced four communities if practice, with activities like action learning, presenting practical cases, asking each other questions. What made the communities a succes?

  • Let the members drive the agenda: what keeps them awake at nights?
  • Rotate the meetings
  • Ensure a good cross section
  • Set up a portal to share and continue conversation
  • Feeling “this is created for us”
  • “go and fish where the fish are”
  • Work hard!
  • Think about your role as L&D: facilitate, enthuse, engage
  • Support people in learning how to use social media tools (e.g. 23things)
  • Don’t make assumptions as if you know what the community wants.. ask questions!
  • Reach out. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. In this way you also bring different voices in.

Good tips to take home!