Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On The Train. Mar 22, 2005

(Social Network/Communities of Practice)

I have not seen it developing into one but I saw indications to its potential development. I am talking about the formation of social network of train commuters or, others may term it as, the commuters Community of Practice (CoP). By definition CoP in an informal group of people who share the same believe, aspiration or common ground/interest. In this case sharing the passion for riding the train to work if not the train it self. I saw few small groups of commuters have potential to become full fletch CoPs. At the moment they are still small. These groups, I trust, were accidentally ‘formed’ one day when they started to converse with one another. The conversation would be trivial at first but soon enough they became serious, Especially when they realized that they share the same interest. Overtime, they develop into certain routine like sitting in the same coach, conversing on topics like ‘how KTMB could improve its services’ or bashing KTMB because the lack of it. Everyday in the morning, going to work or going home in the evening they keep to certain schedule. Unknowingly they became community of practice. They began to feed each other with information of the latest services, e-ticketing system, the best time to take a service or how best to connect to other services. They are indeed becoming learning groups and effective as well on the subject of train in short period of times. This is exactly the trait of CoPs. CoP is effective for collective learning, knowledge transfer and sharing. This is similar in any organizations. This train CoP could be stronger and powerful if developed properly. They can develop into a formidable enemy for KTMB if it is not careful. If KTMB is smart it can start to identify this potential CoPs and develop them to its advantage. For instance they can be used to effectively market KTMB’s products and services. Leveraging these CoPs to get feedback to improve the services and more. But, knowing KTMB I do not see this happening soon. Hey! This is Knowledge Management idea for KTMB. Anybody listening out there? That makes me wonder whether there are people like me blogging about train?

If you want to read about CoP I recommend Hubert St Onge’s ‘Leveraging Communities of Practice’. It is going to be fun for me to observe the development of this train, if not KTMB bashing, CoP. Or if not I just start one myself

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