What are communities of practice?
A Community of Practice (CoP) represents a group of professionals, informally bound to one another through exposure to a common class of problems and common pursuit of solutions. Communities of Practice are a way of developing social capital, nurturing new knowledge, stimulating innovation, and sharing knowledge. Communities of practice knit people together with peers and their outputs can include leading practices, guidelines, knowledge repositories, technical problem and solution discussions, working papers, and strategies.
The GOC uses the Ottawa CoP model (Fung-Kee-Fung et al. 2014) in which essential outputs include:
- Innovations in care delivery and research concepts
- Improved knowledge mobilization across the stakeholders and silos of Gynecologic cancer care
- The development of trusted social structures that transcend academic and community silos promoting engagement and participation
- The development of new norms of distributed leadership and organizational behaviour across the groups.
At the GOC, our CoPs exist to provide more effective support for membership engagement:
- By making the CoP domain more inclusive, the GOC was able to create an open and accessible social space for different providers to build relationships, partnerships and alliances around their main needs and interests.
- By focusing on practice instead of performance, clinicians learn from each other in a collaborative non-competitive way.
- Each community fosters a set of interpersonal relationships, a strong identity and sense of belonging, which creates incentives for engagement and mutual learning.
The CoPs are the solution for the society’s challenge to integrate knowledge and practice across regions, professional boundaries, cultures and agencies.