Communities of Interest are simply informal groups of individuals who share a common interest and like to get together to talk about it. They are often self-forming, but can be more formally introduced in organizations.

Summary by The World of Work Project


Communities of Interest

A community of interest (or practice), is a group of people who share the same interests and who come together to network and to share knowledge, information and best practice.

Sports teams often have Communities of Interest associated with them
Sports teams often have communities associated with them.

They exist inside and outside of workplaces. In workplaces they often form around specific role types. For example, larger organizations might find that cross-divisional communities form in relation to specific role domains such as project management, marketing or finance.

These role types typically also have communities of interest outside of work, most commonly through their trade bodies and associations.

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You might also be interested in facilitation and team building, or world cafes, lightning talks, birds of a feather meetings or fishbowl meetings.

You can learn more about team building activities in our podcast on them:

The World of Work Project View

Communities of interest can be especially powerful in larger organizations, when individuals with specialist skills can find themselves isolated in divisional silos. They may also be helpful at an industry level when they span across multiple organizations.

Overall, we think they’re useful things that build capabilities, relationships and networks within specific areas of knowledge. We think organizations can benefit from supporting them.

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