Monday, March 8, 2010

CoP Facilitator as Talent Scout

I was thinking of facilitation this week as I had occasion to listen to Rabbi Yaakov Jaffee of the Maimonides School in Brookline talk about this week's Torah portion.

Exodus, 25 verse 2: 2 'Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for Me an offering; of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take My offering.'

According to Rabbi Jaffee, Bezalel is described not only as the gifted artison of the Mishkan but also the kind of leader who recognized the individual gifts that each Israelite was moved by his heart to bring for the Mishkan and was able to foster the coming together of these diverse talents and gifts to create the magnificant and holy mishkan.

As a community of practice (CoP) facilitator I see part of my role as that of talent scout. My job, like Bezalel's, is to:

a) identify the gifts and talents of each member of my CoP -- their passion for technology, their ability to lead others, their writing skills, their ability to see and organize the details, their out of the box thinking, or their logical clarity.

b) help members recognize how their talents can make a significant contribution to the community -- pointing out the opportunities and needs of the community as they arise

c) motivate, coordinate and facilitate the collaborative efforts of many talented members toward collectively building the knowledge and practice of our community.

After assembling the talent in the community, my role (much like in corporate talent management) is to review the needs, talent and skills of the community and ask "what is missing?" What expertise do we need to have in our community in order to allow us to tackle the kinds of problems we need to in our field? And then to continue the search to bring in the appropriate talent, skills and knowledge to move our community forward.

1 comment:

  1. One other observation: When we talk about this work, a related concept, and one that is developing rapidly in my agency's work, is that of "network weaving." A part of the work Bezalel is charged with is, indeed, that of weaving the various fabrics used in the construction of the Tabernacle. The weaving work appears to be performed by Oholiav.

    Did the Torah intend to see fabric weaving as a metaphor for how we weave networks, or even the fabrics of our lives? Perhaps, perhaps not. But it does fit, doesn't it?