One of my community roles is Chairing the Harm Reduction Coalition of York Region. We are group of York Region non profit organizations strongly committed to the harm reduction philosophy and policy practice. We were asked to present in a local conference and jumped at the opportunity to raise awareness about harm reduction to attending practitioners.
Their presentation was filled with very useful information about harm reduction. Patti and Lori talked about the current state of harm reduction in York Region and the challenges of implementing a structured harm reduction practice in organizations. Patti and Lori talk over the presentation with Radha Bhardwaj (center), Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of York Region.
I’m organizing marketing material for a new business product my partner and I are developing. The product is an easy to manage, low cost web platform that can be easily set up to help organizations tap into and support the collaboration and innovation resources of their staff. My marketing task includes integrating a few examples from my 25 plus years working as an employee in a wide variety of management roles in the non-profit sector.
As I reflected on the many roles I’ve held, a new insight about my current role identity has emerged.
Throughout my successful career in the non-profit sector, I held roles with a title and a set of responsibilities. Operating as a consultant for the past 3 years has given me a new perspective about my early role identity. Before I became a consultant, I was constantly moving from one non-profit contract to another, holding down very challenging roles but firmly entrenched as an employee in a hierarchical, command and control work structure.
Looking back, I characterize my role identity in the non-profit sector as a time when I had a J.O.B. mindset. A lot has changed over the past few years. I am not attached or operate with that mindset anymore. What now makes the most sense to me is recognizing and accepting that my role identity is one of functioning as a node in the network.
Etienne Wenger captures why and how a community of practice can help an organization succeed. This is a timely post as I’m in the midst of a series of talks about learning and collaboration in the workplace. He describes the larger vision of understanding communities of practice as an integral component of an organization’s strategic capabilities. I’ll certainly use his message in my talks with organizational leaders.