Welcome to issue #44!

For the latest digital publication issue of Offbeat, Anamaria Dorgo joined me to tell the story of L&D Shakers and share the lessons they learned while building a community of practice. I found it so inspiring and useful I thought it deserves another shot.

She started by showcasing some definitions of communities of practice. The one I found both easy to understand and right to the point: "A CoP is an informal group of people bound together by a shared commitment to a domain of knowledge that they care about and similar work activities (Millen, Fontaine, & Muller, 2002). Members’ primary purpose is to develop their skills and capabilities by building and sharing collective knowledge (Wenger & Snyder, 2000)."

The reason you should think about how to support communities of practice in the workplace is that it supports learning in so many ways. Theories such as Constructivism, Social Learning, Action Learning, or Experiential Learning all back up this idea.

Along the way, Anamaria shared the lessons they learned while the community was growing. Some of them:

  • Identify early on who are the community drivers: those members that will keep the momentum and nurture the community by orchestrating events, shepherding initiatives, and engaging with the other members meaningfully and regularly;
  • Thinking together about real-life problems that people genuinely care about constitutes the core of a community of practice. Knowledge is collectively built rather than simply transferred from one person to another;
  • The community doesn’t belong to one person, and it belongs to the members that want to get actively involved and shape the space where they plan to learn new skills and expand their practice;
  • Create the opportunity for co-creation as often as possible. Brainstorm ways to add value, whether through events, networking, collaborative projects, community optimization, and so on;

If you want to read the full story, you can find it here.

Meanwhile, stay safe and keep learning,

This newsletter is built with the full psychological, design, development, and brainstorming support of Nifty Learning.
L&D Jobs of the week
L&D Newsroom
If Offbeat got lost in March somewhere in your inbox, have no fear. This week I put together a list of the coolest, most interesting resources I have shared the previous month. Enjoy!
L&D resources are rarely funny. This one had a touch of tragic comedy in it. Adam Grant talks about two levers of a learning culture: psychological safety and focus on the process as you focus on results. He also shares an experiment he did together with the Gates Foundation I found really interesting.
An upcoming event from CultureAmp, this time focused around Career Development. What they promise to cover? (1) The underlying strategy of a high-impact career development process, (2) What are the recommended components, (3) How to measure and report on your process outcomes.
MIT Sloan Review authors put together all the articles they recently published on the future of workplace learning. The ones I found the most interesting are (1) Developing Future-Ready Skills with Peer Coaching, and (2) Building the link between learning and inclusion.
Although not focused on corporate learning and mentorship programs, I found the project led by Carlos Lejnieks really inspiring. He goes through how the pandemic affected human relationships, how they frame the mentor role, what a good mentor should focus on and more.
This article definitely hit home and I recommend sharing it with leaders in your organization. It starts with the definition of perfectionism as a survival mechanism, the types of perfectionistic pursuits (avoider and pursuer), and goes on with the impact on self and the team.
Career progression is definitely not easy. When as HR or L&D we want to control the whole process, it becomes even more challenging. This article from Learnerbly gives some practical tools to decentralize the process of creating and using career progression frameworks by making it everyone's responsibility.
What kind of learning journeys drive business results? When should you deliver your learning journey? How should it look like? All hard questions with probably no perfect answer. McKinsey talked about their approach, giving a step-by-step model you can follow.
So many cool ideas for putting Slack to use as an L&D Team. It goes through what kind of channels you can create for learning purposes, scheduling "did you know" posts, inviting influencers and leaders to share know-how, or what kind of polls you can create. This one also covers using Teams as an L&D team.
E-Learning 101 
If you're just starting our in e-learning or as an instructional designer, Articulate launched a small program covering instructional design tips, project management, and technical skills such as course development apps, multi‑device e-learning, and learning management systems.
A pretty cool upcoming event on developing learner personas. Ashley and Hannah will go through the importance of learner personas, and how to build one. By the end of the webinar, you'll also get a template so you can immediately apply what you learned.
Looking for efficient ways to learn brought me to one I've never explored in such detail: talking to yourself, which is also known as self-explaining. But what does this mean? You should just talk out loud every time you learn something new? Well, not exactly. There are four ways this method can work: talk to yourself, ask why, summarize, make connections.
A new podcast episode from David James, hosting Myles Runham. They address the difference between what L&D perceives to be digital and the opportunity that it actually presents.
About 5 years ago I enrolled in a Critical Thinking e-learning and was really star-struck by how complex the subject is. About two years ago I had the honor of meeting the teacher and exploring more of the same topic. Although I agree it's hard to teach Critical Thinking in one class, it definitely did wonders for me in terms of awareness. So is Critical Thinking a Soft Skill or it is not?
Overheard on LinkedIn
"Spaced repetition might not have the immediacy of cramming or the adrenaline rush of a manic all-nighter. But the information we learn from it can last a lifetime and tends to be effectively retained."

- neilmosley
Thanks to 7taps, Roi Ben-Yehuda, Letitia Stefan, and Anna Bejgrowicz for sharing Offbeat in the past week.

If you found this issue insightful and think your peers could benefit from it, please encourage them to subscribe to the Offbeat Newsletter. Your support will help us grow this newsletter and bring it to as many L&Ds as possible.
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This newsletter is created through the joint efforts of Lavinia Mehedintu and Nifty Learning. Offbeat is our way to support the L&D community around the globe. We only share resources we find insightful, and we add our interpretation of how readers could apply what they learn. Could we be wrong? Definitely. We strongly encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts at

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