Michael A. Fontaine is a Managing Consultant and Research Manager with IBM's Institute for Business Value and IBM's Knowledge and Organizational Performance Forum where he leads research and consulting projects that support and foster communities and collaboration. Over the past 3 years, Michael has helped many private and public organizations share and exchange knowledge and increase organizational performance by developing effective strategies for Communities of Practice and collaborative technologies. By conducting survey and field research into how communities function, Michael has developed methods for understanding the costs and benefits of communities, nurturing the roles needed to sustain communities, and harnessing external knowledge via customer communities. Currently, Michael is studying how knowledge work is increasingly taking place in shared virtual environments and how the global economic crisis, a potential world health epidemic, and the reduction in travel and discretionary budgets is influencing the ways in which organizations collaborate.
Chapter 2 - OVERCOMING KNOWLEDGE BARRIERS WITH COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE: LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE