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From competing to Sharing - Changing of mentalities

A learning community can be driven by encouraging a mentality of collaboration and sharing and openness as to new community initiatives.

A mentality shift can be the driver or catalyst of an emerging learning community. In some sectors, countries and environments a community mentality is more or less absent.

There can be many reasons for this:

  • Historical reasons (sharing was never promoted)
  • Cultural reasons (in this culture sharing is not on the agenda)
  • Business models reasons (primitive competition mentality, “the cake”)
  • Psychological reasons (we don’t trust each other)
  • Political reasons (if you share, you will lose power)

Sometimes local players find it hopeless to build up new collaborations in such contexts. Instead they might decide to address the negative mentality directly and use this strategy as a driver for an emerging learning community.
The idea is that the very process of changing mentalities creates the new collaborative infrastructures. Obviously, the mentality change process can be very slow and demanding, and often only few stakeholders are involved at the beginning.
Often the first steps will be taken in sectors or sub-communities in which mentality shifts are more likely.
One of the important tasks is to demonstrate in practice that the change matters, that new initiative grow from the changed mentality, that new orientations offer benefits both at organizational and personal levels.

Changed mentality can be a very demanding way to learning communities and many set-backs can be expected:

  • It is difficult to convince many stakeholders when no concrete benefit is in sight
  • Old mentalities die slowly
  • Semi-interested stakeholders might lose interest on the flight
  • It is not easy to sustain the interests of stakeholders at this “discussion level”
  • Sometimes initial successes in sub-communities are road blocked as to wider collaboration in the community

 A number of measures can be taken in support of sustained mentality changes:

  • The mentality shifts should be linked to the professional work of interested stakeholders
  • Mentality shift processes should, when possible, be linked to for example concrete European projects demonstrating the value and benefits of open and sharing mentalities
  • Pioneers from other sectors should be linked to the mentality change processes very early
  • Mentality changes should be promoted as improved work and life perspectives for involved citizens and professionals

Accept that mentality changes take time, and act accordingly, for instance by working in parallel initiatives.

Make sure that people involved benefits personally from the mentality shift.
  Supporting materials
  Xploit Community Paper Iasi
  Xploit in Iasi, Romania

Xploit project results in Romanian:

Xploit - O comunitate a învăţarii

Xploit - Roluri care se schimbă...

Xploit - Inovaţii în comunitate

Xploit - Rezultatele unei munci de 3 ani

Xploit - Un ghid al comunităţii de învăţare

Xploit - Ce oferă Xploit

Xploit - Xploit-are... și mai presus de - atât

  Community Guide Story



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