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The College of Natural Sciences is a large organization comprised of many different departments and units. Across many of these sub-units there are individuals in similar roles that might be the only person in their particular unit doing their particular type of work. We believe there is benefit in connection to professional peers. We believe such connection creates community and support that benefits both the individual and the organization as a whole. 

 

WHAT ARE LATERAL COMMUNITIES, AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT IN CNS?

Lateral communities create intentional connection among individuals with similar job responsibilities. They are communities of practice, problem solving, and professional development. Lateral communities create professional networks in an effort to provide learning and growth opportunities.

The CNS lateral community initiative aims to foster collaboration, professional growth, and a stronger sense of support among our college staff.


CNS Webinar with Amy Kates

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Amy Kates is an international thought leader on organizational design theory. She serves as a trusted advisor to successful companies around the world. Amy's webinar explored the importance of sub-communities in large organizations and the benefits of connections across units. 

 

WHAT DOES THE CNS LATERAL COMMUNITY INITIATIVE ENTAIL?

Three CNS Lateral Communities were piloted in the summer of 2020:

  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Assistants to Chairs
  • Procurement and Purchasing Personnel

College leadership will provide facilitation for each community, as well as provide tools for continued connection. The individuals that make up each cohort will help shape their communities and the resources provided. Examples of potential lateral community resources include:

  • Flexible agendas with space for members to bring problems and best practices to share
  • A community Box folder for resource sharing
  • A community Teams Site for informal and on-going group communications
  • A community listserv for more intensive communications
  • Suggested training and learning resources relevant to each community
  • A hosted lunch for bi-annual, in person community meetings

 

FEEDBACK AND REQUESTS

This is a new and iterative process, which we hope to continuously improve. All are welcome to provide thoughts and feedback for improving this initiative. Simultaneously, anyone can request new communities be added to this initiative as the effort intends to expand in the 2020-21 academic year. 

CNS Lateral Community Feedback and Requests