Ready for the First Nachotta CoP MuckAbout?

Distributed communities of practice:
ecology of support and leadership

Oyster beds to the east
Step back from working with your distributed community of practice and join us in Washington's Long Beach Penninsula. We'll explore the ecology of leadership and support for our communities of practice.

Stormy Pacific Ocean to the west

We'll get acquainted for two weeks online, then meet for a three day retreat, continuing in an online discussion for two weeks after that. We'll focus our conversations on these four questions and expand from there:

  • How does the social fabric in a community of practice grow and become a resource for a community and thus its ecological niche?
  • How do we coordinate our distinct roles as leaders, supporters, participants or critics in our various communities?
  • How do we practically and systematically assess the health of communities of practice?
  • What role does status play in our communities in terms of leadership, new members, etc.?


All of these issues are of critical importance in and of themselves. All of them are higher leverage and more challenging in distributed communities.

The three days together exploring these questions face to face will have the Willapa bay ecosystem as a provocative backdrop and source of metaphor.

You know that supporting a CoP is a hands-on process. You have to muck about in it. You have to be in it. Well we'll muck about in it here—online, then face-to-face on the Penninsula, and then online again. We'll see how the envrionment offers us models and ideas and how it can help us think about our communities. During our time in Nachotta we'll venture out and experience the gravity of an oyster bed's mud, the texture of paper making pulp made out of spartina grass and quietly look for wildlife in neighboring Ledbetter State Park

Learning together

You gives

  • your questions and thorny problems
  • your stories, expertise and experience
  • energy, enthusiasm, humor, candor
  • wine or chocolate from your home town

You gets

  • help with your thorniest community issues
  • insights into opportunities and problems that others are facing even though you haven't yet
  • a chance to reflect on the real world issues with leaders in the field
  • a taste of other people's wine and chocolate!

Assemble for online exploration and agenda-setting - round 1October 13 to 24, 2003
Face to face in Nachotta (arrive by 3 pm Sunday; depart on Wednesday noon)October 26 to 29, 2003
Assemble for online exploration - round 2November 3 to 14, 2003


Each evening we'll gather to reflect, tell stories and make a little music in the beautiful living room of the Moby Dick Hotel, an unique bed and breakfast. We'll dine on the Moby's wonderful seasonal food for breakfast and dinner and have a few lunch adventures on our own.

Come treat your mind, soul and body while working on the practice of supporting a community of practice.


Program registration is $400 per person. The registration fee includes all meals between Sunday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

(Note that we priced this a bit higher than costs so we can offer reduced rates to people from non profits and students. So together we enable a diverse gathering by spreading the costs.)

Back yard with hidden sauna

Want more information? Contact John Smith or Nancy White, your Mucka-Lotta-Hosts who will be joined by impressario, musician, writer and oyster farmer Sandy Bradley and her ever loving Oyster Farmer husband, Larry Warnberg, our local hosts and growers of the best oysters you'll ever taste! We'll be slurping a few oysters for those so inclined.

Logistics and lodging: The food package is $130 per person for Sunday dinner through Wednesday breakfast. Rooms range from $110 - $330 per person for all days. Accomodations choices include:

Rembember, only 24 of us get to have this much fun together October 26 -29 and that includes John, Nancy and Sandy ... so only 21 spots are left. Jump into the mud and muck with us. We'll bring the boots!

All of us will have access to the Swedish Sauna on the bay at The Moby.