Wednesday, 18 November 2009

session F1 Harnessing the power of social media in the workplace

Nick Shackleton-Jones - BBC
On-line learning at the BBC

Its not about getting the information out – its about their behaviour – if they care enough they will look it up.

When you share something memorable, you get the relationship to a different level
Social networking is not about technology its about connections and trust.

The model of wanting people to learn is all about data – we are not, humans are not like computers, we tend to remember things that have emotional references. We surround data with a sort of emotional metadata

Blogs are more authentic then newsletters – it’s a personal insight, it comes from the heart. Internal communications & blogs are technically the same but have more human, emotional links

Social learning technologies is a bottom up approach. Most learning is informal 80% so it makes sense to use social technologies to harness this.

Most effective learning is informal through stories (metaphor) i.e. don’t touch that button, I did that once and….

In history you got to be an expert by being around for a long time, now as things change faster, expertise belongs to those that know, and seniority is no longer relevant.

Nokia have a concept of reverse mentoring, where new people mentor more senior people on technology based issues.

Social networks

Generation y is not an age thing its an attitude thing.

Formal learning is not good for retention (see long tail graph) on the other hand informal learning retention increases, the trend is that for formal learning to be squeezed to only mandatory training.
Rapid development tools are on the increase, in time this will be much more co-created, and is in effect gaining ownership and the devolvement of training.

The new role of the L&D professional is to work with the champion to transfer skills and to assist/ project manage.
Wikis are ok, they are mostly used for information dump – there is little/ no emotional engagement.

Blogs are not used (in the BBC anyone can create one – they have 300) in the way people originally thought. These people are increasingly seen as thought leaders. The impact that these blogs have are greater then traditional communications. The blog enables the story behind the decision, not just the outcome, but the process. The human element.
These social networks provide people with the opportunity to contribute. There ideas and thoughts at a peer level. To drive contribution a competition was set and the best videos on the bbc MOO site are chose to be commissioned into programmes for bbc3

This approach uses a croudsourcing methodology.

Does it work

The truth is if you try to introduce one in your org it tends not to work, this is mainly as most people like to lurk, rather than contribute.

You need to drive the environment artificially (pump prime) so that people start to see and feel comfortable. Feed it with best practice content, open it up to comments, then open t so that anyone can contribute.

The biggest problem is that most orgs have not determined if they want it or if it is legitimate yet.
This requires a shift in the role of L&D, we need to stop being experts and be seen ore as curators and coaches.
The trick is not about technology, but to find someone with passion.

This enables agility

The best models of L&D take best practice and strive to share

These blogs and environments need to be ‘informal’ they do not work as well when they are seen to be official.

Elearning professionals group on Facebook run by nick, currently has over 5000 members.


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