The socially networked business (‘social business’) is one that has moved past business process and the organization chart as defining modalities and maps. One of the casualties is traditional course-based training and learning, where people are pulled from context and trained in an abstracted manner.
Social learning is really about creating a culture where people’s natural tendency to cooperate leads to people learning new skills and reasoning in context, without the need for (as much) our of context, classroom-style teaching and learning.
But there is a conflict with older, larger, and conservative organizations:
[…] although Jay Cross and others have brought to the attention of the learning profession the fact that most learning in the workplace occurs outside any formal learning intervention – informally, in the workflow – the only way that most training departments have been able to deal with this is by trying to “manage” it and build it in to the training blend. But blend it as much as they like – it won’t change the fact people will still learn informally and continuously – outside of training events – and L&D will never be able to manage it all!
But now, the emergence of social media has given individuals and teams the tools to support their own learning and performance needs much more easily and powerfully themselves. And by doing so many are already circumventing the L&D function – and citing a number of reasons for doing this:
L&D is too slow to respond to their needs
courses are not the most appropriate way to solve their problems
they don’t want to have to leave the workflow for the solution
e-learning frequently annoys adult learners as it treats them like idiots
and they don’t want to have Big Brother breathing down their necks monitoring and tracking their every move.
What is needed quite urgently is a new approach to helping those in the workplace do their jobs, or do them better – in more effective, efficient and relevant ways in the modern workplace. An approach that is NOT about designing and delivering courses, but is about working with individuals and teams at the grass roots to both encourage and support continuous learning practices as well as to identify more appropriate solutions to business and performance problems through non-training interventions.
Jane Hart has set up a new website to explore these ideas, here.
“Yesterday, police at UC Davis attacked seated students with a chemical gas.
I teach at UC Davis and I personally know many of the students who were the victims of this brutal and unprovoked assault. They are top students. In fact, I can report that among the students I know, the higher a student’s grade point average, the more likely it is that they are centrally involved in the protests.
This is not surprising, since what is at issue is the dismantling of public education in California. Just six years ago, tuition at the University of California was $5357. Tuition is currently $12,192. According to current proposals, it will be $22,068 by 2015-2016. We have discussed this in my classes, and about one third of my students report that their families would likely have to pull them out of school at the new tuition. It is not a happy moment when the students look around the room and see who it is that will disappear from campus. These are young people who, like college students everywhere and at all times, form some of the deepest friendships they will have in their lives.
This is what motivates students who have never taken part in any sort of social protest to “occupy” the campus quad. And indeed, there were students who were attacked with chemical agents by robocops who were engaging in their first civic protest.”—
Earlier this year I was part of the initial Management Innovation Exchange Hackathon that looked at Communities of Passion and what we can learn from them to reinvent management of organisations. The Hackathon report from that project which involved a number of people from around the world contributing through a collaborative online process is now available.