CSTD Quebec Chapter Book Debate: Training Professionals who Blog

(Republished from The CSTD Website)

CSTD Québec is proud to announce the launching of its book club: a new series of events where we invite a distinguished author to deliver a brief presentation of their book that discusses hot topics that have a tremendous impact on the T&D industry. We then open the floor to debate the ideas and concepts brought forward in the book.

Our first author is Kristina Schneider, a Montrealer whose first book, Edublogging: A Qualitative Study of Training and Development Bloggers, has been well received by the educational community since its March 2010 release. Painting a unique portrait of five bloggers who post about instructional design and training issues, Kristina tackles the key phenomena of motivation, writing style, community building and other general practices that define the blogging professional. She also provides insight on how training and development professionals can take advantage of the blogosphere and defines the edublogger. Kristina continues to write about edublogging by; you guessed it, blogging about it. You can follow her discourses http://edublogging.com/.

Kristina brings over ten years of professional training and development expertise to the table. Currently, she is the Director of Operations at Aviation Strategies International (ASI), a highly-regarded Montreal-based aviation management consulting and training firm. She is also pursuing her doctoral studies, focusing on knowledge transfer and professional communities of practice.

To prepare You do not need to read the book to enjoy the book debate. However, you will get more out of this session if you do.

Date and time: 19 October 2010 · 18:00 – 20:00

Location: BDC Building · 800 René-Levesque West, 2nd floor, Room 250, Montreal, QC

Register here: http://bit.ly/CSTD-BookClub

Who Else is Working On What I’m Working On?

Yesterday, I blogged about the use of microblogging to improve productivity in an organization. Today, I focus on microblogging to improve connectivity within an organization.

In a recent blog post about using a microblogging application such as Yammer for communities of practice and knowledge management practices, Renata Gorman writes:

This feeling of connectedness creates more engagement on your part so you continue to answer Yammer’s question: “What are you working on?” Soon, people see your updates and reach out to help you, you see others’ updates and reach out to help them. It is like you belong to one big Borg brain (if you are a StarTrek fan).

Gorman pegs Yammer as a tool that captures context, content and experts and she is right on the money. In my opinion however, it has one small little drawback: you have to search Yammer to get the entire picture of who’s working on what.

Enter Enterprise Collaboration Tools from Brainpark which aim at making the workplace more collaborative, transparent and efficient by injecting information into the workflow. You no longer need to search for who is working on the same thing as you; the right information is pushed to you at the right time, creating what Brainpark calls business sense. The Brainpark model is making waves, earning the technology industry’s prestigious Red Herring Global 100 Award.

References:

Microblogs (Yammer) for Communities of Pratice (CoP) and Knowledge Management (KM) | Renata (Reni) Gorman’s Blog | 10 April 2010
Enterprise Social Networking Startup Wins Red Herring Global 100 Award | Brainpark Blog | Mark Dowds | 26 January 2010

This post is cross-posted with Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Filters to Avoid Being Flooded by a Wave of Content

When I was approached two weeks ago to be part of the Workplace Learning Today team, I was both flattered and thrilled to take on a new challenge. In preparation for delivering weekly insights, I decided to do a major cleanup of my Google Reader Feeds. And before I knew it, the wave of content hit me and I was flooded. There had to be a better way.

And then the perfect article pop-up this morning thanks to one of my strategic filters: Filter or Be Flooded: Do You Need a Content Strategist?

Though this FastCompany blog posts refers primarily to content for Website design, the lessons learned are transferable to our own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) strategy as well as larger organizational Knowledge Management (KM) strategy.

Some of the key criteria for a good content management strategy which are pulled from Kristina Halvorson’s book Content Strategy for the Web include

  • Content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements)
  • Content gap analysis

Instructional designers, sound familiar?

References:

Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Optimal KM: Distinguishing Know-What from Know-How

Great comprehensive piece by John Tropea on making the clear distinction between informal information management and knowledge management. It is a call to push current knowledge management practices further.

My thinking is that just the sharing aspect of informal stuff is “know-what”, this is what KM has been about, but we need to go further to the “know-how” ie. to learn and to be able to have the skills to come up with your own “know-what”. We can do this via conversations. We can now converse with people who shared their informal information, and not only know “what” but also “how”…the ultimate example is apprenticeship and mentoring.

Connect, Context, Engage, Interactions

So let’s get it right. Knowledge doesn’t exist independent from a person.

Reference:

The Importance of Learning in Talent Management Strategy

Cornerstone OnDemand has published a new white paper titled “Failing to Learn: Why Learning is Critical to Strategic Talent Management.”

Focussed on best practices, the paper addresses how learning is essential for:

  • Onboarding: Avoid making new hires sink or swim in your organization.
  • Performance: Develop employees in the middle, not just high and low performers.
  • Succession: Do more than just identify skill gaps, actually address them.
  • Compensation: It’s not just about the money.
  • Social networking: Don’t hide the knowledge and expertise in your organization.

Talent management can empower your employees to thrive and help your organization retain them. But the irony is that most talent management solutions are missing the one critical component that will make that business impact a reality – learning.

Reference:

Personal Knowledge Management: Cognitive Processing of Info for Innovation

While I have focused most of my research on Communities of Practice and Collective Expertise, I see a necessary co-existence of both these principles in order to ensure the most optimal results in advancing knowledge and practice.

We can seek out (aggregate) all the sources of information on any subject and share them with the world, but if we don’t make sense of them, they’re worthless.

PKM isn’t just collecting and filing  bits and pieces of information for later retrieval. There is an ongoing sense-making process that, through practice, develops cognitive skills. It’s knowledge management, not information or document management.

Reference: