In a recent research report published in the Personality and social psychology bulletin, Polman and Emich demonstrate how when we make decisions for others, we are going to make decisions that are more creative than the ones we make for ourselves.
This is just the latest extension of research into construal level theory, an intriguing concept that suggests various aspects of psychological distance can affect our thinking style. (link from quote)
I see this as a important validation of one of the benefits of case studies and problem-based learning for boosting the creativity of participants.
In addition, it is yet another argument for the importance of communities of practice which promotes the community-based tackling of issues in order to find creative solutions to advance the practice.
Again, this only further promotes the benefits of open innovation which consists of the gathering of external inputs to advance a concept, a product or a technology.
Dan Pontefract has a wonderfully clear and thought out model on The Collaboration Cycle. In fact, to summarize it wouldn’t really do it justice. But I will highlight that he bases it on 3 components as illustrated in his diagram below:
Adopting the CARE Principle. (Continuous, Authentic, Receptive and Enrich)
Appreciating and adapting to Strong and Weak ties
Ensuring both the Consumption of and Contribution back to the network of Strong and Weak Ties.
When speaking of collaboration or communities of practice, often we speak of the necessity of engagement. This model gives us some standard guidelines of how to cultivate and maintain such a level of engagement.
One of the greatest challenges many of my clients share is convincing their organization’s decision makers and purse holders to invest in Learning and Development, and even more challenging—yes even now in 2011—is the argument for online learning and development.
Bob Lee comes up with some pretty convincing arguments and ties them directly to the bottom line in his latest blog post entitled Learning and the State of Business in 2011. In fact, he explains something that all of us in learning and development have known for a while: an efficient and effective learning and development strategy is necessary for organizational survival.
He first explains how globalization will increase the numbers of remote workers and virtual collaboration in the next decade, which will undeniably impact organizational culture. This directly impacts face-to-face training which is on the decline and audio and Web conferencing which is on the rise. The increase of remote access from just about anywhere is also a huge benefit to online learning.
The bottom line according to Lee is that online learning and development not only reduces the cost but also increases the efficiency and speed at which information is communicated and accessed.
It echoes a lot of sentiments that I have about the nature and needs for sustainability of communities of practice.
The theory and practice of communities
Despite everything that the modern KM practitioner knows about communities, collaboration and technology, communities of practice (CoPs) often fail and collaboration often breaks down. In order to establish an effective CoP, it’s necessary first to think about the nature and structure of a community and recognize that it’s an entirely different entity from a work group or a project team. As such, it must be treated differently, too. In this article, author Keith De La Rue examines the pitfalls associated with CoPs and why helping them to grow and flourish requires a better understanding of three words: “community”, “practice” and “technology”.
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.
You probably already know that Skype is a great tool – especially for community leaders. If you are a technology steward, it’s not only a great tool but it’s also a handy example for illustrating some of the use and integration issues that we have to deal with and be able to talk about.
This issue of Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts focuses on the use of digital portfolios, or e-Portfolios to support learning. The series of seven articles evolved from presentations given at the second Australian e-Portfolio Symposium, held in Brisbane in early February 2009. Queensland University of Technology.
I’m glad that the always thought-provoking Janet brought this up. There comes a time when we need to really look at what the activity of learning really is. It is nice to find a new model every day that explains what X might be but unless we are truly analysing these models, implementing them, testing them, juxtaposing them, really, all we are doing is surfing the Web.
And as a side note, very few people I know have the chutzpah to title their blogpost “The clusterfuck known as social learning”. 😉
Janet quotes Gary Woodill:
Learning through the use of social media is a set of implicit assumptions that if people are using something called “social media”, then “social learning” must be taking place. This is a confusion of the means with the ends.
I think, when it comes to the new social learning crowd, we’ve got us a case of groupthink. I’ll be the first to say I’ve been part of the problem. However, I think we’ve got to slow down before we flood search engines with models that are not models and definitions grounded in little more than what someone else said.