Where and When are Productive Managers Getting Training? Not at Work Apparently.

A recent ASTD blog post discusses the results of an ej4 study that indicates that more and more, individuals are doing their training off work hours and off site.

Their statistics indicate that employees are doing more job training off-the-job and off-hours resulting in higher current productivity numbers. Supervisors in particular, are gaining job skills for both today and tomorrow before or after work, at home and on weekends.

Since the research shows that productivity increases when managers take training on their own time, the most successful managers will have to sacrifice more of their personal time to enhance their knowledge and skills. This of course is going to affect the work-life balance, which might potentially come back and have long term negative effects on productivity.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

The Educational Value of Microblogging

Reni Gorman points out that the use of microblogging in education is a recent area of interest compared to the uses of microblogging as a communication channel for news or marketing.

In a literature review on microblogging, learning and performance in the workplace, she explains that the research around microblogging tools like Twitter is directed towards using such tools as fostering informal learning and staying in touch with a support group to foster lifelong learning.  She states however that research that examines the potential of microblogs with regard to learning and performance in the workplace is currently lacking and proposes a table of contents for a study.

Interestingly enough, Workplace Learning Today blogger Richard Nantel blogged about A Framework for How to Use Twitter in the Classroom just a few days ago, so perhaps the interest is growing in this area.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Online Gaming and Social Media: Everyone Is Doing It and So Should You

The big news in my RSS reader this morning was the Nielsen Report that Internet users, more specifically American ones, prefer online gaming and socializing to e-mail.

 

Some of the headlines regarding this news called for a crackdown by American businesses to protect their bottom line from employees abusing the Internet. This has merit to a certain degree, but this is much more related to organizational culture than anything.

Rather, I’d say forward-thinking organizations should leverage the fact that individuals are using more complex and social media and use it to their advantage. With so many adopters, there really is no excuse for organizations to resist using technology as a means for enhancing learning and development.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

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

Strategically Implementing Microblogging in your Organization To Boost Efficiency

In a recent blog post, Harvard Business Review’s Jeanne C Meister and Karie Willyerd advocate using microblogging to enable the members of an organization to communicate and share information with one another more rapidly and efficiently than ever before.

So what exactly is microblogging? It is the practice of posting very short statements, commonly 140 characters or less, via a microblogging service such as Twitter.

However, because the objective is to communicate internally within an organization, Twitter, which broadcasts in a public realm, isn’t going to be very good for sharing enterprise information. Enterprise social software such as Yammer will allow you to recreate a private social network for your organization and keep the information contained.

Meister & Willyerd suggest that if you are considering implementing microblogging within your organization, there are three lessons to consider:

  • Start small and monitor results.
  • Provide training to employees.
  • Integrate Microblogging into your workflow.

By strategically implementing microblogging in your organization, you leverage the social media savvy of your Tweeters and cut down on the time and effort to disseminate and gather enterprise information. Two birds, one stone!

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Incorporating Social Learning into an Enterprise Learning Strategy

Thought provoking blog post by Tony Karrer tying together various view points on how social learning can tie into the larger enterprise learning perspective.

Where do Social Learning Tools belong? Should they be coupled with your LMS or other learning-specific tools? Or should they be separated? Or ????

mzinga social-learning-models

 

We are talking about how formal (or informal) can leverage tools that employees will be using outside of the context of learning.

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KM Adoption and Engagement Strategy

It’s pretty upfront, but sometimes we tend to ignore the basics. I’m sharing this piece by Simon Goh more a reminder of the steps we need to take for engaging individuals. It also has some interesting tips.

So what’s adoption and engagement…

Adoption is ingrained in an organisation when people say “We need to do it”.

When someone is engaged, we hear them saying “I can see why I should do it”.

Adoption and Engagement workshop

  • Step 1 – Set the context
  • Step 2 – Identify factors of non-participation
  • Step 3 – Identify factors of participation
  • Step 4 – Develop themes
  • Step 5 – Brainstorm ideas
  • Step 6 – Prioristise ideas
  • Step 7 – Define the action plan

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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.

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The New Paradigm of Advantage

Great take by Umair Haque on the necessary paradigm shift that companies must in order to be agents of change rather than simply agents of opportunity. Author Umair Haque writes that the 21st century demands from firms of all stripes: a paradigm shift in the nature of advantage.

Here’s something you might not know. There’s enough food in the world to feed pretty much everyone. So why are more than 1 billion people — nearly 20% of the world’s population — either starving or malnourished? And why, over the last two decades, has global hunger steeply risen?

The answer has everything to do with the past — and future — of advantage.

The past of advantage was extractive and protective. The future of advantage, on the other hand, is allocative and creative.

Allocative advantage asks: are we able to match people with what makes them durably, tangibly better off — and can we do it 10x or 100x better than our rivals?

Creative advantage asks: is our strategic imagination 10x or 100x richer, faster, and deeper than our rivals?

Extractive advantage asks: how can we transfer value from stakeholders to us, 10x or 100x better than our rivals?

Protective advantage asks: are buyers and suppliers locked in to dealing with us, 10x or 100x more tightly than to rivals?

He even makes a Prezi about it.

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How Social Media, Organizational Dynamics and Social Change will Shape Communities of Practice over The Next 10 Years

Social Media has changes many things, including the way experts envisage online communities of practice. The following is Cormac Heron’s account of leading author and expert Richard McDermott’s reflections on how Communities of Practice have evolved and where they are headed.

Richard McDermott was there to give a bit of his background in personal and professional experiences of the last 20 years. 10 years ago they thought that these were the main characteristics of online communities:

  • Informal
  • Voluntary
  • Independent of an organisation
  • Some face-to-face occurrences
  • Passionate Leader
  • Supported
  • Light-handed management

But on revisiting them consequently the following were thought to be more relevant:

  • Goals were set out
  • Governance
  • Reporting to the highest level
  • Integrated into organisation
  • Passionate Leadership
  • Part of the actual job description

According to Heron, Richard then ended his keynote by hitting them all with this stonker:

How will the emergence of new social media, current organisational dynamics and social change shape the role and impact of communities over the next 10 years.

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