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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
Independent of an organisation
Some face-to-face occurrences
But on revisiting them consequently the following were thought to be more relevant:
Goals were set out
Reporting to the highest level
Integrated into organisation
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.