Update: Wed 10 June: Let's move this discussion into the Social Media & Learning group

How can an organisation move from a content-focussed approach to delivering formal learning towards a social. collaborative, participative approach to supporting both formal and informal learning? How can this be implemented technologically, pedagogically, culturally? What are the implications for learning and development professionals? These are the questions we'll be discussing in the Cafe session, please leave any initial thoughts or comments here.

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Would love to be attending Jane, but will be on holiday. This is such an important area. I've just launched a 'Professional Development Network' on our site of 1000 staff coverring several separate businesses and a wide range of functions to capitalise on the huge opportunity of this shared knowledge and talent pool, and access to futher contacts, knowledge and expertise nationally and globally. The message has been that technical expertise and knowledge get you only so far in career and professional learning and development, but it's the network you create and use informally and formally that makes really helps. Often it's the the unwritten part of the job description - perhaps if informal learning through networking is so important it should be in the JDs or competncies for most roles? (it typically is for sales people / account managers)
Thoughts anyone?
I think this is a really valuable topic, especially the "cultural angle". This is where the line between L&D, Knowledge Management, Technology, Operations, etc just starts to blur for me. While the initial line of thinking is "How does John Doe learn to do _____?", I think the bigger question is "How do we make our organizational capabilities explicit?".

For me traditional, heirarchical organization of learning is a bit obsolete. Things change everyday and there's no way a small group of people can represent the innovative thinking of an entire organization. The obvious solution then is to deploy social tools - blogs/ wikis/ forums/ mailing lists and imagine that adoption will follow. This is a bit of a fallacy though, because you need a defined entry path for these tools. Its much easier to Google than to go to an enterprise wiki. There's a lot more incentive to write your own blog than one that's limited to the organization alone.

The fact that organizations tend to put layers of security on these applications (Active Directory, RSA, what not) make these even more inaccessible. As a part of an incredibly innovative organization that's really at the cutting edge of what the industry does, the questions I'd like to ask of any such implementation are:
* What personas are we targetting?
* What will their entry paths look like?
* How will these resources grow over time? What can we do to make content generation a social activity?
* What's the entry barrier (security, compliance issues, etc)? What can we do to reduce it?
* Why would any of these tools be more interesting than the ones people use today?

In general, I think social tools are the only way ahead for Learning and Knowledge Management in this era. Those questions though are really important to think about when deploying such a stack.
This discussion has now moved into the Social Media & Learning group - where there is more space to consider all the issues



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