WHAT IS SOCIAL LEARNING ?
• Learning is the foundation of who we are (becoming). It is social
because our human nature is social, not just because (or when) we
interact with others or use certain tools. (E. Wenger)
• Social Learning is not just a technical fix; it’s a set of behaviours and
attitudes towards learning. It aims at empowering practitioners to
form learning partnerships in order to create value and enhance
performance, for themselves (personal) and for the organisation
• Social Learning can also be defined as “collaborative learning” or
Learning and Talent Development – CIPD 2013 Report
• Social Learning is not “Yet Another Communications Channel”
Social Learning is not to replace traditional classroom training
• Social Learning is not something new
What is new though is the emergence of social
media platforms and new technologies enabling
the learning process and growing networks
in the context of globalised business, Web 2.0
and faster changing work environment.
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012
(Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies)
70:20:10 Learning Model (Charles Jennings)
70% is learned on the job
20% is learned through others
10% is learned in courses
(Jean Martin, Executive Director at CEB,
at The Economist Talent Management Summit – May 2013)
The 4 trends impacting HR in 2013 :
Trend 1 - Complexity: Widespread changes in the organizational environment have led to
fundamental changes in how work gets done.
Trend 2 - Breakthrough Performance: Dramatic improvements in talent performance and
management are needed to achieve business goals.
Trend 3 - Collaboration: Talent effectiveness is becoming strained by increasing
interdependence in the workplace.
Trend 4 - Business Alignment: Talent strategies must be fully integrated with business
strategies in order to succeed.
From “Packaging” to “Scaffolding”
Fig. from “The Workplace Learning Revolution” – Jane Hart (May 2013)
HOW TO CREATE VALUE
• Value to whom ?
• Primary recipients of value in a community or a network are the
participants themselves. If they do not get value, they will not
participate and the community/network will fall apart
• Other stakeholders :
Organisations/Teams in which members operate
Facilitators, sponsors and managers
Candidates and clients
– Perspective on short- and long-term value :
– Communities and networks gain value over time as learning resources.
For instance, there can be short-term value in solving problems, but over
time the approaches and solutions to these challenges becomes a
cumulative resource for members facing new challenges, both
individually and collectively.
& EXAMPLES OF BENEFITS
Type of Value
Examples of benefits
Activities & Interactions =
Number of people signed in and active on the platform
Useful chats on line / Good tips by a colleague
Responses to on-line activities : ie. opinion poll
Connecting to the right expert at the right time
Asking a question on the way to a client meeting
Passing a piece of information after meeting/seminar
Trainees who keep in regular touch after classroom training and
feedback/comment on their action plans
Knowledge Capital (whose
value lies in it’s potential to
be realised) = “Learning”
New skills, new ideas, inspiration
Privileged and fast access to certain resources/networks
Market Intelligence & Monitoring
Content Curation / Links & References
Knowledge transfer from country to country
Change in practices =
New synergy between teams/countries
Breaking down silos / know who’s who
Change in procedures / workflows
Direct or indirect re-use of best practices
Trying suggestions / innovation
Learn faster than competitors
Performance Improvement =
Increased productivity / fees / leads
Improved customer satisfaction
Cultural integration and faster onboarding
Talent Management / Internal Mobility / Retention
Detect pools of excellence
Trust & Collaboration
Reconsider criteria by which performance is defined
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
People First : Don’t let technologies dictate - Focus on the business needs = What’s in it
for me? What will the users get by participating ?
Pull approach : Social media require different approach than emails or traditional
communications channels – be clear about why people should join and tease their motivation
(don’t force / push)
Embed in workflows : Identify existing simple day-to-day workflows and learning
journeys and focus on how social initiatives will improve work practices, for both consultants
Identification : Set up communities regarding of the centres of interests/expertise.
Participants needs to identify easily with the topic. But don’t restrict access.
Sponsoring : need for active sponsors – senior executives who are excited about the project
and who are visible on the platform and help motivate staff to take part
Time : ensure “High value for Time” for all those who invest themselves in the community
Tone of Voice : Keep it informal and don’t patronise
Pilot : start small and develop step by step
LEADERSHIP & RESOURCES TO
Social platforms need investment in time and resources to become successful.
Don’t expect them to grow organically from the start! It can take months to mature.
Community design requires investigation and analyse of the target audience :
Probe the audience group about expectations
Find the ambassadors / early adopters
Create a private group and give feeling of “exclusivity”
Involve your ambassadors in the decisions to make (ie. process of content curation)
Create relationships (ie. organise a live event on-line)
Diversity : m/f, age, countries, level…
•Community managers :
- Need training
- Are good listeners
- Able to build trust
- Excellent communicators
- Have their role clearly defined
in their job description
IT IS ABOUT TRUST…
•A social enterprise network doesn’t mean we need to get
rid of the past.
However it means a certain mindset and needs to be
•A key word for that social learning to happen is Trust :
• Trust from the organisations towards employees
• Trust that comes from peer2peer control and the
“wisdom of the crowd”
• Trust that comes from openness and transparency
…AND “BECOMING EXPLICIT”
•Instead of focusing on communicating in new ways, it’s important that
collaboration and contribution is in line with the work people do every day.
•Narrating our work : impractical with most communications tools (ie. Emails,
Intranet). Modern collaboration platforms combine rich content-handling with
activity feeds that make it easy to skim large amounts of content quickly (ie.
repost, share, favorite, like, upload, comment…)
•Observable work : Simply by using a collaboration platform to store material, we
make employees and their work visible in real-time. Work (projects, documents,
discussions) is now searchable in easier way and more discoverable.
•= “Working Out Loud” allows employees to make connections – finding people
and content relevant to their work.
BARRIERS & CLICHES
•“IT Big Thing” : go for a secured Cloud solution that is Firewall friendly and accessible off-premises.
•Budget : there are free solutions out there but they come with limited features. Pricing for other
more sophisticated solutions depends on the number of accounts and level of customisation.
•Language : English (even poor) is “lingua franca” on social platforms. Google Translate and on-line
applications help reduce the gap (Yammer already offers real-time message translations in 23
languages) + social media generally don’t require long poetry and essays.
•Distraction : Better to have employees on an Enterprise Social Network than on Facebook or Twitter
where you don’t control. Also remember the days there was debate about opening access to
Internet to all employees… it was only a few years ago ! Do you imagine employees without Internet
access today ?
•Reputation and confidentiality : Guidelines should remained at minimum but legal requirements
are the same than off-line (code of conduct & ethics, privacy, competitions, anti-bullying, etc…).
Monitoring and escalation process need to be put in place behind the screen.
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