Slides for a virtual presentation I did on November 15th for the Benetec learning event. The audio for the last 10 minutes is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eQJkYlmp_g (webinar software failure!)
Guten tag. Thanks for having me “with you” across the miles. As I understand it, you have already had a day full of thinking about the next generation of learning. I too, am deep into the thinking and practice of learning at work. I work primarily with international non governmental organizations, research organizations and non profits and much of what we focus on is the strategic role of learning in these organizations. More often than not, people are NOT in the same office or geographic area. A few weeks ago I was doing an assessment of the knowledge management and capacity strengthening unit of a research organization and with each of the 40 interviews I conducted, people talked about the critical importance of EMBEDDING these practices in the work units. No longer could one reasonably expect to be able to tap different units across the diverse needs of distributed work teams. New mechanisms were needed. Social LearningFormal and informalStrategicFormMe, we, networkRolesBeyond instructor or teacherPractices
Social learning is a well studied field and one that is seeing a lot of attention these days. Look at the work of Etienne Wenger-Trayner, for example, in embedding social learning in how we think about how our organization – even the world – operates.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbultitude/66756603/in/photostream/What this means in practice is learning is and has to be everywhere, not just in our formal training programs, but in almost everything we do. Some frame this as social learning.
http://currents.michaelsampson.net/2012/08/poor-collaboration-breakdowns-ideals-and-culture.htmlWe can’t kid ourselves. The cost of our inability to usefully harness
The Cynefin framework is a way of looking at a context and discerning how to act depending on if something is simple, complicated, complex or chaotic. This gives us a tool to think strategically about what kind of learning is useful in a particular context, and what kind of group form may apply. Let’s look at some examples.
http://blog.jabebloom.com/?p=27This framework can be a very useful tool to help us understand not only what to stop doing, but where strategically tapping communities and networks can really pay off. Let’s look at some examples
Don Tapscott’s engagement strategies for new Open Cities collaborative
Another lens is that of formality/informality. I came across this set of observations in the Harvard Business Review and thought it would be useful to share because you, coming from a large organization, AND working with very diverse constituents from around the world may often work with organizational expectations of formality. What this article helps us remember is that we need both formal and informal and communities – where people come together – can often be a nexus point for the informal. Now, this can often be interpreted as the “fluffy bunny” stuff – you know, emotions, relationships and such. I work with a lot of scientists and economists and there is a tendency for some to shy away from this language. Yet when we look at their practices, they do this all the time. They just talk about it differently. The bottom line for community facilitators and managers is you need to attend to social practice as well as the subject matter.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN has developed this set of approaches for working with their thematic knowledge networks.
http://community-roundtable.com/2010/01/the-value-of-community-management/http://tomhumbarger.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/the-importance-of-active-community-management-proved-with-real-data/I came across this blog post and it really caught my eye: Tom wrote: “I think most community experts would agree that active community management and ongoing strategy are vital to a community’s health. However, I don’t know if anyone has been able to fully quantify the impact using actual community metrics.Until now – when I decided to analyze some of the 2008 data for my former community during the period of active management and the period of passive management.I was the community manager for a professional community from January 2007 through July 2008. During that time, the community grew from zero to 4,000 members. We were rigorous with the tracking of metrics and updated community analytics weekly through a combination of our platform reports and Google Analytics. I was laid off in July due to financial hardship of the community sponsor, but the community doors have remained open albeit with no community management or minimal upkeep.During the time of my involvement, active community management and consisted of:delivery of bi-weekly email update newslettersproduction of monthly webcastsactive blog posting and blogger outreachuploading of fresh content each weekcontinual promotion of the community in various forums through guerilla marketingongoing brainstorming and strategizing with respect to improving the community experiencepriming of discussion forums, andongoing communications with individual community membersIt’s interesting to discover that a neglected community will indeed continue to function without a dedicated community manager. However, the results are lackluster and the picture are not ‘pretty’.For example, this is a screen shot from Google Analytics graphing the number of weekly visits to the community from 1/1/2008 through 12/31/08:Google Analytics - 1/1/2008 to 12/31/2008Additional details from the metrics include:Membership growth slows significantly – Community membership grew 62% from January to July at a average clip of 55 new members per week. From July to December, the membership only grew 13% at an average clip of 20 members per week. This is a fall-off of more than 63% on a week to week basis.Number of visits drop 60% - The number of visits from January through July averaged more than 1,300 per week. For the second half of the year, average visits dropped nearly 60% to an average of 522 per week.Number of pages viewed per visit drops 22% - Not only did the number of visits drop, the number of pages per visit also decreased by 22% with the average pages per visit going from 3.76 to 2.95.Time on site decreases by 33% – Driven by the fewer page views, the time on site in minutes during active management was 3:38 vs. 2:37 after July which is a 1:19 or 33% decrease.Fresh activity on the site since August has been pretty nonexistant as well – just 10 new blog posts, 4 new file uploads, and less than 25 discussion forum questions or comments have been posted. For some interesting reason, the activity on the related LinkedIn group has picked up and included 15 new discussions in just the last week. This definitely is worth taking a deeper look in a separate blog post.So what does this mean? Clearly, the analysis proves that active managementcontributes significantly to the health of a professional community. And that it is ultimately important to the success of a community.”
http://www.hsdinstitute.org/learn-more/read-the-latest/attractors.htmlThere are a variety of facilitation and community management models. Here is one of those simple set of useful “rules of thumb” or heuristics that are tried and true.
Online Interaction: lever for a Social Learning Nancy White Full Circle Associates
Social learning is learning that takes place at awider scale than individual or group learning, up to a societalscale, through social interaction between peers. It mayor may not lead to a change in attitudes and behaviour. Morespecifically, to be considered social learning, a process must: (1)demonstrate that a change in understanding has taken placein the individuals involved; (2) demonstrate that this changegoes beyond the individual and becomes situated withinwider social units or communities of practice; and (3) occurthrough social interactions and processes between actorswithin a social network (Reed et al., 2010). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_learning_(social_pedagogy)  Reed, M. S., A. C. Evely, G. Cundill, I. Fazey, J. Glass, A. Laing, J. Newig, B. Parrish, C. Prell, C. Raymond and L. C. Stringer. 2010. What is Social Learning?. Ecology and Society 15 (4): r1. [online] URL:http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/resp1/
In other words, learning with and from each other in the context of real work, life, etc.
Three strategic Complianceperspectives: Emergent, adaptive learningPart 1 - Value Strategic Team learning/doing Value Communities and… the broader strategic Strategic continuum Form Options Leadership Level of formality Design & facilitation repertoire Strategic Lifecycle practices Practices Measurable
Harnessing Latent Microexpertise -- The project must allow even thenarrowest of expertise. A 3rd-year algebra teacher might not have the broad expertise of anexperienced math education researcher, but that 3rd year teacher might have small elementsof expertise that exceed that of the recognized experts.Designed Serendipity -- The project needs to be easy to follow and encourageparticipation from a variety of experts. You want problems to be seen by many in the hopesthat just a few will think they have a solution they wish to contribute.Conversation Critical Mass -- One persons ideas need to be seen by others sothey create more ideas, and the conversation around all the contributions keeps theproject going.Amplifying Collective Intelligence -- The project should showcase the fact that Nielsen’s:collectively we are smarter than any one individual.Those are all great characteristics of any project. But what makes this any different than anytraditional, offline project? Nielsen offers several suggestions. Unlike a large group project with Reinventingclear divisions of labor, technology allows us to divide labor dynamically. Wikipedia certainlywould not have grown the way it did if labor had been divided statically between a set ofcontributors. Also, networked science uses market forces to direct the most attention to theproblems of greatest interest. Lastly, contributing to an online project rarely feels likemembers. discoverycommittee work, and participants can more easily ignore poor contributions or disruptive http://blog.mathed.net/2012/08/nielsens-reinventing-discovery-2005-in.html
Poor Collaboration - Breakdowns, Ideals, and CultureRypple recently published an infographic on collaboration, called Is PoorCollaboration Killing Your Company….Biggest breakdowns (based on 1,400 people):- 97% - a lack of alignment on objectives- 92% - deadlines impact bottom-line results- 86% - lack of collaboration or ineffective communication Michael Sampson onHow employees want collaboration to work:- wider decision making involvement- issues are truthfully and effectively discussed the cost of poorCreating a strong collaborative culture:- 1. encourage people to share ideas- 2. build brainstorming into each project- 4. limit group sizes collaboration- 3. log important communications- 5. resist the urge to direct
Technology has changed what it means to “be and learn together”
Part 2: Compliance Emergent, adaptive learning Strategic Team learning/doingForm Value Communities Strategic and… the broader Form strategic Options continuum Leadership Level of formality Strategic Design & facilitation repertoire Practices Lifecycle practices Measurable
Use very small groups where they are useful focused tasks Use communities where they are useful were learning needs depth, trust and focused practiceUse networks where they are useful where diversity, diverse time cycles, scanning, curating and scaling are essential
Part 3: Design Compliance Emergent, adaptive learning& Practices Strategic Value Team learning/doing Strategic Communities and… the Form broader strategic Options continuum Leadership Level of formality Design & facilitation Strategic repertoire Practices Lifecycle practices Measurability
Design Repertoire Don Tapscott, Open Cities Collaborative
Balancing Formal & Informal• Formal programmatic efforts to change behaviors work mostly on the rational side of human behavior• Informal experiential efforts can capture the emotional side• Programmatic change takes more time & costs more and encounters more resistance than "viral" change• You need both over time• A "viral" effort usually begins with a few respected "master motivators”• Insights & approaches of the motivators work best in experiential settings• Experiential momentum sustained informally & formally• The most important lesson: importance of cross- organization energy & its dependence on the informalFrom : http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/04/spreading_critical_behaviors_v.html
Monthly meetings with everyone Example: The Environmental at the university concerned about the environment, shared Resource Network calendars Bump into another member? Have a conversation, emails Awareness events, orientation for environmental student groups, workshops Blog, websit e, activities oriented to … Inviting experts to monthly meetings/events/workshopsAnyone with an interest in theenvironment can be a memberbut the network targets activestudent groups, rss Public. Minutes are shared. Network is accountable to all students who pay a Twitter, Facebook, email Members connected levy list, member directories through a shared interest drawn from the book “Red-Tails in Love: Pale Male’s Story -- A True Wildlife Drama in Central Park” by Marie Winn. Vintage Books, 2005
FAO’s “Nine Keys to a SuccessfulThematic Knowledge Networks
• discover &Facilitation & to… enable people appropriate usefulother roles technology • be in and use communities & networks (people) • express their identity • find and create content • usefully participate
Rules of Thumb• Good meeting practices – “A bad meeting offline is even worse online!”• 60-90 minutes of endurance• 7 minute chunks of attention• Multiple modalities (especially visuals)• Interactivityhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/amberandclint/3266859324/sizes/l/
Talking & Meeting With Video Some rights reserved by chippenziedeutch
Interactivity• Using web meeting tools and features – Polls – Whiteboard – Hand raising/speaking order• Using process – Maps – Chairs – Provocative questions – Just Three Words http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/146500920/
We can use images to help us establish context, make meaning and create memories to continue our experience…BEVISUAL!
Learning how to not screw up communicating together online all the time….
With the whiteboard circle tool,put a dot in your “home” location
How to draw faces? Check out Austin Kleon and Dave Grayhttp://www.austinkleon.com/2009/07/27/how-to-draw-faces/http://www.davegrayinfo.com/2010/10/28/drawing-facial-expressions/
Glenda EoyangObserve. Don’t waste a good surprise. Pause and wonder when something unexpected arises. It may be the weak signal foreshadowing something important to come.Connect. Nothing co-evolves in isolation. The key is connecting in inquiry with the environment, with current and historical patterns, and with other thoughtful people.Question. Our assumptions blind us to the world around and lock us into our long-held problems and their failed solutions. A good question can break through the expected to discover the possible.Try it out. Of course expectations based on past experience will make us question anything we havent experienced. To see something new, we really have to see it. Try a new idea out, see what happens, adjust and try again. We call this adaptive action. Reward thoughtful risk taking. http://bit.ly/lPyXxJ