You’ve seen the context of Efficiency Exchange and Knowledge Hub and how we’re moving to a more social media driven way of working. Don’t worry too much about the future, we’re going to look at right now. I’m going to give you a few examples of how I use social media to support improvement, how we’re planning to use social media to deliver efficiency support to local government, and then we’ll have a conversation about how you can use social media for the Efficiency Exchange.
It’ s my job to persuade you of the benefits of using social media to support improvement, it’s up to you to decide how you’d like me to do so. Carrot or stick?
You’ve all heard about blogs, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You may have heard about them in positive or negative light in context with local government. Although these are the tools of social media and connecting, collaborating and sharing content online – these are really just shorthand for ways of working. Like Hoover for vacuum.
But don’t be fooled by the tools or imagine that these are the only tools or indeed that some of social media brands will be around in 5 years time. It’s not about using Twitter, it’s about using real time updates and sharing content. This way of connecting and increasingly working won’t go away.
Facebook is probably the mostly widely used social media tool in the UK. It has wider reach within local government than our Communities of Practice platform. But something I’ve heard from people is “Why bother with Facebook, if I wanted to keep up with those people than I would have.” So I’ll tell you a story about why I use Facebook. I went to the University of Tennessee, it’s in Knoxville. At that time, in that one place, I met a lot of people. These are some (but not all) of my very close friends from that time. At one point, we all lived within a few minutes walking distance of one another.
But now we all live in different cities, in different states and three different countries. We don’t get together much anymore.
But we can get together on Facebook. I have kept up with these people over the years by phone, email and visits. But through Facebook we can have conversations together. Something we couldn’t do without social networking given the thousands of miles between us. But we don’t just use Facebook. I connect with a creative friend through Flickr, seeing her great pictures inspires me in my photography. I connect with another Friend through LinkedIn. She’s very successful in her career, and connecting through LinkedIn means that I have access not just to her, but to her business connections, too.
OK, great for me.... I keep up with my friends. But what does that have to do with improvement in Local Government?
Increasingly social media is the way that people connect and collaborate. At least half of UK adults are least viewing content online. The proportion increases the younger you go. A bit less than 2/3ds of young people (and probably higher for young professionals) are members of social networking sites. A fifth of them create content (blogs, video, presentation) to share online. If we go younger still, the future workforce in local government the proportion goes up dramatically. Something like 80% of young people expect to see and interact with well known brands and companies through social media. They’ll expect the same from government and from institutions like ours which support government.
A few tools in my tool box – not forgetting of course the logo in the top right corner – and IDeA Knowledge, which is still a powerful online broadcasting tool for us.
Each of these hard copy and online resources (all very popular I might add), were created by using communities of practice and a range of online social media tools to identify good practice, challenges and priorities to create guidance and tools by the sector for the sector.
I use social media to keep my ear to the ground and my eyes on the horizon. It helps me to identify emerging problems and solutions which I can then share more widely inside the agency and within the sector.
These are some of my followers on Twitter.
Creating and cultivating spaces where practitioners can lead discussions and identify solutions themselves.
Using a range of social media tools to report on live events (cheaply) meaning that the reach of your event and the learning from it can extend far beyond a live event.
Using tools like Google Reader to monitor RSS feeds to find out what other people are saying when they’re saying it – and integrating it with other tools to share useful links within (and beyond) my network.
LinkedIn – by maintaining my professional profile I’ve been offered jobs (sadly no good ones yet) and been offered speaking opportunities. I can keep up and discuss with colleagues CoP style around the world. Twitter is a real time way I can update and learn from my extended network Yammer is a tool we can use to the same way people use Twitter, but in a protected environment. (Only people with our agency email address can join our network) It’s an end to the big group emails and a wider opportunity to share knowledge and practice within the agency.
I want to stress that these tools are not just about broadcasting your message, but offering mutual support and keeping an ear out. That requires active listening to your network. Fortunately social media makes that pretty easy.
But promotion matters – if we want to share notable practice or let people know what challenges we’re facing, sometimes we have to do a little broadcasting, too. And fortunately social media’s pretty good for that, too.
Last week I gave a presentation to about 15 people. Even with easy emailing, I reckon that by the following week, if I was lucky, about 30 people would have seen that presentation. But I’d never know that. I uploaded my slides to slide share, announced to my network on Twitter, a number of people “re-tweeted” it, sharing it with their networks. At one point the following day, it was the most tweeted presentation on Slideshare.
I was able to amplify the conversation that I had with 15 people to reach far more than I would have via traditional methods. My network of 1000 became a network of 13,000. Without me having to do very much.
And instead of maybe 30 people seeing the presentation – almost 600 did and with no more effort for me than sending an email.
So, we’re going to use some of the same ways of working to support peer-based knowledge management, peer based referral and reference to develop conversations, tools, benchmarks and learning to support efficiency and improvement in local public services. We don’t expect that to happen overnight and we’re not throwing away tried and tested techniques. Instead we’re building on our peer offer and knowledge management by using social media to bring more people into the conversations and deliver knowledge, faster, better and cheaper. We’ll be using CoPs and events in the CoPs, hotseats and online conferences to help more people hear from leaders in the field. We’ll still be having live events around efficiency, but we’ll be using social reporting techniques to capture the learning and share it more widely. We’re obviously still running peer based challenges, but we want to capture nuggets of knowledge which we can share through blogging and twitter. And I’d like for you to use Yammer, which is secure and private, in a Twitter like style to share knowledge about support across your own team.
You’re more than welcome to take a big role in the social media aspects of this project. And we can provide additional training and support in some of these techniques. A one paragraph post in the CoP forum, a 250 word blog post, or Tweeting about good practice that you find. But the main thing we need you to do is share the notable practice that you find and encourage the peers you work with to do the same. We’d like you ask “what was good?” “what did we learn?” and then share that.
Using Social Media to Support Peer Based Improvement
Using social media for improvement Ingrid Koehler 24 September 2009
CARROT OR STICK? <ul><li>You decide (Bthomso on Flickr) </li></ul>
What is social media Is it a collection of tools?
Don’t be fooled by the tools Social media is social It’s a new way of connecting
Carrots <ul><li>Help from a network of colleagues inside and outside IDeA </li></ul><ul><li>Better access to examples and consultancy techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Wider reach of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced profile </li></ul>Photo: John-Morgan on Flickr
Sticks <ul><li>Isolated OR tons of irrelevant emails </li></ul><ul><li>Good work goes nowhere...or takes forever to get anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge withers </li></ul><ul><li>Unprepared for new ways of working </li></ul>Photo: Moresheth on Flickr
Find me <ul><li>Ingrid Koehler </li></ul><ul><li>firstname.lastname@example.org </li></ul><ul><li>Policy and Performance Community of Practice: www.communities.idea.gov.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.ideapolicy.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.twitter.com/ingridk </li></ul><ul><li>www.slideshare.net/ingrid_k </li></ul>