- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: ASTD & Berrett-Koehler; 1st edition (September 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605097020
- ISBN-13: 978-1605097022
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media Paperback – September 1, 2010
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About the Author
Tony Bingham is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. ASTD is focused on helping members lead talent management, build their business skills, understand the impact of social media on informal learning, close skills gaps, and connect their work to the strategic priorities of business.
Marcia Conner, Partner with Altimeter Group, works with leaders every day to bridge the gap between the promise of collaborative technologies and the practice of putting them into action. She aligns digital strategy with corporate culture, engaging people and invigorating the value chain across an organization. Former Vice President and Information Futurist at PeopleSoft and Worldwide Manager at Microsoft, she now advises corporations, writes the popular Fast Company column “Learn at All Levels,” and is a Fellow at the Darden School of Business. Follow her on Twitter @marciamarcia.
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Top Customer Reviews
Even if you are one of those people who are suspicious of social media or one who thinks social networking is a place for wasting time or if you think Twitter is a place where people tell you what they are eating for lunch, you will read the book and understand exactly how social learning is a new imperative for how we enable organizational learning. You will find this book to be a practical guide to implementing social learning in your organization.
At the end of each chapter, there is a list of common objections and how to overcome them. I found this to be the most useful part of the book. Just like a sales person needs to overcome objections from prospects, any organizational leader who intends to implement a new thing, must prepare for the inevitable objections that arise from the skeptics and curmudgeons. And there will be many. The list of objections and the ways to overcome them are, by themselves, worth the cost of your time to read this book.
The other idea that I infer this book is that people will learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it despite our best efforts to design and deliver training. Too many L&D professionals are hung up on the need to control the instructional design and training delivery process, believing that people simply do not learn properly, unless proper instruction is used in proper training delivery. Well this book is one step in the direction of proving that idea wrong. Our job is to not deliver instruction, but to enable people to learn what they need to learn to get their jobs done now.
Although the New Social Learning does not propose that instructional design and classroom training will be replaced (far from it), Tony and Marcia weave tales of company's that are using various elements of social and collaboration technologies to enable people to learn and most importantly grow and improve job performance....which is what this is all about in the first place.
What is a surprise for me is Marcia's gift of story. As a blogger, public speaker and writer, I'm humbled by this work: it is the book I wish I had the skill to write.
Marcia masterfully crafts distinct narrative threads into a compelling "State of the Practice" of Social Learning; the keyword being *practice*. Marcia cites example after impressive example of organizations that are opening themselves to and embracing social media to augment, reinforce, replace and extend their learning and training programs. Who are these organizations? The CIA, EMC, Grainger, JetBlue, Pfizer, TELUS and a host of other major companies and government organizations have employees getting smarter by connecting with each other.
You might be a senior leader in your organization. Are you enabling your people to be your information network?
The short book is very-well organized into seven chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction/overview, providing you with some of the instructional and learning theories behind social learning as well as with some of its wonderful benefits. Each of the subsequent chapters considers a social medium by defining and describing it, describing its benefits, and providing at least one powerful, amazing use case. Each of these chapters concludes with a practical "How to Respond to Critics" section to help you defend against the common critiques of the naysayers as well as provide you with ideas on getting started and promoting the use of that particular medium. The use cases and responses to critics are the best sections in each chapter. By far, the most amazing use case presented is the use of wikis by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). After reading that, it gave me hope that almost any organization, even ones as monolithic as the CIA are capable of implementing tremendous change of thought and practices with regards to organizational learning.
The six media considered in this book are: (1) social networks (online communities), (2) rich media (like videos), (3) microsharing (tweets), (4) wikis, (5) immersive environments, and (6) live events.
The most useful approach to reading this book would be to read the first five chapters. I found the last two chapters (immersive environments and live events) to be the weakest. It may be that what is currently known about immersive environments has not reached a maturity level that would make it easier to impart more practical, tacit, and experiential knowledge. That is, perhaps the use of virtual worlds, gaming, and simulations has not quite reached the major mainstream within organizations' learning and development circles. The last chapter on live events seemed more like a string of ideas thrown together about social learning at events. It did not do a good job of synthesizing the unifying ideas of social learning as a whole (although the authors did attempt to do it in the last chapter).
Despite the lackluster of Chapters 6 and 7, this is well worth your time. I found this book to be timely in my current professional growth and career level as I look to innovate with some new ideas to spice up our training products line where I work. This book has successfully launched me on the path to exploring and implementing social media learning tools.