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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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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?