By John Ambrose
“We-Learning” is a concept coined by Bersin Associates to
describe the next evolution of enterprise learning which incorporates social as
a key component. And with good
reason. If you’re not actively
thinking about how “social” fits into your learning framework, you are falling
behind your competitor.
So it’s no surprise that 60+ learning leaders from prominent
firms in New York City devoted nearly a full day to attend a hands-on We-Learning
workshop conducted by Bersin, hosted by MetLife and sponsored by SkillSoft.
Many attendees already were engaged with social learning
solutions, including SkillSoft’s inGenius. Others were in various stages of
planning, piloting or procuring.
All were intensely interested in Bersin’s unbiased perspective on how, when
and what to roll out. No one questioned the why.
It is impossible to capture the detailed best practices and
practical case studies from companies like Accenture and British Telecom that workshop
Mallon of Bersin reviewed. However,
I came away with five enterprise nuggets that can help you with your own We-Learning
Social is additive. For all the hype and all the business
value, social does not replace your existing learning architecture. It is
additive, a part of the mix, a supplement. Let’s remember that no social solution from any vendor
anywhere is a replacement for a well-designed elearning
architecture. The old adage that
there’s no “I” in team is true, but
there is an e-learning in we-learning!
Start Simple. Don’t overcomplicate and try to
reinvent existing processes, behaviors or systems. Have a clear vision for how you will integrate with what
exists! Think leverage. Start by identifying where employees
already naturally congregate (in the virtual world) and recognizing them as
ripe for igniting a community with social tools.
No Anonymity. The value is the network. Linking people and content. Anonymity doesn’t accelerate usage and
it eliminates consequences for inappropriate behavior.
Retention. Humans retain 5% of
what they hear, 10% of what they read, 50% of what they discuss and 75% of what
they experience. We-Learning drives toward the latter two categories by
engaging users in dialogue and inviting them to share experiences.
Slow is Steady. Industry
UI guru Jakob Nielsen once posited the 1-9-90 model for social networks that
so far has held fairly consistent: 1% are hard core participants; 9% are infrequent
participants; and 90% are lurkers.
David Mallon made the point that you shouldn’t expect your social
community to behave any differently, especially at first, and that coddling
your “1s” is important to growing your program. I agree, but I’m also a huge believer in the 90%. Lurkers are not just OK, they shouldn’t
be discounted. They may not have a
lot to say, but the fact they are present demonstrates they are distilling
value. Even in the real world, if
everyone tries speaking at once, value dialogue gets reduced to noise.
We are planning another WeLearning workshop to be held in the fall in Atlanta. Stay tuned for details!