Monday, July 03, 2017

"Social Technologies in Business"

Know what happens when a bunch of your friends get together and assemble the best compilation ever of thinking in the social-social media-collaborative learning-knowledge management-narrating work realms? This book.

My interest in social learning and working out loud grew from my own wonderful experience as a participant in a vibrant community of practice. We mentored one another, shared what we learned, and even took turns demonstrating new ideas and skills in order to get feedback about how to make them better. We found ways of circumventing silos and transferring tacit knowledge, problems our employing organizations had struggled with for years. The burning question remains: How do we help all workers, and their organizations, reap the benefits of such sharing and support?

De Clercq and her team come at this with multiple perspectives and real-world experience. Those needing an introduction or a good amalgamation will find it here, in clear, concise writing organized in easily-digestible bits. Social Technologies in Business offers something for everyone: answers to objections, ideas for getting started, a review of tools, methods for implementation, case studies with “stealable” concepts.  I especially appreciate the realistic view: there’s honest discussion about barriers and failure factors, warnings about things not to do, and the reality of endeavoring to engage in enterprise-wide anything. This is an excellent resource for those hoping to influence and maybe even help transform their organizations. And the host of contributing voices, including Simon Terry,  Paul Miller, and Mathias Vermeulen, is credible.  De Clercq holds a special place in my heart for sharing my own opposition to Digital Detox. (Well, that, and the fact that she has publicly referred to me as “the Pippi Longstocking of L&D”, as there is no greater compliment.)

Some key takeaways?
-Don’t blame technology
-Have a strategy
-Being social is a mindset, not a tool
-Don’t start by fighting
-Less is more: As Charles Jennings has noted, the point is to extract learning from work, not impose more work

Beautifully designed and eminently readable, Social Technologies in Business is a winner for those seeking to understand and implement use of social tools and approaches in their practice and their workplaces. 

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