The New Social Learning

A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

Tony Bingham (Author) | Marcia Conner (Author)

Publication date: 09/13/2010

The New Social Learning

This book offers methods that corporations and other organizations can use to capitalize on the ways that social media networks are reorganizing society and the workplace. The New Social Learning demonstrates the possibilities that social networks offe

  • The first book to help organizations understand and harness the extraordinary workplace learning potential of social media

  • Cowritten by the CEO of the world's largest workplace learning organization and a consultant and writer with extensive experience on the forefront of workplace learning technology

  • Features case studies showing how organizations around the world have transformed their businesses through social media

Most business books on social media have focused on using it as a marketing tool. Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another -- social media enables this to happen unrestricted by physical location and in extraordinarily creative ways. The New Social Learning is the most authoritative guide available to leveraging these powerful new technologies.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain why social media is the ideal solution to some of the most pressing educational challenges organizations face today, such as a widely dispersed workforce and striking differences in learning styles, particularly across generations. They definitively answer common objections to using social media as a training tool and show how to win over even the most resistant employees. Then, using examples from a wide range of organizations -- including Deloitte, IBM, TELUS, and others -- Bingham and Conner help readers sort through the dizzying array of technological options available and decide when and how to use each one to achieve key strategic goals.

Social media technologies -- everything from 140-character "microsharing" messages to media-rich online communities to complete virtual environments and more -- enable people to connect, collaborate, and innovate on levels never before dreamed of. They make learning dramatically more dynamic, stimulating, enjoyable, and effective. This greatly anticipated book helps organizations create a contemporary learning strategy that is as timely as it is transformative.

  • The first book to help organizations understand and harness the extraordinary workplace learning potential of social media

  • Cowritten by the CEO of the world's largest workplace learning organization and a consultant and writer with extensive experience on the forefront of workplace learning technology

  • Features case studies showing how organizations around the world have transformed their businesses through social media

Most business books on social media have focused on using it as a marketing tool. Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another -- social media enables this to happen unrestricted by physical location and in extraordinarily creative ways. The New Social Learning is the most authoritative guide available to leveraging these powerful new technologies.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain why social media is the ideal solution to some of the most pressing educational challenges organizations face today, such as a widely dispersed workforce and striking differences in learning styles, particularly across generations. They definitively answer common objections to using social media as a training tool and show how to win over even the most resistant employees. Then, using examples from a wide range of organizations -- including Deloitte, IBM, TELUS, and others -- Bingham and Conner help readers sort through the dizzying array of technological options available and decide when and how to use each one to achieve key strategic goals.

Social media technologies -- everything from 140-character "microsharing" messages to media-rich online communities to complete virtual environments and more -- enable people to connect, collaborate, and innovate on levels never before dreamed of. They make learning dramatically more dynamic, stimulating, enjoyable, and effective. This greatly anticipated book helps organizations create a contemporary learning strategy that is as timely as it is transformative.

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Overview

This book offers methods that corporations and other organizations can use to capitalize on the ways that social media networks are reorganizing society and the workplace. The New Social Learning demonstrates the possibilities that social networks offe

  • The first book to help organizations understand and harness the extraordinary workplace learning potential of social media

  • Cowritten by the CEO of the world's largest workplace learning organization and a consultant and writer with extensive experience on the forefront of workplace learning technology

  • Features case studies showing how organizations around the world have transformed their businesses through social media

Most business books on social media have focused on using it as a marketing tool. Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another -- social media enables this to happen unrestricted by physical location and in extraordinarily creative ways. The New Social Learning is the most authoritative guide available to leveraging these powerful new technologies.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain why social media is the ideal solution to some of the most pressing educational challenges organizations face today, such as a widely dispersed workforce and striking differences in learning styles, particularly across generations. They definitively answer common objections to using social media as a training tool and show how to win over even the most resistant employees. Then, using examples from a wide range of organizations -- including Deloitte, IBM, TELUS, and others -- Bingham and Conner help readers sort through the dizzying array of technological options available and decide when and how to use each one to achieve key strategic goals.

Social media technologies -- everything from 140-character "microsharing" messages to media-rich online communities to complete virtual environments and more -- enable people to connect, collaborate, and innovate on levels never before dreamed of. They make learning dramatically more dynamic, stimulating, enjoyable, and effective. This greatly anticipated book helps organizations create a contemporary learning strategy that is as timely as it is transformative.

  • The first book to help organizations understand and harness the extraordinary workplace learning potential of social media

  • Cowritten by the CEO of the world's largest workplace learning organization and a consultant and writer with extensive experience on the forefront of workplace learning technology

  • Features case studies showing how organizations around the world have transformed their businesses through social media

Most business books on social media have focused on using it as a marketing tool. Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another -- social media enables this to happen unrestricted by physical location and in extraordinarily creative ways. The New Social Learning is the most authoritative guide available to leveraging these powerful new technologies.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain why social media is the ideal solution to some of the most pressing educational challenges organizations face today, such as a widely dispersed workforce and striking differences in learning styles, particularly across generations. They definitively answer common objections to using social media as a training tool and show how to win over even the most resistant employees. Then, using examples from a wide range of organizations -- including Deloitte, IBM, TELUS, and others -- Bingham and Conner help readers sort through the dizzying array of technological options available and decide when and how to use each one to achieve key strategic goals.

Social media technologies -- everything from 140-character "microsharing" messages to media-rich online communities to complete virtual environments and more -- enable people to connect, collaborate, and innovate on levels never before dreamed of. They make learning dramatically more dynamic, stimulating, enjoyable, and effective. This greatly anticipated book helps organizations create a contemporary learning strategy that is as timely as it is transformative.

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Tony Bingham

As the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) is at the forefront of trends in learning and workforce development. Led by president and CEO Tony Bingham, ASTD offers programs and services to help members and practitioners improve individual and organizational performance through learning.

Together with the board of directors and supported by a staff of more than 100 and a wide volunteer network, he is focused on helping members build their business acumen, understand the profession’s role in narrowing skills gaps, connect their work to the strategic priorities of business, and help their organizations leverage talent.

With broad-based business, financial, operational, and technical management expertise, Bingham joined ASTD in 2001 as the chief operating officer and as chief information officer. He became president and CEO in February 2004.

Contributor to ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals - Available as article-length Fast Fundamentals whitepaper (PDF download): Getting to Relevance as a Learning Professional.



Visit Author Page - Marcia Conner

Marcia Conner, Partner with Altimeter Group, works with senior leaders to put collaborative technologies into action. She aligns social strategies with corporate culture to inform decision-making, speed innovation, and invigorate an organization's value chain. She is the co-author The New Social Learning: Transforming Organizations Through Social Media (with Tony Bingham) and, Creating a Learning Culture (with Jim Clawson), and author of Learn More Now. 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. The New Social Learning shows how social media can harness brainpower and experiences of colleagues working across the globe as easily as if they were side by side; with case studies from organizations as diverse a Deloitte, IBM, Mayo Clinic, TELUS, Chevron, and even the CIA. Conner is widely quoted for her outcome-based work; in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, CIO Magazine, PCWeek, Information Week, and on the BBC. She is also a sought-after facilitator and keynote speaker. Follow her on Twitter @marciamarcia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Daniel H. Pink

Introduction

Acknowledgments

The New Social Learning Playground Rules

Chapter 1: The 36,000-Foot View

Chapter 2: Paving Online Community Roads

Chapter 3: Share Stories Around, Up, and Out

Chapter 4: Microsharing for a Healthy Culture

Chapter 5: Growing Collective Intelligence

Chapter 6: Immersive Environments Refine Learning

Chapter 7: Connecting the Dots at In-Person Events

Afterword

Appendix: Governance

Notes and Resources

About the Authors

About ASTD

About Berrett-Koehler

Index

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Excerpt

The New Social Learning

Introduction

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Beyond the hype, buzzwords, and entertainment value of reconnecting with old friends, people in organizations across the globe use social media to collaborate and learn. Emerging technologies enable a new kind of knowledge-building ecosystem with people at its core.

Classic business models presume that relevant information is created and shared either through management or training. But classic isn’t enough: There’s too much to know and make sense of, too little time to gain perspective, and information changes too fast to dispense. A virtual water cooler becomes a gathering place to share ideas and ask questions beyond the limits of formal organizations, company meetings, or classrooms.

Our inherent drive to learn together can be facilitated through emerging technologies that extend, widen, and deepen our reach. More so than any other technology, social media allows us to embrace the needs of changing workplace demographics and enables people of all ages to learn in ways that are comfortable and convenient for them.

Today, networks of knowledgeable people, working across time and space, can make informed decisions and solve complex problems in ways they couldn’t dream of years ago. By bringing together people who share interests, no matter their location or time zone, social media has the potential to transform the workplace into an environment where learning is as natural as it is powerful.

Although most writing about social media focuses on how to use it for marketing, we believe there’s a larger story to tell. This book is for people who are specifically interested in how social media helps people in organizations learn quickly; innovate fast; share knowledge; and engage with peers, business partners, and the customers they serve.

We came together to write this book because the topic matters deeply to both of us even though we come to the subject from unique vantage points.

Tony leads a large professional association whose members help organizations achieve sustainable competitive advantage by building the knowledge and skills of their people. He is committed to helping executives and the training and development community align learning with the strategic priorities of the organization and to ensure they have the tools to build the capability of the workforce to achieve growth and success. And, as a result of years spent working in the technology sector, he has a personal passion for the power that collaborative tools have to create big change.

Marcia is a partner at a fast-moving firm that provides thought leadership, research, education, and advice on leveraging emerging digital strategies. She refines product strategies and market positions, while facilitating a cultural shift to prepare organizations to adopt social media, removing barriers in their path to success. With a long history in the workplace-learning field, often inside large enterprises, she brings a collaborative perspective to industries that seek to do more than just inform.

We wrote this book for senior executives, managers at all levels, and the people rising quickly to those posts. Rather than simply address leaders focused on education delivery models, trainers thinking about instructional design, or even technologists fascinated by tools, we explore the application of social media in all aspects of talent management: recruitment, engagement, retention, capacity, and capability. We look at the power of social learning and share compelling stories from companies that validate the value of collaborative technologies to elevate and accelerate business and employee impact.

The opening chapter addresses the trends reshaping the workplace, the challenges and opportunities these shifts create, and how the new social learning provides the flexibility and perspective required in times of change.

Each subsequent chapter focuses on one social media category and its application. Every chapter also tackles the business challenges these emerging practices can overcome and how to address critics as you wade into the social stream, providing recommendations on how you and your organization can begin to put these approaches to work. While we address technology, we recognize that the specific tools in use today may have changed dramatically by the time you read this book, so we’ve created a complementary website—http://thenewsociallearning.com—where you can learn more about the applications you may want to try. On that site, we also offer step-by-step “getting started” guides because readers will come to the topic with varying interest and levels of knowledge.

Although each chapter builds on the one before it, beginning with the broadest approaches and then narrowing in on more specific methods, we encourage you to read the first chapter and then skip to any other chapter that intrigues you, weaving your way back.

It is our hope that with a broad view of social media’s power to transform your organization, you will garner wide participation and facilitate meaningful conversations, finding yourself ready to move forward with deeper understanding, concrete examples of success, and a renewed energy to learn.

Tony Bingham
@tonybingham
Alexandria, VA

Marcia Conner
@marciamarcia
Staunton, VA

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Endorsements

“Campfires and coffee machines have always embodied a secret sauce for informal learning and cultural richness, and social media has magnified that potential exponentially. Bingham and Conner have written a smart, useful guide for understanding both the possibilities and the pitfalls of this new and increasingly significant part of our world. Distinct from all the pop-culture commentary about the likes of Twitter and Facebook, this is a refreshingly sophisticated and studied analysis of what's really valuable in this arena and how to make the best use of it. A great hand- book for our times.”
--David Allen Author of Getting Things Done and Making It All Work

“Most workplace learning occurs not in the classroom, but through ongoing, daily social interactions with others. This new book from Bingham and Conner, complete with dozens of real-life examples and case studies, shows the myriad ways smart organizations are leveraging new technologies and strategies to support and sustain social learning at work.”
--Jane Bozarth Author of Social Media for Trainers, From Analysis to Evaluation, and Better than Bullet Points

“Want to thrive in today's world of constant change? Then read this book—a book of evocative stories about the power of social learning in organizations but these stories apply to us as individuals just as well. Read and enjoy and then adopt its wisdom.”
John Seely Brown Independent Co-Chairman, Deloitte's Center for the Edge Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation and Director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Corp (PARC) Co-author of The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion“The New Social Learning is an absolutely fascinating exploration into how social media can change and is changing the workplace into knowledge organizations. Read this book! Your future success may depend on it.”
--Marshall Goldsmith World-renowned executive coach Author of The New York Times best-sellers Mojo and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

“This book is both inspirational and at the same time pragmatic, as it explains how the new social learning can transform the workplace. Learning managers should be excited by the new possibilities of harnessing social media to facilitate social learning in their organizations.”
--Jane Hart CEO, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT)

“Enterprises around the world are recognizing that the way we work in a globally integrated business world is changing. This book is wonderfully written with practical advice on how to create a culture that can thrive in this environment by taking a people-centric approach to how we collaborate to get things done. While the internet and social tools can augment an individual's abilities, the stronger focus in this book is on how networks of individuals can redefine the way people learn and work together to foster a more flexible, collaborative, and participative environment. We are already seeing organizations that are embracing these changes out- pace their competition.”
--Kristen Lauria Vice President, Marketing & Channels Lotus & Websphere Portal IBM

“Finally, here is a book that extends the use of social media to the complex world of training and development. Bingham and Conner leverage their combined knowledge of organizations large and small to provide concrete strategies that will help your employees learn with greater speed and ease.”
--Alexandra Levit Author of New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career

“Leaders making the greatest impact these days are open and relationship- oriented and support a culture of sharing while also maintaining command. This book provides an invaluable roadmap for how learning and social technology can accelerate that transformation.”
--Charlene Li, Author, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead Co-author, Groundswell

“As business leaders, we've been buzzing about the benefits of social media: keeping up with the rapid rate of change and the speed of innovation, knowledge sharing, informal learning, and employee engagement to name a few. We already know why we want social media. Conner and Bingham have finally told us how. They link clear business challenges to social media concepts without fixating on a particular tool. In a sea of social learning theory, this book provides business application for business results.”
--Anthony Loyd Global Head, Learning & Development Diversey, Inc.

“Learners are increasingly turning to social networking to share expertise and enhance the learning process. Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner provide a brilliant perspective on how organizations can design and harness the power of social learning.”
--Elliott Masie Chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM

“In The New Social Learning, Bingham and Conner lay out a compelling case for learning's dramatic transformation and a roadmap for companies trying to harness it. This book is an obvious read for learning professionals and a smart read for the enlightened senior executive who is interested in creating a true learning culture.”
--Kevin Oakes CEO, Institute for Corporate Productivity, Inc. (i4cp)

“This book shows how social media turns learning moments into an ongoing conversation where people can learn nonstop.”
Garry Ridge President & CEO, WD-40 Company

“In The New Social Learning, Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner provide a compelling case for embracing social media tools and strategies that make it possible for everyone to learn from everybody, anytime and any- where. Rich with examples and perfectly timed, this eye-opening book is a must read for anyone involved in creating high-value learning for the knowledge-rich and increasingly digital workplace.”
--Marc J. Rosenberg, PhD Consultant and educator in learning and e-learning Author of Beyond E-Learning

“Learn from those adopting a new way of working: with people at the center.”
Susan Scrupski Executive Director, The 2.0 Adoption Council
“If you're interested in engaging stories, practical advice, and ideas on how to advance social learning in your organization, this is the book for you. Bingham and Conner meet you wherever you are in the journey and pragmatically offer everything from the theoretical underpinnings of social learning to how to use Twitter for customer support. Social learning is here now, and this book is an essential read for anyone in the learning profession.”
--Karie Willyerd Co-founder, Future Workplace

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