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How will SAP's acquisition of Business Objects impact its M&A strategy?

Only strategic acquisitions will be made

Expect more acquisitions from SAP – a lot more

Nothing – business will go on, as usual

Web 2.0 Social Learning

By Cindy Rockwell, CEO, CustomerVision

When will corporations identify the need to get onboard with the changing dynamics within their workforce and their customers? Communities and social mediums for connecting like minds to create and share ideas are growing exponentially every month.

The gravitational pull of linking one entity to another is one of the keys to Social Networking. Its ability to join virtually anyone together, without the knowledge of understanding why one should or should not be connected is the benefit.

We have long tried to identify the key indicators, which link intelligence of one body into another, but have ignored the organic wisdom, which we each grow from on a daily basis. Our own intrinsic ability to communicate, observe, learn and teach. Many times throughout a day, we spend actively engaged in these activities.

Social Learning is a concept that provides for experts and learners to easily search and find information, create new web-based content and collaboratively edit existing content. Social Learning shares the power with many and knowledge from a group. This is a key driver and competitive advantage in business. Whether it is reducing the time spent in delivering formal training, searching for the answer to a question or gathering more knowledge across the organization to be leveraged, knowledge is powerful and if harnessed appropriately can reduce expenses while delivering huge cost benefits.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 70% of learning in an organization is through informal means. If you can reduce this by 10% in your organization, what does that mean to your bottom line?

The reality of any given business is changing at an ever-increasing pace. The ability for that business to adapt and act is becoming increasingly critical for the survival of the fittest. Organizations are living, breathing masses of knowledge workers and cultivators of information.

The knowledge workers’ ability to learn, adapt and change in real-time have become crucial to organizational performance and the bottom-line. Enablement requires involvement and involvement means acceptance and responsibility. Social learning platforms provide for real-time, front-line control and speed of doing business. They adapt with changes to the business, organization and grow from the knowledge worker organically.

Top-down delivery of ‘information only’ is a myth. For centuries, learning has been provided from the top, but cultivated within a group, department or business unit and moreover, learning happens socially by observation, knowledge and information sharing by many and for many.

The traditional training approach is to create a training module, push it out to the user, whether the user was in a position or need for the information at the time. By reversing the funnel to social, just-in-time learning, this method makes the user identify specific needs that are relevant at the moment so that the training provided is something that helps deliver quick results to an immediate need.

The social networking workforce is upon us, the appreciation and fearless knowledge worker will require social learning as a basis for gaining expertise within the organization. It will be a requirement of every organization to provide the right balance of control and top-down learning combined with informal knowledge from the community to provide the greatest value and benefit to the organization.

Social learning is fluid; it requires no hierarchy, only a balance of providing the right information to the right person at the right time.

Cindy Rockwell is CEO of CustomerVision, an application Wiki company that offers a social software product to mainly medium- and large-sized businesses. She brings to the company and its customers an expertise in managing business and technology, as well as a passion for the web’s collaborative communication potential. Cindy is responsible for developing and implementing CustomerVision’s business strategy and vision. For article feedback, contact Cindy at cindy@customervision.com 

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