Many Jive customers are are becoming social businesses. They are evolving into self-organizing networks of people and teams that respond to opportunities and threats in near real time. Why? Because social business leverages the intelligence of workers and customers. Social businesses work smarter and innovate faster. They delight their customers and are inspiring places to work.
We've probably both heard the consulting firms trot out the benefits of collaboration, knocking down silos, communing with customers, and accelerating the pace of business. It's great stuff, but not once have I heard these folks talk about Learning. Social networks were made for learning, but the celebration in marketing departments is drowning out discussion of how an app like Jive could revolutionize corporate learning.
To my way of thinking, installing Jive and encouraging people to exploit their connections is only the beginning. The fabric of the social business must incorporate structures and guidance to help people learn. After all, learning underpins continuous improvement and helping to create a culture of continuous improvement is what this is all about.
Traditionally, training departments provided workshops and courses. They selected the curriculum that determined what workers were supposed to learn. The focus was on knowledge, not skills, and learner satisfaction counted for more than business impact. Training departments focused on novices and paid scant attention to improving the learning and productivity of experienced workers, those people who generate the profits.
In a social business, L&D (learning and development) professionals nurture learning within the larger organizational infrastructure. Social L&D can optimize learning by making it easy for workers, novices and old hands alike, to find the information they need from FAQs and knowledge bases or from coaches, experts and peers. Instead of tracking butts in seats, they monitor the flow on information in social networks and its impact on key business metrics.
The shift from training programs to learning networks expands L&D from a limited department isolated from business operations into a critical, pervasive business function. Chief learning officers who embrace this challenge of integrating learning into work face enormous job enrichment. Those who don’t will play severely diminished roles.
I've been thinking about what's required to shift a lot of top-down courses and workshops to peer-based social networks. Is anyone here interested in discussing this? Might you invite your chief learning officer, if you have one, to join the discussion? Supporting L&D with social networks is too important to leave to chance -- and that's what I see happening now.