Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Naivety of our Profession

Image courtesy of Proven Business Models

I am sometimes struck by the failure of learned professionals to encompass some discipline and routine when it comes to their elearning considerations for their organisations. There is a lot of discussion (see tweets from @SLQOTD on twitter) about how to introduce social learning into organisations but I am going to have a go at our profession and accuse us of not understanding the ecologies within which we work.

The model I have included above is a standard when it comes to examining a business ecology for the first time. What I am challenging us to do is to look and consider some of the following:

  • How many heirachies exist in this model?

  • What level of connectedness exists between each layer?

  • How do we assess the level of connectedness?

  • How can we analyse the networks that exist?

  • What established systems can actually inhibit connectedness and sharing? e.g. reward and remuneration, recognition and awards, compliance, regulatory etc.

  • What cultural models of management exist? i.e command and control verses open book

and the list could go on further.

If these systems are embedded and have existed for a long time and the rythm and function of the organisation is predicated on these systems, then careful analysis is required to understand what barriers one might face in trying to leverage social media technologies as part of their learning platform. The mere notion of sharing might be contrary to the culture of the moment. e.g. A performance culture based on ruthless one upmanship.

Social media and the subsequent learning that comes from it's usage, is a very personal thing. When we try and take something that is uniquely viral and then try to wrap systems around it or try to introduce into a heavily systemetised ecology, then failure is a highly expected outcome. In addition, the learning that comes from using social media is usually aligned to ones belief systems and this can very much determine the learning that is achieved purely because the intrinsic motivation is there to begin with.

What is the best approach to introduce social media? I am still ruminating.......

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