Making Your Learning Public
I’m inspired by a David Weinberg video where he speaks about the importance of narrating your work and sharing what you are learning. David is participating in the Adidas blog carnival on a new way of working and learning.
He says that by narrating your work you solidify or make sense out of what you are doing and when you share what you are learning with others, you add to the strength of the environment. Harold Jarche writes extensively about the importance of network learning. You can read many articles on this subject at Harold’s website.
As a consultant working primarily in the non profit and public sectors, I am interested in helping individuals and organizations be better at what they do through web based collaboration and networking tools. I’m also focused on deepening my understanding of our changing workscape and continuously improving my skills and abilities.
Writing on my blog is a way for me to make real and solidify what I’m learning. I also feel a sense of accomplishment after sharing my viewpoint or perspective. It’s more a case of making tangible what I’m thinking about than seeking to win readers approval or followers. Harold Jarche call his blog writing his “outboard brain”. I think I’m in that camp as well.
In the spirit of narrating what you are learning, here are a few snapshots of what I’m learning in my work with Boards, coalitions, committees etc. and non profit organizations.
Work with Boards of Directors, Coalitions and Committees:
In general, I find introducing and using social media tools to improve sharing, innovation and collaboration on projects a slow and difficult process. For these groups I am finding that there is more openness to use social media as their work revolves so much around collaboration on projects. The fact that members of these groups only meet occasionally makes it more appealing to adapt collaboration and networking tools as a practical way to achieve outcomes.
Working with non profit organizations, business & public sector institutions:
There are so many challenges to integrating social media thinking and practices within non profit groups and businesses. The larger public sector institutions seem more open to adopting and integrating social tools to reach their audience. Perhaps using social media is just understood (and proven) to be a more cost efficient way to connect with their user groups and provide services. No doubt, user groups are increasingly expecting online services from their public sector institutions.
Non profit organizations (like the small business sector) have constant money challenges and are usually overwhelmed by service demands. I find that non profits have difficulty understanding that using collaboration and network learning tools improves individual and workplace performance.
The usual culprits that add to the slow adoption rate for non profits and businesses are: perceived loss of control by senior staff & Boards of Directors, resistance to co-learning, sharing and risk taking in the workplace and refusing to recognize that there is no normal anymore (thanks to Harold Jarche for that line which now is firmly planted in his blog header).
I added a slideshare created by Harold Jarche that does a nice job of describing what he calls work and learning in the network era. These visual calling cards bring together so many aspects of our 21st century work and learning environment.