Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Collaboration & Social Media Services in the Workplace – My 30 Second Elevator Pitch

April 19th, 2012

I’m a great believer in the axiom that says “if your Grammy doesn’t understand your explanation of what you do for a living, go back to the drawing board”. To that end, I’ve being working on simplifying how I communicate my business purpose.

I began by reflecting on the services I’ve being offering since starting my business about four years ago. The services I provide  to organizations are fairly diverse but two broad categories took shape. They are services that promote collaboration using social media tools in the workplace and using multimedia (mostly video) for communicating to stakeholders.

To get at typical challenges faced by organizations that I work with, I created a list of three “pain points”. These pain points are what keep senior managers worried about the success of their business.

To help my in my task, I went to Jane Hart, Jay Cross and Harold Jarche from the Internet Time Alliance. These folks are key people in my learning network and I follow their writings daily. Harold writes a lot about Personal Knowledge Networks and Jay Cross writes extensively on “working smarter” (see Working Smarter Fieldbook).

Recently, Jane Hart wrote a post titled “A New Framework for Supporting Learning and Performance in the Workplace“. It was this post that started me thinking differently about how I was communicating my work to colleagues and clients (& Grammy).

I encourage you to visit Jane’s Social Learning Centre site for an indepth read of what she calls her Workplace Development Services Framework.

After delving into Jane’s posts and others from the Internet Time Alliance, I started writing my new 30 second elevator pitch. This is a concise speech you can give anyone that succinctly expresses what you do and invites further discussion about your work.

This image by Oscar Berg in a post he called the Collaboration Pyramid (via Harold Jarche – You Simply Can’t Train People to be Social) helped me recognize the role of collaboration supported by social media tools as the core message in my 30 second elevator pitch.

30 Second Elevator Pitch

My name is Brent MacKinnon, owner of Social Media Tools for Work & Learning.

Organizations hire me to help them strengthen their services by improving how staff connect, share, learn and collaborate using social media tools in the workplace.

Typically, I help businesses & organizations, face new challenges such as:

  • Keeping pace with emerging social media tools that extends the organizations ability to communicate with consumers and build trust with stakeholders.
  • Developing and implementing new strategies and procedures that improve performance outcomes through collaboration and innovation in the workplace;
  • Attracting and retaining competent and self-motivated staff who depend on a supportive learning workplace that fosters innovative practices for business and professional success.

I’ve served as Executive Director for many varied non-profit organizations for many years and continue to provide leadership on local Boards of Directors.

For complex projects, I draw upon a pool of specialists from diverse sectors.

Organizations choose me because I have both the hands on management and social media skills for developing collaborative practices within teams, projects and across departments.

To learn more about what I can offer your business or non-profit organization, give me a call and I’ll be happy to chat with you further.

I owe a big thank you to Tim Rooney from Rooney, Earl and Partners who taught me all I know about pain points and 30 second elevator pitches.  Any business or non profit organization looking to increase their sales and communication skills of their staff will do well to connect with Tim.

If you have suggestions on my elevator pitch, I’d love to hear from you.

Collaboration in the Workplace , ,

Coming Home As a Node in the Network

November 16th, 2011

I’m organizing marketing material for a new business product my partner and I are developing. The product is an easy to manage, low cost web platform that can be easily set up to help organizations tap into and support the collaboration and innovation resources of their staff. My marketing task includes integrating a few examples from my 25 plus years working as an employee in a wide variety of management roles in the non-profit sector.

As I reflected on the many roles I’ve held, a new insight about my current role identity has emerged.

Throughout my successful career in the non-profit sector, I held roles with a title and a set of responsibilities. Operating as a consultant for the past 3 years has given me a new perspective about my early role identity. Before I became a consultant, I was constantly moving from one non-profit contract to another, holding down very challenging roles but firmly entrenched as an employee in a hierarchical, command and control work structure.

Looking back, I characterize my role identity in the non-profit sector as a time when I had a J.O.B. mindset. A lot has changed over the past few years. I am not attached or operate with that mindset anymore. What now makes the most sense to me is recognizing and accepting that my role identity is one of functioning as a node in the network.

Read more…

Uncategorized , , ,

Network Learning – Working Smarter: A Conversation with Harold Jarche and Mark Shepphard

June 20th, 2011

On May 27th, the iSchool Institute, Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto hosted Harold Jarche for a day long workshop.

The iSchool gave me the green light to video record the presentation. The video recordings (or portions) will be accessible via the iSchool web site once I complete the editing.

At the end of the day Harold and Mark Shepphard, a workshop participant had a lively discussion, which for me captures the flavour, excitement and energy of traveling and participating in a network learning landscape.

Harold’s workshop was titled Network Learning – Working Smarter. Here are a few excerpts from the iSchool’s description of Harold’s one day course.

Network Learning (also called Personal Knowledge Management or personal learning networks)is an individual, disciplined process by which we make sense of information, observations and ideas. In the past it may have been keeping a journal, writing letters or having conversations. These are still valid, but with digital media we can add context by categorizing, commenting or even remixing it. We can also store digital media for easy retrieval.

The Web has given us more ways to connect with others in our learning but many people only see the information overload aspect of our digital society. Engaging others can actually make it easier to learn and not become overwhelmed. Effective networked learning is the difference between surfing the waves or being drowned by them. It also helps us to work smarter.

Harold has posted all the resources he used in the workshop. You can visit his site and download the slide presentation.

Harold is a partner in the Internet Time Alliance (ITA), a multidisciplinary, international think tank. The Internet Time Alliance helps organizations work smarter, by developing next practices on how to embed learning in our work. The partners are Jay Cross, Jane Hart, Clark Quinn and Charles Jennings.

The ITA is a group of insightful and inspiring network learning practitioners that I follow closely. These folks are helping me learn to learn and to develop my own network learning environment, for which I’m most grateful.


Uncategorized , , ,

Learning With Others

March 3rd, 2011

I’ve joined Jane Hart’s 30 Days to Use Social Media to Work and Learn Smarter online group. This was an added feature offered with purchase of her book Social Learning Handbook.

Members of the Internet Time Alliance – Strong advocates of social learning, social media and working smarter.

I’m looking forward to the month of guided learning – albit and thankfully a loosely structured – go at your own pace and interrest approach. I like that as my schedule is hectic. I learn on the fly, often missing key features of tools and months, sometimes years later someone shows me something really useful and I kick myself for not taking the time to look more closely.

I’m one of those impatient men who doesn’t like to read the instructions and pays for it in the end. Jane’s 30 day programme should cover some of the areas I need to sharpen up and most likely introduce me to new tools for the job. I’m waiting for her book from Lulu, a long wait judging by how long I it took to receive the Working Smarter Fieldbook, which I highly recommend. It’s written by Jay Cross and the other members of the Internet Time Alliance (including Jane), my go to source for “working smarter” through social media.

I hope to post on my progress if my schedule permits. The program outline is covering a lot of ground so there will be some rich benefits for my learning and I’d like to share it with those interested in social learning and working smarter through social media.

Uncategorized , ,