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Harold Jarche's Library tagged sociallearning   View Popular, Search in Google

08 Feb 14

Last year, for instance, Pentland’s lab put sociometers on 80 employees at a Bank of America call center in Rhode Island. The inconspicuous badges used Bluetooth and infrared signals to measure which co-workers the test subjects talked to every minute for a month and, later, another period of six weeks. After the first month the MIT researchers could see that individuals who talked to more co-workers were getting through calls faster, felt less stressed and had the same approval ratings as their peers. Informally talking out problems and solutions, it seemed, produced better results than following the employee handbook or obeying managers’ e-mailed instructions.

So the call center tried its own experiment. Instead of staggering employees’ coffee breaks as it had previously, it aligned their breaks to allow more chatter. The result, Bank of America told MIT a few months later: productivity gains worth about $15 million a year.

28 May 13

• Structured Socialization<br />We see from this example that people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves. Before Researcher’s Square, the researchers at NIWL daily saw their colleagues coming in and out of the building, passed them on the staircase, or nodded to them in the hall, but they learned very little from one another. Moreover, when I asked them to anticipate how they might use Researcher’s Square, they could not envision a benefit beyond coffee and food. But when NIWL created a place for structured socialization* they not only learned from each other, the whole organization became more aligned and collaborative - in a word, more effective. Structured socialization named by my colleague, Robert Dalton, is the intentional design of processes and space that bring people together in conversational formats to create and share knowledge.<br />• Connection before Content<br />Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage. In Researcher’s Square, the coffee, food, and small tables for chats, all provided an atmosphere in which the researchers were able to build the connections that then allowed content to flow.<br />• Cognitive Diversity<br />The researchers proved to be more interested in others’ projects than they thought they would be. They assumed that what others were doing would be of little interest to them and likewise that others would have little interest in what they are doing, after all the projects they were engaged in were greatly varied and appeared to have little in common with each other. However, in Researcher’s Square these differences also brought with them an attribute that boosts creativity and innovation within a group, cognitive diversity. When people are cognitively diverse they bring to any problem, a larger set of tools derived from multiple perspectives, problem solving tactics, heuristics and interpretations.<br />• Conversation Rather Than Presentation<br />The learning that occurred in Researcher’s Square did not come from presentations, rather the knowledge gained was through conversation. When we think about learning from others our first thought is to have someone make a presentation. But as ubiquitous as presentations are, they are a poor way to learn from peers. Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.

11 Mar 13

"Traditionnellement regroupés en équipes de travail locales (structurées, buts fixes, liens forts et partage de connaissance), les gens se sont ensuite constitués en communautés de pratique (plus ouvertes, liens faibles et forts, structures moins rigides). Aujourd’hui, le pouvoir des environnements d’apprentissage professionnels/personnels tire profit des liens faibles, ce qui a une incidence sur la capacité d’innovation, dans un cadre souple ouvert et responsabilisant. La capacité personnelle ET collective en est augmentée."

24 Feb 13

"I get to see first-hand how people who’ve never met (and may be working in different divisions in different locations holding different corporate titles) show a fondness for each other – and thus a much greater willingness to collaborate – than they ever would have done before we had a social platform.

A common comment is “I never met you but I feel I know you”, with some directly giving thanks for the platform “giving me the chance to connect with a great person whom I otherwise would have never known.”

Every firm is struggling to have their people break down silos and collaborate more. Creating a more human workplace – improving the propinquity, the kinship between people – isn’t just a nice to have. It’s better business.

But before you spend money on new offices, focus instead on implementing a social platform. And create an environment where people can come to know each other wherever they are."

23 Feb 13

"Interpreting findings through Relational Proximity Lens: There’s more to the study, but I’ll take a look at just these findings. Remember, this is what characterized effective teams.

First, noticeable is the absence of learning styles, personality types or personal media preferences as a factor. Kelley’s summary doesn’t mention them. It was an intense 21 month study and I’m sure they would have controlled for those factors or rather picked teams similar enough that styles, types and media preferences wouldn’t vary greatly between teams.

Second, there were three driving factors for interaction media choice a) interdependence of tasks, b) complexity of task, c) level of trust and mutual understanding. In terms of Relational Proximity dimensions, I want to say the nature of the relational Purpose (dimension #5) is the driving factor for appropriate relational Directness (dimension #1). In other words, what they were about and their sense of common agreement on that determined how they chose to interact.

Third, a predictable yet flexible rhythm to their meetings was a major factor in success. The rhythm was determined and adjusted according to a) an upfront decision b) level of mutual trust and shared understanding (esp. in cross-cultural/professional situations) c) previous and expected outcomes. In terms of Relational Proximity, the regularity and future reliability of the meetings (dimension #2, continuity) was determined by their goal (dimension #5, Purpose) and by shared agreement (dimension #4, Parity)."

07 Feb 13

"Four Concluding Observations
• Structured Socialization
We see from this example that people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves. Before Researcher’s Square, the researchers at NIWL daily saw their colleagues coming in and out of the building, passed them on the staircase, or nodded to them in the hall, but they learned very little from one another. Moreover, when I asked them to anticipate how they might use Researcher’s Square, they could not envision a benefit beyond coffee and food. But when NIWL created a place for structured socialization* they not only learned from each other, the whole organization became more aligned and collaborative - in a word, more effective. Structured socialization named by my colleague, Robert Dalton, is the intentional design of processes and space that bring people together in conversational formats to create and share knowledge.
• Connection before Content
Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage. In Researcher’s Square, the coffee, food, and small tables for chats, all provided an atmosphere in which the researchers were able to build the connections that then allowed content to flow.
• Cognitive Diversity
The researchers proved to be more interested in others’ projects than they thought they would be. They assumed that what others were doing would be of little interest to them and likewise that others would have little interest in what they are doing, after all the projects they were engaged in were greatly varied and appeared to have little in common with each other. However, in Researcher’s Square these differences also brought with them an attribute that boosts creativity and innovation within a group, cognitive diversity. When people are cognitively diverse they bring to any problem, a larger set of tools derived from multiple perspectives, problem solving tactics, heuristics and interpretations.
• Conversation Rather Than Presentation
The learning that occurred in Researcher’s Square did not come from presentations, rather the knowledge gained was through conversation. When we think about learning from others our first thought is to have someone make a presentation. But as ubiquitous as presentations are, they are a poor way to learn from peers. Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.

NIWL created a Hallway of Learning that changed the organizational culture."

22 Jan 13

"I’ve been working with a very large financial services company, and we went in there to develop a strategy for these collaborative tools. But we couldn’t get any meetings with the executives to interview them. And finally, we got down to what the problem was: these executives were spending ten hours a day in meetings, and it turns out that 80 percent of these meetings were informational. So, there’s your killer app for that company. They can free up 80 percent of their time by getting out of these informational meetings and onto a collaborative platform where you use the tools of our time to create a high-performance organization."

18 Oct 12

"In discussing each of these themes, Simon drew upon the work of teams of colleagues who were contributing to transformation. His presentation exemplified Harold’s principles. Simon narrated his work in a transparent environment. He gave evidence daily support for social learning. He has made time available for reflection and sharing stories."

01 Aug 12

GoingOn provides a modern on-demand solution for building a private academic social network, where students and faculty can more easily connect, collaborate & learn. Combining self-service collaboration tools with intelligent “Facebook-like” messaging, GoingOn delivers a powerful informal learning environment, and a more effective way of sharing resources and activities across your campu

21 Apr 12

The idea that social interactions underlie the evolution of intelligence has been around since the mid-70s, but support for this hypothesis has come largely from correlative studies where large brains were observed in more social animals.  The authors of the current research provide the first evidence that mechanistically links decision making in social interactions with the evolution of intelligence. This study highlights the utility of evolutionary models of artificial intelligence in answering fundamental biological questions about our own origins.

“Our model differs in that we exploit the use of theoretical experimental evolution combined with artificial neural networks to actually prove that yes, there is an actual cause-and-effect link between needing a large brain to compete against and cooperate with your social group mates."

"Our extraordinary level of intelligence defines mankind and sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. It has given us the arts, science and language, and above all else the ability to question our very existence and ponder the origins of what makes us unique both as individuals and as a species," concluded PhD student and lead author Luke McNally.

29 Feb 12

“What’s the point?”

The problem was that I was talking about what I had instead of talking about what they needed. They didn’t want yet another tool or thing to do. They wanted help.

So I started over.

“Our goal is to make things easier for you. Easier to find answers and experts. Easier to share better ways of working with people who do what you do. Easier to coordinate work in your group and across groups.

If we make all of that easier, we’ll make your jobs better while we unlock tremendous value for our company.”

27 Feb 12

Early Adopters Identify HCM And Projects As The Next Growth Area For Social Business

Survey respondents chose their top 3 internal collaboration and external engagement social business use cases (see Figure 2).  Not surprisingly, service/support use cases led the pack with Reactive support-External (68.9%) and Support escalation and resolution – External (64.1%).  Lead generation – External in the PR Marketing category rounded out the top 3 at (63.1%).  Meanwhile, Projects and HCM gain traction among the top 5 use cases. Respondents report an increase in adoption of Projects Workspaces- Internal (36.9%) such as wiki’s and similar internal collaboration tools.  Meanwhile, HCM Recruiting – External (34.0%) emerged as the fifth most utilized use case.

Other general trends include:

Use cases split mostly evenly between internal collaboration (9) and external engagement (11)
Service/support (6) and Sales (6) dominate the top use cases followed by HCM (3),  PR/Marketing (3), Projects (2)
Respondents identified new use cases for areas such as supply chain, finance, and innovation/PLM

24 Feb 12

It is with a hopeful political message that he concludes this compendious account of the interaction between biological and social adaptation. What we need to do in a changing world is to work with our evolved capacities to create the kind of trust, common values and shared purposes that the crude markers of language, ethnicity and cultural differences cannot provide. And he sees evidence that this is already happening in the large cosmopolitan cities where people of all shapes and sizes rub along more or less contentedly together.

21 Feb 12

As business increasingly becomes either knowledge-or service-based, constant communication is necessary for employees to collaborate. Social platforms, or intranets, have emerged as the leading technology for information sharing at companies. Social intranets apply the cross-communication capability familiar to us from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to internal communication and collaboration platforms.

"Social intranets encourage wide authorship and involvement among workers," says Chris McGrath, co-founder and vice-president, sales and marketing, for ThoughtFarmer, a social intranet supplier.

"Social intranets address pains such as poor communication, poor collaboration, employees not feeling 'connected' to head office, multiple and conflicting sources of information, and employees not feeling like they're being listened to or valued."

Social intranets do more than create happier employees. A Gallup survey of data from 152 companies showed significant differences between highly engaged and less engaged workforces. Companies with engaged workgroups scored better in productivity, profit-ability, safety incidents and absentee-ism, and had 3.9 times greater earnings per share growth.

20 Feb 12

Three types of virtual communities work together to form an ecosystem of interconnected communities:

Collaborative Innovation Networks (COIN) are cyberteams of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information and work. In a COIN, knowledge workers collaborate and share in internal transparency. They communicate directly rather than through hierarchies. And they innovate and work towards common goals in self-organization instead of being ordered to do so. Working this way is key to successful innovation, and it is no exaggeration to state that COINs are the most productive engines of innovation ever. COINs produced some of the most revolutionary drivers of change of the Internet age such as the Web and Linux.

Collaborative Interest Networks (CINs) comprise people who share the same interests but do little actual work together in a virtual team. The overwhelming majority of a CIN's population is made up of silent readers or information seekers - called "lurkers" in Internet language; the minority is a small group of active experts who share what they know with the lurkers, who silently visit a Web site without contributing any content.

Collaborative Learning Networks (CLNs) comprise people who come together in a community and share not only a common interest but also common knowledge and a common practice. People in these networks typically join the community to get to know and learn from like-minded people.

14 Feb 12

Persuasion beats pummeling. “Our view of social software is it’s something you don’t want to force people to use. It’s something that they have to see a huge benefit in using themselves and want to use,” says Griffin. This is a view Virgin Media took to heart, so while they ensured executive level buy-in in the person of the company’s chief people officer Elisa Nardi, they also relied on persuasion rather than mandates to drive adoption.

“A lot of our success was involved in the preparations to start with. We completed lots of analysis around who our key collaborators were. We started to look at email stats on who sends lots of emails. We looked externally at who has a lot of followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, so we could start to see who our collaboration experts are, our super connectors,” says Miles. “We then engaged those first and started to bring them on to the pilot to become evangelists that would shout from the rooftops on how it’s going to change the world, which was really positive. It was a groundswell from bottom up.”

12 Feb 12

Here are a number of examples of how people and organisations are using social media for social learning – both INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY – in order to improve job, team and business performance and productivity. These examples are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e. most recent first.

25 Jan 12

According to the paper, social networks likely contributed to the evolution of cooperation.
"The astonishing thing is that ancient human social networks so very much resemble what we see today," said Nicholas Christakis, professor of medical sociology and medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and senior author on the study. "From the time we were around campfires and had words floating through the air, to today when we have digital packets floating through the ether, we've made networks of basically the same kind."

27 Dec 11

The same applies for an organisation as for an individual. Its not enough to run experimental programmes, the key word in deliberative practice is deliberative. There are some key additional requirements:

Experiments need to be constructed to run in parallel
All experiments must be designed as safe-to-fail
Amplification and dampening strategies need to be in place before the experiments are run
Managers need to be targeted on the basis that at least half of their experiments should fail
Research and monitoring needs to provide real time feedback
Now those are all features of interventions in the complex domain of Cynefin. However it may not be enough if we ignore the social processes of learning that create collective capability as much as individual competence. Matrons (something I blogged about back in 2006) had individual competence, but it was developed within a highly ritualised social situation. We need to start thinking about the social context of knowledge development as much as, if not more than, individual competence.

26 Nov 11

Why Western organizations need Communities of Practice - older demographics & a lot of experience.

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