Having a ‘social’

I’ve been at a great event today with L&D professionals from across the country looking at how elearning and social learning can improve our offering.

Social
Well, I mention social learning but the most apparent feedback I got from the group was the limiting factors that many employers are placing on their L&D teams.  In some cases it’s like being kept confined indoors, creating activities that are asked for/expected, being allowed contact with the outside world when you’ve received the appropriate permission slip.

Is it any wonder that innovation is stifled in the social learning arena?

I had a great conversation in the week on twitter with Jane Hart from C4LPT about social learning and how it is ‘blended’ with existing interventions.  Social learning isn’t about blending, it isn’t something that can be measured using traditional command and control thinking.  This is not a criticism aimed at L&D professionals; the idea that we need to consider learning differently is difficult because it is now about rewriting the learning offer.  People don’t fear change, they fear what they will lose as a result of change.  In L&D’s case, I think that means expertise and professional acknowledgment.

Fault
I don’t believe it’s the fault of the L&D professional – if you haven’t been exposed to new ways to learn socially, why would we assume that you will seek out alternatives?  If what you’ve always used has worked, what pressure is on you to identify something new?

I mentioned Einstein in my presentation today
You can’t count everything that counts

Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t control everything that people learn.  As a result, the role of the L&D manager should be focused on the Development part – the Learning part is about creating the offering and just letting people get on with it.

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