Is that a tumbleweed?

25 July, 2008

Yep things have been very quiet here at the tram in the last couple of weeks, work has been crazy, I’ve had some sort of virus and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to write a post for our corporate blog.

The good news is Karyn Romeis has got my blogging brain going again with her post on the “Well, they just must” approach to implementing learning tools. Like everyone else in the learning world I have seen this many times before. The bit that got me thinking was that the moral to Karyn’s story equally applies to social media initiatives, the ‘must do’ approach for internal blogging was suggested by Tim Leberecht and advocated by Mary Abraham a few weeks ago. Initially I supported the idea and promoted it within our team. I reckon there is a lot of value in encouraging your team to put an hour a week aside to blog about their successes, challenges and random issues from the week.

My colleague Alex suggested to me that the value may only realised if other staff can find information they need on the blog. From one perspective I agree with him, the core idea behind Enterprise 2.0 is to help people to easily communicate and share while they work, if no one reads a post on an internal blog then neither of these objectives are being achieved. From a different perspective, if we look at it as part of a personal learning strategy I see immense value in regular reflection for an individual’s practice (that’s the whole point of this blog!).

To come back to the point, you have to ask, is an individual going to gain the value from a reflective experience if they feel they are being forced to do it? This is where we come back to Karyn’s story, if we force adoption of a learning tool the learning experience will be tainted and the maximum value is unlikely to be obtained. More advisable, yet more difficult is – you guessed it – articulate the value to be obtained from the experience and make time available to the team to take up the opportunity.

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4 Responses to “Is that a tumbleweed?”

  1. Mary Abraham Says:

    Mick –

    Thanks for advancing the conversation in such a constructive manner. It’s hard when a tool used initially for primarily social purposes is moved within a corporate environment. There inevitably is a restriction of freedom that comes with that transition. While I understand and sympathize with the social media purists, I’m also cognizant of the needs of the organizations that adopt these tools.

    Your post has caused me to think further about this. I’ll be back blogging about it shortly. This topic seems a little like a visit to the dentist — not always fun, but definitely necessary.

    Best,
    Mary

  2. maxelsen Says:

    Mick

    I used to write an internal blog at my old accounting firm – a weekly roundup of stuff I’d done for clients – and sent it to key people around the place. As a communications exercise. It was mostly positive from my point of view – I relied on referrals of work to clients, and it helped me get in front of clients if their managers knew I existed.

    Unfortunately one partner got offended when I said that my ‘paying work this week was shorter than Shorty McDwarf’s ankle socks after his sole reduction surgery’. Perhaps I could have chosen a different turn of phrase, but unfortunately he was a ‘power partner’ and in that environment you do not offend a ‘power partner’.

    It was useful from a reflection exercise, but I can say that finding that hour a week was really, really, really tough when you’re supposed to bill 35 hours a week, do 10 hours marketing, and 10 hours admin… and then come a cropper on internal politics :).

    Thanks: Micheal


  3. […] an organisation as ‘reflective’ tools for sharing and learning (see Abraham, Leberecht, Leyden and Cornelius). Those exchanges dovetail nicely with another weighty debate around tailoring the […]

  4. bmepain Says:

    Greets! Really interesting. keep working!


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