I could be a more effective Social Curator

Yesterday I sat down to write a blog post about how I use Diigo for curation.  First I looked at Joyce Seitzinger‘s presentation on social curation at the EduTech Australia conference (Brisbane, 2 June 2015).  I’m glad that I did because instead I’m responding to Joyce’s more useful question “Are you an effective social curator?”

Joyce defines social curation as “the discovery, selection, collection and sharing of digital artefacts by an individual for a social purpose such as learning, collaboration, identity expression or community participation. An artefact can be any digital resource, like a link, an article or a video.” 

Of course I could be a more effective social curator.  But how?

One element of Joyce’s definition that stood out for me was the purposeful nature of curation.  In early August I have an opportunity to present to a senior management team on creating business value through social networks and communities.  I downloaded the Social Curation Canvas and used it figure out how I could curate to help prepare this presentation.  As I started answering the questions posed in the canvas in the context of this presentation I identified some of personal strengths and opportunities across the four steps in social curation (as defined by Joyce).  You can take a peek at my completed canvas here.

Social Curation Process

Discovery

I have an adequate set of discovery tools that I know how to use – Twitter lists, Advanced Google Search, Feedly, and Google Alerts (which I stream to Feedly).  I follow a number of blogs relevant to my presentation topic.  I checked what I already had in my collection that I could use for my presentation and found articles from Simon Terry, Harold Jarche, Altimeter and Wenger-Trayner that included useful frameworks to discuss business value from Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) and Communities.  I identified gaps in my collection in case studies and research with good metrics, so will set up more specific information streams via Google Alerts and asking my Twitter network.

I check my information streams sporadically and with inadequate focus. In the coming month I shall check the key streams relevant to my presentation twice per week during my early morning Professional Development sessions at my home office desk. In particular, I will look at the new Google Alerts I set up and my Community Twitter List.

I will also start interacting more with people on social  media who are interested in community management and ESNs.  This may be a long tail activity which does not directly contribute to my research for the upcoming presentation, but will yield longer term benefits.

Selection

I always skim through an artefact before deciding whether to add it to a collection.  I am drawn to artefacts that are clearly written / presented, and include useful frameworks, diagrams, or models.  I am more likely to collect if it has been shared or endorsed by someone whose authority or interest in the topic I trust.  As I prepare for this presentation I will be on the lookout for data, metrics and research rather than models and frameworks (I have enough of these).

Collection

Diigo works well for me.  It’s easy to add to collections, especially using the applet on both my computer and iPad.  It’s also easy to find artefacts using either tags or search.  My tags could be better organised, but this is not an near-term priority.  My collections under the ESN tag and Community tag allowed me to find artefacts in my existing collection of value for my presentation.

Sharing

My primary audience for this presentation is my Senior Management Team, who do not use public social media for professional purposes and rarely interact on our ESN.  One of the goals of my presentation is to encourage them to use both so that they can experience professional value for themselves and awaken them to the possibility of value creation through more widespread organisational use of networks and communities.  So, while the face to face presentation is the key sharing opportunity, I shall also share relevant artefacts on our ESN in the coming month. My presentation will be more compelling if I can demonstrate value using artefacts and ideas discovered through my network.

My secondary audience for artefacts on this topic are people with an interest in creating value in organisations through networks and communities.  By sharing relevant artefacts with them on Twitter my Personal Learning Network builds and they may reciprocate with links to further relevant artefacts.  I will also share what I have discovered on the topic via a blog post after my presentation.

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70:20:10 Practitioner Certification – My Pathway

The 702010 Forum recently launched a 70:20:10 Practitioner Certification program (watch a video overview).  I participated in the pilot of this program last year and see tremendous value in the way it supports me to improve the application of the 702010 framework in my organisation, while also recognising my development as I do my work.  There is real integrity in the 702010 approach that is built into the certification.

I’ve decided to post my certification pathway and progress reviews on my blog rather than just on the 702010 Forum so that I can share it more widely.  In this post I share how I have scoped my work requirements and certification pathway.  Participants are asked to apply a performance analysis approach to the scoping step, which is then used to structure this initial post.

Overview of Situation

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) produces and distributes a range of beverages and some food items including carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, water, dairy drinks, alcoholic beverages, fruit, coffee and tea.  In early 2012 CCA established the Supply Chain Technical Academy.  After a number of years of capital investment, a need was identified to ensure that we could continue to develop the capability of our people to use these platforms and systems.  The Academy developed competency-based blended learning programs.  These programs include theory (10), learning from others (20), and learning from experience (70).  The three elements were included in structured programs, culminating in skill assessment on-the-job.

By early 2014 the Academy had largely delivered on the initial mandate of developing training programs to support the major capital investment program, which had come to an end.  CCA’s market conditions had become tougher and profitability was reducing.  Supply Chain’s business strategy had been updated, shifting focus to productivity in order to realise the benefits of the capital investment program.  It was time to refresh our Capability strategy.

I had joined the 702010 Forum in September 2013 and became aware of how many different ways there are to support social and experiential learning.  It struck me that CCA had narrowly interpreted the 702010 framework, and were missing many valuable, lower cost opportunities to support learning and improve our business results.

While I commenced individual 702010 certification as part of the Forum’s pilot in September 2014, I have used the Forum to support development and execution of the refreshed strategy described in this journal post.

Who is Involved?

Sponsor – My manager, the Head of People and Productivity – Supply Chain, is sponsoring my certification.

Stakeholders:

A Supply Chain Technical Capability Governance Board was established in mid 2012.  The Board consists of a range of senior National and State managers.  It sets and oversees Capability strategy.  The Board helps me to align capability activities to business strategy and priorities.

National and State managers of functions such as manufacturing, maintenance and logistics – The Capability strategy must help them to improve their team’s business results.  I work with them to develop specific learning programs that suit their team’s characteristics and working environment.

Capability Community – This group are both stakeholders in my certification and support in that they are co-contributors to the work that is in certification scope.

Academy team – five people in addition to myself, who develop and coordinate national learning programs.

Additional ‘Capability Consultants’ – people who take a lead role on development of specific Capability, but are not a permanent part of the Academy team.

State Capability Managers – one per Australian State (geographically structured role).  These roles report to State Supply Chain Managers.  They plan and execute technical and compliance training locally using a mixture of Academy and other programs.  They are key local change and communication agents for the Academy.

Indirect Support – I shall work with IT and HR on specific initiatives.  I shall also use my external Personal Learning Network for support. I may also engage external specialists to assist with specific initiatives.

Current Performance

The business context in early 2014 was introduced at start of this post.  Key business performance factors were:

– Reducing business profitability due to changing market conditions, with a negative impact on share price.

– Business cost reductions, reducing workforce size.

– Completion of a multi-year program of investment in a range of Supply Chain platforms and computer systems.

Capability performance was reflected in a SWOT analysis undertaken in March 2014.  I conducted individual discussions with the Governance Board members and Capability Managers gathered input from functional managers in their States.  The SWOT was finalised at a 2 day Capability Community strategy workshop.

In summary, we had embedded a new consistent, clear model of competency-based Capability development aligned with business priorities, and the Community had earned credibility in the business.  This has been a significant shift from the previous model where each State independently developed technical capability.  Managers across Supply Chain told us that we had focussed on the right capabilities, and they felt that the programs met their needs.  However, activity metrics showed that utilisation of formal programs was low.  Engagement of local teams with Capability needed to improve in most States.  We were also concerned that knowledge sharing across States was low.

Performance Outcomes to be achieved:

The Supply Chain business strategy was updated in late 2013 and emphasises productivity. Specific 3-year stretch targets have been set in the following business KPIs:

– Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

– Unplanned equipment downtime

– Reducing finished goods inventory

– Cost of finished goods

To support these business outcomes, the Capability strategy must:

– rapidly develop emerging technical skills required in the business.  For example, improve maintenance planning skills in order to reduce unplanned equipment downtime.

– use more responsive learning strategies.  While the competency-based programs provide a foundation by sustaining critical core technical skills and knowledge, they do not enable continuous learning while working.   They also require a lot of resource and time to develop.

Implications of Doing Nothing

Our Capability Strategy clearly needed to be refreshed to maintain alignment with the business strategy.  To continue developing capability-based learning programs would mean that we invest a lot of resource in increasingly lower priority business capabilities.  We simply could not keep up with business needs and risked becoming irrelevant.

Key Activities or Solutions

The refreshed Capability Strategy contains five elements as per the diagram below.

CCA Capability Strategy

The strategy, endorsed by the Governance Board, states that we will focus on:

1.     Continuing to develop and drive utilisation of evidence based programs for key capabilities

2.     Driving leader engagement with, and accountability for, Capability Development

3.     Building a continuous learning culture

4.     Facilitating effective Communities of Practice for key capabilities

5.     Implementing modern technology enabled approaches for learning

6.     Implementing strong governance practices

We have a three year road map of key initiatives for each element by year.

I shall focus on knowledge sharing as part of building a continuous learning culture for my 702010 Certification.  This includes Communities of Practice and other forms of embedding and extracting learning through knowledge sharing.  However, I shall also use the 702010 Forum resources and community to support other activities included in the strategy.

Action Plan

Following development of the strategy my next steps in regard to building knowledge sharing were to:

– Improve SharePoint infrastructure so that it could be used effectively for knowledge sharing.

– Engage and enable the Capability Community to support knowledge sharing by other groups in the business.

–  Develop knowledge sharing across CCA’s (1) Maintenance and Engineering teams, and (2) Systems Super Users and Key Users.

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A #WOLWeek Experiment – SharePoint vs Flipchart

International Work Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek), 15-21 June 2015, took me a little by surprise.  Realising it was happening only 3 days out I scrambled for ideas of how to use the opportunity to promote the benefits and practices of working out loud in my organisation.  For context, I have been talking to people in my business unit Capability Community about WOL over the past year, and since February 2015 have included it in the Work, Connect and Learn program which we run to introduce people to skills and behaviours for building a network and participating in a Community of Practice.  Of course, people have been sharing their work with others in a range of forms as a natural element of how they work for a long time before the terms ‘work out loud’ or ‘show your work’ were invented.  What we see now is a movement which encourages doing this in a purposeful, open and generous way to amplify the benefits to the individual and those who see their work and engage in conversations with them.

15 June

Every Monday at 9am people who work in my business unit on the same floor of my building gather and briefly talk about one or two things they are working on that week.  I enthusiastically introduced WOL Week and let everyone know that what they were doing right then was a form of WOL.

Next I got onto our Enterprise Social Network, SharePoint, and introduced WOL Week in a post on the home page where everyone in the organisation could see it.  I included a link to a punchy introduction to Working Out Loud that I’d prepared using the new Microsoft Sway tool. (This is the public version – the version I shared inside the organisation included links to examples of WOL on SharePoint as well as the internet.)  At the end of the post I asked the questions “What is one thing you are working on or learning at the moment? How are you doing this?”  No-one replied, 1 person liked the post.

WOLWk post 1

16 June

I made a fresh post sharing a link to Jane Bozarth’s explanation of how (and why) to show your work which I find clear and practical. I did include the WOL Week image (always try to add an image to my posts so they are more noticeable).  However, the text was a little longer and the link to the article was only revealed after clicking on ‘show more’, along with the question “What was something you did yesterday? What problem did you solve or what did you learn?”

WOLWk Day 2

I role modelled replying to my own post, sharing a model for having engaging conversations. 8 people liked the model. No one else shared or asked further questions.

WOL Wk Convos

17 June

Day 3 – what else could I do?  I decided to run an experiment – SharePoint versus Flipchart. I kept it simple.  I wrote “What Have You Learned Recently” on a flipchart and stuck it on a wall in a corridor leading to our well-frequented cafe, along with an A4 poster about WOL Week.  I also took a photo of the question and posted it on SharePoint.  I made one reply in each location to get the sharing started.

WOLWk Day 3

Bearing in mind that the number of people who passed the flipchart was in the hundreds, while the number of people with access to SharePoint is in the thousands (a ratio of 1:8 at least) – what do you think the outcome was after 3 working days, not counting my replies?

WOL Flipchart   

FLIPCHART – 6

WOL SP TIPSHAREPOINT – 1

More people replied on the flipchart than on SharePoint.

What did happen on SharePoint was follow on conversation.  I had posted that I had learned “In-box domination” – how to get my in-box to zero at the end of every day.  Two people commented or asked questions about this. There may have been conversation generated by the flipchart, but I wasn’t there to hear it.  This is a key difference between the two modes – conversations are accessible by more people on SharePoint, and you get the opportunity to interact with people that you may not have physical contact with.

Another observation is that the simplest of my three International WOL Week SharePoint posts got the most responses.  So, I shall keep posts brief, continue using graphics, and ask direct questions to encourage interaction.

I posted a photo of the flipchart on SharePoint, compared the number of replies and asked why people more had replied to the flipchart.  The one response to this question was interesting:

WOL Why

The implication then is that there was not a lot of traffic on SharePoint.  It’s a pity I can’t get data on how many people visit their SharePoint newsfeed daily – probably fewer than visit the cafe on my floor.  Apart from traffic, I’m sure there are other reasons why people didn’t post a reply, although not specifically which reasons were in play here.  What I do know is that this number is higher than it was 6 months ago as more people are interacting with me on SharePoint.  I have faith that over time it will continue to grow so long as people like myself continue to champion enterprise social within the organisation.

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My Conference Practices – Visual Notes (WOL)

I started drawing at this week’s AITD 2015 Conference.

I was inspired by Blair Rorani’s introduction to visual note-taking at start of the Conference and had a go at drawing.  I used pencil on paper.  I chose these tools as I thought this would be quicker than trying to figure out how to use an iPad app straight up, and that I could easily erase and re-draw.  I found that I didn’t need to do much redrawing.  Also pencil didn’t show up very nicely when I photographed and tweeted – see examples below.

Caged Learners

Caged Learners

Personas for Design

Personas for Design

Small big changes

Small big changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Badge' Badge

‘Badge’ Badge

While my drawings don’t have to be beautiful works of art I do want them to be basically appealing.  I have now downloaded and started playing with Adobe Illustrator Draw – shall ensure that I am able to create a drawing fairly readily using this tool as a minimum before EduTech in early June.  With some Twitter based support and encouragement from Joyce Seitzinger and Helen Blunden yesterday I created my first ‘Draw’ drawing.  For this I drew inspiration from Joyce’s introduction to open badges.  Seemed fitting as introducing open badges in my organisation was a key action take-out from the conference for me.

I found that I listened differently when my goal was to find nuggets that I could draw.  I think I was a more discriminating listener than if I had just been taking text notes.  I wonder if it shaped what I was listening for and caused me to block out ideas and examples that I couldn’t draw, if perhaps it acted as an unconscious filter.  I did keep a hand-written to do list – could have popped this straight into 2do app on my iPad to save having to transcribe later.  I wonder if this would have diverted my attention from listening further – next conference shall try taking 1-2 minutes to enter to do’s and follow up ideas on 2do immediately following each session.

How I wrote this post

This post started as a personal reflection in my Evernote journal. At the

Learning Zone

Learning Zone

AITD conference Alastair Rylatt encouraged people to adopt the “4 Rs” to stay in the learning zone (captured in my drawing below).  I set an alarm for 10 minutes and started reflecting on my conference practices.  The end result is this blog post which I’ve just written in under 30 minutes by transferring my journal entry and adding some images and links.  It’s not as polished as many other entries, but just as effective for the topic as if I’d put another 30 minutes effort into it.  It’s also ticked the box against several of my current blogging goals  – reflect on what I’m doing, deepen learning form other activities (including conferences), shorter, more frequent posts and visual representation of content.

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Refining my PKM Schedule – Time to Think

I’m limiting myself to 30 minutes to write this post.  Whatever state it is in when my timer goes off is the state it gets ‘shipped’ (i.e. posted) in (as Seth Godin says ‘real artists ship’ – and I ship less in the form of blog posts than I would like).  Limited myself to a shorter time period to write a post is a little ironic as this post is about the value of creating larger blocks of time for learning and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) activities rather than cramming it into small chunks of time completed between other activities.  It’s just that I’ve had an insight that I wanted to capture in the moment, with a sense of immediacy and none of the usual hyperlinking, polishing and refining that goes into my posts.

Two week’s ago I started another of Jane Hart’s Modern Workplace Learning courses – this one on Modernising Training content.  I’d previously read / viewed the Week 1 content during my daily commute on the bus and train, and started doing the same with the Week 2 content.  There is an activity to complete each week which involves creating a piece of content.  I’ve been so busy with work and parenting that I’d not started the Week 1 activity.

timetothink

Today, a Sunday, I found myself alone for several hours and decided to go back over the content for Week 1 – on the topic of ‘micro content.’  I have just spent two hours of sitting at my desk looking at various examples of microcontent, bookmarking and commenting on articles and examples in Diigo, learning to use Diigo’s Outliner function, and taking notes in Evernote.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this block of time to concentrate and do some decent sense-making as opposed to the short grabs of time I tend to use while commuting or between evening washing up and my child’s bedtime to get online and read / view content.  It’s important to highlight that the course is not presented as a ‘micro-learning’ program, although all of Jane’s programs lend themselves to being able to consume content on the go on mobile platforms.  Nonetheless, I thought it ironic that my experience was that a longer focussed block of time on the topic of ‘micro content’ was far more enjoyable and effective than the mobile, short attention span blocks I’ve been allocating to this activity.

I’m now reflecting on my PKM and networking routine, which I’ve been trying to follow this year.  During my commute I’m mostly seeking through Twitter and Feedly, and doing a little sharing where I find and read a resource that I think worth an immediate share.  However, due to the morning and evening routines involved with walking my dog and solo parenting for about 90% of the time I can’t actually fit in the number of one hour blocks of time required for decent sense-making and high quality sharing as I have put into my planned routine.  The only way I could do this is by getting less than my target 7-7.5 hours of sleep per night, which I find essential to think clearly and work productively.

I’m going to halve the number of blocks of time I try to allocate during a typical week for concentrated sense-making and network management activities.  I think this will be more realistic than the current unachievable objectives I’ve set for myself.  Giving my brain a few more breaks (e.g. more nights off, and more commutes where I simply listen to music and start out of the window) could well result in better quality thinking and higher productivity.  Not to mention greater presence in the moment, especially when I’m with family.

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An Exercise in Searching the Web and Validating Content

Two skills covered in both the Modern Workplace Learning’s Social Learning Practitioner Program and Harold Jarche’s Personal Knowledge Management in 40 Days are advanced online search techniques and validation of online content.  One quick peek at the internet in real time to watch the mind-boggling rate at which content on the internet is growing confirms the value of these skills.

The Purpose of my Search

At one level the purpose of my search was to try out new search skills.  However, I needed to look for something specific so decided to search for resources that would help middle managers to identify what actions they could take to effectively develop their team members.  Given that my organisation uses the 702010 framework for learning I started by searching for resources about how they could use 702010 approaches.

Searching Using Google

I used Google as my search engine and started with a broad term which I gradually refined to see how it would impact the number of results.  As shown in the table below, simply adding one word at a time to the search string reduced the number of results to 1% of the starting point within 3 search iterations.  However, over 3,000 search results was still a large number.

Search

I realised that the search term “702010 for middle managers” would include resources about how middle management skills could be developed, which didn’t fit the purpose of my search.  I wanted to shift the emphasis to the role of middle managers in using or implementing 702010, so searched the term: middle manager role in 702010 implementation.  While this may have shifted the emphasis, it didn’t reduce the search results.

In Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014 Guidebook I read that Google ignores common words like ‘the’ ‘an’ ‘in’, but will include them in a search if you add a ‘+’ before each one.  My next search was on the term: middle manager role +in 702010 implementation.  This significantly reduced the search results to just 6.  Oddly, none were relevant.  They were mostly about strategy implementation.

Search Results 6

Jane’s next tip was to use quotation marks to use a phrase string to search for an exact phrase rather than just the occurrence of the words entered. I searched on “middle manager role” +in “702010 implementation” and received just 3 results.  While one of these was relevant and included a list of ideas for activities that could be used to develop people through experience and exposure, it was not written for my target audience. Perhaps I had been too specific in my search.  I changed tack again and searched on “702010 outline” +for “middle managers”.  Interestingly, while Google found no search results for this term it automatically searched without the quotation marks and brought back 9 results.

Search Results 9

The second item, 50 suggestions for implementing 702010 (5), was a blog post by Jay Cross, an authoritative source on this topic.  The post referred to quantitative research by the Corporate Leadership Council that identified three management practices that significantly improved performance.  I had seen this research quoted in more detail previously and recalled it contained useful information.

Google Advanced Search

Before I move on to validating content, it is worth noting that the Google Advanced Search page could have been a quicker alternative to constructing powerful searches.  However, it was valuable to learn the mechanics of refining searches by going through the manual exercise described above.

Validating Online Content

While Jay Cross is a credible source on informal learning and 702010 I wanted more detail so followed a hyperlink from his post that I thought would take me to the original research.  While it was a document from the research organisation, it did not contain the referenced research.  At this point it became more important to me to validate the content, ensuring that it was accurate, authoritative and current.

Searching on the report title led me to three further secondary sources quoting the research including Charles Jennings and the 702010 Forum.  I now had three sources I knew to be authoritative discussing the research conclusions consistently, and two sources providing the same detailed findings.  Even so, I wanted to increase my confidence that the content had been interpreted / reported accurately so added the name of the research organisation to the report title in the search.  While unable to access the full report I did find a presentation by the Corporate Leadership Council with enough information to cross-check the secondary sources.

So, although I couldn’t access the ‘members only’ original report from the Corporate Leadership Council, I was satisfied with the validity of the data available from other sources and had enough detail to effectively communicate with middle managers about what they could do to effectively improve performance of their team members.

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Community of Practice Evaluation Strategy

This post is one in a series sharing the case study of the development of a Community of Practice for Maintenance and Engineering teams at Coca-Cola Amatil.

As discussed in the case study post on context, this initiative is expected to contribute to reducing equipment down-time and decreasing risk associated with concentration of deep process knowledge in a small number of long-tenured Engineers.  A number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were identified up-front to evaluate the value created by this community.  This was informed in part by the conceptual framework of value creation from online interactions from Etienne Wenger, Beverly Traynor and Maarten De Laat.  See Jane Bozarth’s article for an introduction to the value creation cycles in the framework.

Value creation cycles

KPIs and Measures

MaintEng COP KPIs

Measurement Points & Methods

Three main measurement points have been identified:

  • Prior to community launch – to establish a baseline
  • Immediately following the Work Connect & Learn program (guided social learning program to support the development of skills and behaviours to participate in the community)
  • Six months after completion of the Work Connect & Learn (WCL) program

Monitoring of some of the measures will occur on a monthly basis during this six month period to help inform community management.

Data and feedback will be gathered using the following methods:

  • Surveys of all maintenance and engineering team members at the three main measurement points
  • Monitoring of activity on online community spaces in SharePoint
  • Interviews / discussions with Maintenance & Engineering Managers and Capability Managers (who are providing on the ground supporting to community members to participate)
  • Focus groups with community members immediately following and six months after the WCL program
  • Capture of value creation stories on an ongoing basis in the six months after the WCL program

Additional Thoughts on Value Creation Cycles

The careful reader may have noticed that indicators of Reframing Value have not been explicitly included in the KPIs.  While we have not explicitly set objectives for value at this level, it will be surprising if this does not follow success in the other value creation cycles.  Reframing Value will be identified through value creation stories.

The value creation framework has recently been expanded to include strategic value and enabling value.  We’ve not yet considered whether / how to include these in our evaluation strategy.

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