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Join me in Sydney for a Social Learning Workshop 13 March 2017

Are you interested in using social / collaborative learning strategies to create impactful, engaging, high-quality learning experiences?  Join me in Sydney on 13 March 2017 to hone your skills designing and implementing social learning solutions.


In March I’m facilitating a program that is focussed on using social / collaborative approaches as part of a learning solution to meet a business need.  As a result of participating in this program you’ll be able to do the following:

  1. Determine how social learning can help address your specific business problem / opportunity
  2. Design or redesign a learning solution to effectively incorporate social learning
  3. Select social learning activities and enabling tools to use in your solution
  4. Develop a strategy to implement your social learning solution

How This Program Works

learning-playThis is a program about social / collaborative learning.  As such it is a social learning experience.  There are three elements to this program:

Pre-workshop – You can familiarise yourself with the program by viewing a small set of online resources.   It is essential to select an appropriate workplace project to work on during the workshop – guidance is provided in a pre-workshop introduction to assist with this selection.  Participants are also invited to join a private online discussion forum in LinkedIn.

Workshop – This is a highly participative and collaborative event, focused around a number of individual and group activities.  Participants will be able to work on the design of a social learning solution for your workplace project.  You should bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop as we will be making good use of them to access web resources and use online tools.  We will use a shared Google document for collaborative note-taking, and you are invited to use the LinkedIn group as a backchannel.

Post-workshop – The LinkedIn group will remain active for at least four weeks after the workshop.  You are encouraged to continue to work on your social learning solution, and you may seek feedback on your solution via the  group.  You also have the opportunity to participate in the collaborative development of a social learning resource.  Additional resources will be posted and you can continue the conversation with the group online.

How to Enrol

The workshop is being run as a pre-conference event at the 9th Annual Blended Learning Conference.  For more information on the workshop, about me as your facilitator, and how to register download the brochure.

Follow on Twitter

Use the hashtag #blc to follow the Blended Learning Conference backchannel.

Add the hashtag #soclrn to follow the public backchannel for the workshop.


Enterprise Collaboration Techfest #ECTF16 My Takeaways

ECTFI attended Enterprise Collaboration Techfest in Melbourne, Australia 29 Feb – 1 March 2016.  I’m hosting a follow-up blab to discuss questions, ideas and themes – on Tuesday 15 March 8.00pm AEST (Sydney time) .  In advance of this blab I wanted to share my personal notes from the sessions I attended.    Keep in mind that I’ve polished these notes a little in order to share them and help seed discussion on the blab, but they’re mostly for my personal use.

Below I’ve listed each session I attended, my key takeaways and any potential personal actions.  Click on the session title to access my session notes in Evernote.  I’ll update some of these notes in the coming week e.g adding images of key slides.

Today’s Digital Collaboration Tools – Connecting Everything to High Value Business Outcomes, Dion Hinchcliffe – Chief Strategy Officer, Adjuvi

My key takeaways:
  1. Difference between coordination, cooperation and collaboration – the need to explain what collaboration is.
  2. Seek to put community in the centre of everything I do
  3. Open up the Doors to Collaboration.  Don’t prescribe who can participate.  Don’t make assumptions on who should be involved.
My potential follow on actions:
  • Get a copy of Social Business by Design – Dions book.  Management strategy guide and handbook on social business.
  • Learn about blockchain
  • Learn about the Internet of things
  • Check out Slack – the ‘one collaboration tool to rule them all’.

Fashioning New Ways of Engaging with Customers and Technology at Burberry, Robyn Randell – VP IT Asia Pacific, Burberry

My key takeaways:

  1. User adoption – small things make a big difference e.g. Show users 1:1 how to use things
  2. Give people the functionality they need to do to their job and they will not want to find more tools
  3. Do things WITH people, not to people

My potential follow on actions:

  • Capability Community – consider introducing a ‘Capability Roundup’ in fortnightly catchups – stories of either Learning/Development wins or failures/opportunities from learners across business unit

Leadership in the New Era of Enterprise Collaboration – From Dictator to Collaboration, Paul Miller – CEO and Founder, Digital Workplace Group

My key takeaways:

  1. Power centres are moving from physical to digital workplace. If you’re invisible in digital channels you will become invisible in the organisation.
  2. Endeavour to create functional, beautiful digital workplaces.
  3. For most of us if our physical workplace were designed like our virtual workplaces we would refuse to work there.

My potential follow on actions

This session was a call to action to create digital workspaces with as much care and thought as we create physical workspaces.

  • Look critically at our community hubs and other digital spaces – how could we make them more beautiful and easy to use, more like a consumer experience?

Putting the Narrative to Work, Ethan McCarty – Global head of Employee Communications, Bloomberg

My key takeaways:

  • Understand the reason that a collaborative culture is important to your organisation.  Collaboration is not an end in itself.
  • To build a culture of collaboration select people who value collaboration and encourage them to decide how to work together
  • Recognise collaboration as a leadership skill.

Conversation Cafe run by James Dellow – General Manager, Ripple Effect Group

James Dellow stood in at short notice to run this session when scheduled session was cancelled at short notice.  Session was run as Roundtable discussion with some participants rotating between tables at designated points during sessions.  Questions were based on some of themes emerging at the conference on Day 1:
  1. Who should own collaboration?
  2. Should we worry about ‘shadow’ IT?
  3. How do you keep collaboration on the management agenda?


The Four Pillars of a Collaboration Enterprise, Silvio Damiano – CEO, Founder, About My Brain Institute

My key takeaways

Session looked at how individual leaders could improve collaboration through their personal trust-building behaviours.

The 4 pillars at an individual level to drive collaboration are:

  1. Inspiration – Become the source of inspiration, not source of desperation  – leave people with more energy in every encounter
  2. Communication – Improve the way you communicate
  3. Generosity – Grow your generous side
  4. Courage – Have courage to address the issues that need to be addressed

My potential actions

  • Read biographies to study how generosity looks like in the life of others.
  • Use reflection tool on quality of relationships to think about quality of some of my key relationships and how I could improve them in order to improve collaboration (tool is in image at end of my session notes)

Human Centered Digital Workplace – Creating Digital Worlds Where We Want to Work, Paul Miller – CEO and Founder, Digital Workplace Group

My key takeaways:

Our Digitial world needs to be seen as a new dimension of human experience and have characteristics of beauty.  Digital workplace needs to be well architected and maintained.  It should be welcoming and functional.

My potential actions:

  1. Improve governance of digital workplace in my organisations – Create good governance so content is accurate, reliable, timely.
  2. Read Good Governance Practice Guide – Digital Workplace Group eBook

Using Community to take Enterprise Collaboration to the Next Level,  Dion Hinchcliffe – Chief Strategy Office, ADJUVI

My key takeaways:

  1. Community management is an essential skill set in organisations.
  2. Community management is maturing as a practice.
  3. Community Managers speed adoption

My potential actions:

  • Update ‘business case’ for Community Management in my own organisation using content, research and case studies shared in this session
  • Develop community playbook and roadmaps for all communities.
  • Look at community success metrics which are emerging

Communications Strategy or Collaboration Strategy? Hint: Employees Demand Both,  Ethan McCarty – Global Head of Employee Communications, Bloombergs

My key takeaways

Content and people were two key themes that stood out to me in this session.

  1. Meaningful content is important
  2. People->Process->Platform (in that order)
  3. “Killer app” is our employees – especially in connecting with external world. Encourage them to share content in days that are appropriate for them

My potential actions

  • Develop content strategy for my Capability Community.
  • Include content strategy in Community Playbook.
  • Figure out how to access and use SharePoint data
  • Investigate Design Thinking, Lean Start-Up and Agile – how can I use these in my work?
  • How can I encourage Capability Community members to share content across our organisation in order to build learning culture?

Delivering a Truly Collaborative Workforce, Sean Hallahan – Managing Director, TATA Global Beverages Australia

My key takeaways:

Note – although the Tata team is small (40 employees) the leadership approaches discussed could be adopted at team level within a larger organisation.

  1. Focus on the “human” (team) first then allow them to choose their technology.
  2. Leader as host rather than leader as hero – important mindset shift
  3. Intangible things people want from leaders

My potential actions:

  • Read Margaret Wheatley Leadership in the Age of Complexity: From Hero to Host
  •  View Simon Sinek Ted Talk on ‘Why’ again
  • Consider whether my leadership delivers on the ‘intangible things people want from leaders’

Enterprise Collaboration TechFest Final Panel – Delivering Digital Workplace Strategies for Competitive Advantage

My key takeaways:

  1. Strategies to gain executive sponsorship (see session notes for list)
  2. Utility is the #1 driver of adoption

My potential actions:

  1. Develop 30 second elevator pitch on collaboration in my organisation
  2. Prepare 2-3 page presentation pitching collaboration for my organisation
  3. Community Playbook – look at notes on ROI from panel for ideas on outcomes and metrics
  4. When engaging with a new team on collaboration find out what their business problem is and the metrics around it

Other Conference Resources

Summary of key ideas and sketchnotes posted by Rebecca Jackson

Post conference blab where I discuss some of the ideas and questions from#ECTF16 with Sharon O’Dea and Sarah Jones

Archive of all tweets during conference that used #ECTF16 – thanks to Bruno Winck for creating this


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Community of Practice Evaluation following Work, Connect, and Learn

This post is part of a case study on the development of a Community of Practice (COP) for Maintenance and Engineering teams at Coca-Cola Amatil.  A previous post outlined the COP evaluation strategy.  This post summarises evaluation following completion of the five-week Work, Connect, and Learn (WCL) program.

Network value creation

Network value creation

This evaluation examines:

  1. Increase in networks (potential value)
  2. Engagement with work and Community (potential and applied value)
  3. Opportunities for community value creation

Data gathering methods used were:

  • Pre and post program surveys sent to all 200 (approximately) Community members.  115 people responded to the pre-program survey and 78 to the post-program survey.
  • Data from monitoring Community SharePoint site

Community Demographics

Community members are from nine operational sites and two head office locations in Australia and New Zealand.  Job role and age distribution are shown in the tables below.  The geographic and age distribution of respondents was similar between the two surveys.  The percentage of trades-people who responded to the post-program survey declined compared to the pre-program survey.  This is consistent with feedback about barriers to entry for this group to take part in the online community.

  % Program Respondents
Job Role Pre-Program Post-Program
Tradesperson – Fitter (performs hands-on maintenance and repair of mechanical equipment) 27.4% 23.1%
Tradesperson – Electrician (performs hands-on maintenance and repair of electrical equipment) 24.8% 16.7%
Maintenance – Other (e.g. Coordinator, Planner, Manager – plan and manage maintenance tasks and resources) 17.7% 28.2%
Engineer (production line design, project manage changes to production equipment) 12.4% 19.2%
Other 17.6% 12.8%
  % Program Respondents
Age Group Pre-Program Post-Program
< 30 years 10.5% 10.3%
31-40 16.7% 20.5%
41-50 34.2% 37.2%
> 50 38.6% 32.1%

Increase in Networks

Completed Online Profile

By default, all employees have a brief personal profile in SharePoint and contact details in Lync (now Skype For Business).  We also set up a contact directory on the Community site, organised by work location and job role.  People were asked to update their profile with details such as experience, past projects, and interests.  Profiles are included in SharePoint search results, so these details make it easier to find and connect with relevant people.  As an entry level networking activity, updating a profile is an important step in community participation.

31% of respondents updated their SharePoint profile during the program.  This increased members with complete profiles to 40%, against a target of 80%.

Interaction with People at other Locations

Unfortunately, we are unable to gather any network analysis data from SharePoint or Lync.  We asked about the interaction between Community members in different locations using SharePoint and Lync.   We compared the number of people respondents interacted with in the four weeks before each survey.  WCL webinars were excluded from the data.

The graph below shows two key shifts:

  • Approximately 20% increase from no interactions to 1-5 interactions
  • Approximately 6% increase from 6-10 interactions to 11-20 interactions

Maint cop interaction

We asked respondents to list up to five people they had interacted with at other sites in the previous two weeks.  However, we lacked an effective tool or method to analyse this data.

Interaction across sites increased during the WCL program.  Sustaining and building interaction would require effort.

Community Engagement

Site Newsfeed

The Maintenance and Engineering Community used an existing SharePoint site.  General updates and transient chat could be posted on the newsfeed.  However, the newsfeed was rarely used before WCL.

An early WCL activity was for everyone to follow the SharePoint site.  Following a site ensures that site newsfeed posts appear in your personal newsfeed.  SharePoint does not ‘push’ notifications of newsfeed activity outside of the newsfeed itself.  This means that the only way a person will be aware of newsfeed posts is if they check their feed.  The graph below shows how often respondents checked their feed.  The number of respondents who never check their feed dropped from 62% to 27%.  Those checking at least once a week rose from 18% to 48%.  There was a slight increase in the people who check their feed daily from 9% to 13%.

Maint cop feed check

Discussion Forum

Two discussion forums were added to the site: one for the WCL program, and a second for ongoing Community use.  During WCL, we gradually moved activities from the program forum to the Community forum.  We encouraged people to use the Community forum to share knowledge, solve problems and collaborate on improvements.

Forum posts do not appear in the SharePoint newsfeed.  An alert can be set up on a forum to receive email updates of activity either immediately, daily or weekly.  WCL participants were shown how to set up an alert and asked to set one up on the forum.  At the end of the program only 30 people (approximately 14% of the group) had set up an alert.  However, only 30% advised that they ‘never’ check the forum.  This indicates that most are visiting the forum without being prompted by email alerts.

Activity on the Community forum was analysed.  The count excluded activity on the WCL program forum and by program facilitators.We counted the number of questions, likes and replies, and the number of active individuals.  There were 115 interactions from 23 individuals, representing 11% of the Community population.

Participation rates are consistent with the 1-9-90 rule which is a positive start.  A small number of community champions are emerging.

Barriers to Community Engagement

The survey listed a set of activities and asked respondents who had not done at least two why they had not been more active.  The table below shows frequency of different responses.

MaintCOP Barriers

Respondents identified the key barriers to community engagement as:

  • Time – finding the time to do activities
  • Skills – not being sure how to use SharePoint and/or Lync
  • Need – not having identified a need to engage
  • Technology – Inadequate access to computer or mobile device
  • Who would be interested? – Uncertainty about what they can contribute and who would be interested in their contribution

Opportunities for Community Value Creation

Two open-ended questions gathered views on how participation in the Community could add value.  The questions focused on improving business results.  The were also phrased so that the answers reflected personal pain points and opportunities.

Q1: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to improve work practices and maintenance results at your site?

Key themes in responses were:

  • Access to information
  • Communication and collaboration between production plants
  • Relationship and collaboration across departments at a local level
  • Improving troubleshooting and speed to resolve equipment faults
  • Time / workload, improving workflow
  • Standard processes, setting standards, accountability
  • Maintenance planning
  • Improving technical knowledge
  • Innovation

Q2: How do you think the Community of Practice could help you with this opportunity?

Key themes in responses were:

  • Drawing on everyone’s experience
  • Allowing information to be shared
  • Ease of communication with others
  • Having a greater number of people to ‘bounce’ ideas, solutions and improvements
  • Use forums to ask questions and access feedback/experiences from other sites
  • Learning from mistakes and successes of others
  • Not reinventing the wheel
  • Alignment to common goals through interaction in new ways
  • Training on technical skills

I am actually writing this post seven months after the WCL program.  This gives me the benefit of knowing what has happened in the intervening period.  I recall being positive immediately following the WCL program. The WCL program had helped us to launch the Maintenance and Engineering Community of Practice.  Participants understood how a Community of Practice could create value. The interaction between people in different locations had increased, and community engagement was growing.  We could build on this with strong community facilitation.  We had some barriers to address, particularly if we wanted to enable the trades-people to take part.  There were also opportunities.  Community Champions were emerging.  The Community had identified improvement opportunities that we could build activity around.

The National Engineering and Maintenance Managers had a deeper understanding of tacit knowledge.  They had a stronger appreciation of the value of networks and potential contribution of a Community of Practice.  Our next step was to support them to develop a strong plan to build and sustain the community.  We engaged Helen Blunden  of Activate Learning Solutions to provide coaching on Community facilitation.


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Reflection – The Power of 'Why'

I recently wrote a post where I applied the ‘5 in 5’ technique for reflection.  This technique uses the following three questions to quickly generate ideas for small improvements:

  1. What?
  2. So What?
  3. Now What?

After running a half-day performance consulting workshop last week I’ve realised that there is a critical question missing from this reflection formula.  The purpose of the workshop was to define current performance gaps in an area, desired future state (desired behaviours), identify causes of the gap and identify potential solutions.  We used the ‘5 Whys’ technique to explore root causes of the gap – asking ‘Why’ a problem is occurring, then iteratively asking ‘Why’ again until you reach the root cause of the problem and can identify a counter-measure to prevent it recurring.

5 whys

There were some obvious elements of the solution identified before we got into 5 Whys – like improving processes and tools, updating role descriptions, standardising reports and review processes, and developing knowledge and skills.  However, when we started asking ‘Why’ the desired behaviours might still not materialise despite having great processes, tools, reports, reviews, role clarity and skills in place, we delved into underlying factors that need to be addressed.  Factors such as a short term focus on operational KPIs, conflicting KPIs, ‘fire-fighting’ being recognised and celebrated but not investments in capability building, teamwork, communication, and engagement.  ‘Why’ was probably the most useful question asked during the workshop, leading to deeper insights and the potential for higher impact solutions.

To access the power of ‘Why’ the new formula I shall try for quick reflection is:

  1. What? (Identifies current situation/performance)
  2. So What? (Identifies the impact of current performance, providing rationale and motivation for improvement)
  3. Why (5 times)? (Identifies root causes)
  4. Now What? (Potential solutions – including measures to prevent recurrence of root causes).

I shall apply this updated formula to a challenge I am having with my personal organisation that I recently reflected on using ‘5 in 5’ and post a comparison of the identified solutions.


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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   



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:


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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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.


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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702010 Forum Value Creation Story

I came across the idea of using value creation stories to assess the value of online interactions in an article by Jane Bozarth.  She used a conceptual framework from Etienne Wenger, Beverly Traynor and Maarten De Laat to write the story of how her online interactions create value.  Their framework thinks about value in terms of five different cycles, which Jane summarises clearly in a diagram in her article.

Value creation cycles

Value creation cycles

As Jane urges, I have read the full text of this framework, and have used their guiding questions to write a value creation story about my participation in the 702010 Forum.  This is my practice run in preparation for gathering value creation stories to evaluate communities that I am helping develop in my organisation. I’ve written this post by responding directly to the guiding questions relating to each cycle of value creation.  However, I would document value creation stories within my organisation by writing or recording (audio or video) a more natural narrative.

702010Forum banner

The 702010 Forum is a community of practice for learning and performance professionals applying the 702010 framework. Membership is subscription based, with some resources and webinars publicly available.  A toolkit contains resources to support application of 702010, and members can participate in a range of events and an online discussion forum.

1. What meaningful activities did you participate in? (Cycle 1 – Immediate Value)

I have participated in a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities including:

– attending webinars or viewing recordings, especially case studies by members
– delivering two case studies on webinars
– attending face-to-face events
– initiating and replying to discussions in the forum – and extending this in one case to email and phone discussions on a solution shared in the forum (more below)
– participating in a pilot of the Forum’s 702010 Practitioner Certification
– sharing and applying resources from the Toolkit with others in my organisation to assess status and develop improvements

Toolkit snapshot - showing entries I've ticked off as read

Toolkit snapshot – showing entries I’ve ticked off as read

2. What specific insights did you gain?  What access to useful information or material? (Cycle 2 – Potential Value)

702010Forum Webinar RoleWithin a few months of joining the Forum I realised that while my organisation had adopted the 702010 framework a number of years ago, we had narrowly interpreted it.  We were deploying blended learning where we used activities based on learning from experience (70) and others (20) within formal structured programs.  However, we were not purposefully enabling people to learn as they worked or building ongoing social learning capability. From a webinar on the changing role of the learning function I saw that the skills of our capability team needed to be broadened. I gained an understanding and language to talk to key stakeholders about the opportunity to impact organisational performance more effectively if we added performance consulting, performance support, and social learning to our toolkit.

3. How did this influence your practice?  What did it enable that would not have happened otherwise? (Cycle 3 – Applied Value)

These activities and insights enabled me to have different discussions about 702010, our learning strategy, and internal Capability skills, particularly with senior managers and our Capability team.  The most significant shift it enabled was an update to our Capability strategy in April 2014 to include ‘Continuous Workplace Learning’ as an element.  This broadened the remit of our Capability team and created the space for us to get strategic with social learning.

We revamped our Governance Board by applying the “Toolkit for Establishing a Learning Governance Board.”  Consequently we get better value out of our quarterly meetings by focussing on alignment with our business strategy.

Tonkin & Taylor Knowledge Shots webinar

Tonkin & Taylor Knowledge Shots webinar

A specific initiative accelerated by a case study in a Forum webinar was setting up a knowledge sharing site on SharePoint.  When a senior manager gave me 1 day to prepare a prototype of a community hub on SharePoint I recalled a webinar where Tonkin & Taylor demonstrated their Knowledge Shots solution.  I incorporated this into our prototype, and went on to build a variant of this for my organisation.  You can see what this looks like in the guided tour of a community hub now set up on SharePoint.  (Big thank you to Tammy Waite and Mark Thomas from Tonkin & Taylor, Forum members, for the support they provided by email and phone.)


4a. What difference did it make to your performance?  How did this contribute to your personal/professional development? (Cycle 4 – Realized Value)

As per the examples given above, application of ideas, tools and solutions from the 702010 Forum has enabled me to perform and contribute to my organisation in ways I may not otherwise have been able to.

The 702010 Forum was one of the first Learning & Development communities that I’ve participated in.  During 2014 I got active on Twitter and started this blog.  This helped me to create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) which encompasses many other communities (e.g. Third Place, OzLearn, PKMChat).  Collectively my participation in a number of communities and interaction with my PLN has transformed and accelerated my professional development.

My first webinar delivery

My first webinar delivery

One way that the Forum has supported my development has been by increasing my confidence to work out loud publicly in order to learn and improve.  In December 2013 I delivered a case study in a Forum webinar.  I found the reflection and learning from delivering this webinar valuable, and saw that others could benefit from me working out loud.  This was a catalyst – it gave me the motivation and confidence to continue working out loud by blogging and speaking at conferences.

4b.  How did this contribute to the goal of the organisation?  Qualitatively?  Quantitatively? (Cycle 4 – Realized Value)

Realised value for my organisation is unfolding.  It’s also difficult (and unnecessary) to unravel the influence of the 702010 Forum on my organisation’s performance versus that of other communities and networks I participate in.  Our Capability strategy is better aligned to our overall business strategy as a result of applying ideas and tools from the 702010 Forum.  We are using a broader range of Capability approaches and activities to achieve our goals.  I think it will be another 6-9 months before we are clear on the outcome of these activities.

5. Has this changed your or some other stakeholder’s understanding of what matters? (Cycle 5 – Reframing Value)

An emphatic YES to this question.  It’s shifted the perspective of two very important stakeholder groups, senior managers and the Capability community, about the importance of the 70 and 20 elements of the framework and the range of approaches we can use to build Capability.  We’ve reframed our Capability strategy, launched communities of practice and embraced performance consulting.

Participate, Participate, Participate

I shall close by encouraging everyone reading this to reflect on the communities and networks they are part of and consider their current level of participation.  The more you participate, interact with others, apply ideas from these groups and share back what happened, the more value you create for yourself, your organisation and other community members.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and participate.

I’d love to hear about the value that others have found in participating in communities and networks – you can leave your thoughts below or pingback to your own blog posts.





Thank You PLN

Twelve months ago I didn’t know how to spell PLN, let alone what the term Personal Learning Network meant.  At the end of an amazing year of professional development, I’d like to thank everyone in my PLN for connecting with me, sharing expertise and resources, and encouraging me to keep learning, improving and trying out new things.  At the risk of omitting someone, there are some people I’d like to specifically thank (don’t read anything into the order in which they are listed below).  Each of these people or groups has helped me to try new things and learn, and has been constantly generous.

Jane Hart – You have been my guide to becoming a SJaneHartocial Learning Practitioner.  Your SLPP Program has given me a path to follow as I have taken my first steps in online social learning.  This has completely changed how I approach my professional development, and helped me to build new skills to apply in my work.  I will always look back fondly on our October brunch with a group of Sydney-based learning practitioners.

Harold Jarche – I enjoyed your Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) workshop at the AITD 2014 National Conference and the online PKM in 40 days program.  Your Seek-Sense-Share framework has helped me to build regular practices that give me confidence that I can manage my knowledge amidst the deluge of online content. From you I also learned to trust in serendipity to connect me with the people and ideas that make a difference as I need them.

John Stepper – Thank you for the opportunity to review Working Out Loud and your encouragement to set up a WOL Circle.  Above all, thank you for role modelling the openness and generosity which you prescribe as essential to build an impactful network.

Charles Jennings – You introduced me to the 702010 framework several years ago, and I have continued to learn from the resources you publish.  These resources have also helped me to broaden my organisation’s understanding of 702010 and willingness to try new things to improve workplace learning.

702010 Forum – Thank you Heather Rutherford, Andrew Gerkens, and the Forum team for your ongoing work building the 702010 Forum.  Your resources have accelerated improvement of learning in my business.  To those forum members who have participated in community activities and webinars, keep it up as it is through those interactions that we learn more.  I’m looking forward to the certification program being launched early in 2015.

Jane Bozarth – Show Your Work is a delicious book – so much so that I bought it twice (had to replace it as someone Stole Your Work from my desk!).  You were one of the first people to open my eyes to the value of social media for learning when I saw you speak at an AITD Conference several years ago.  Thank you for every time you have responded to a mention in my tweets.  I look forward to helping out with #lrnbook next year.

Helen Blunden – You inspire me.  You role model many things for me – independent learning, collaboration, community-building.  Your energy, passion and positive outlook are infectious.  I am excited about the work we are doing together on CCA’s Work, Connect and Learn program and look forward to continuing our partnership.  Thank you also for founding Third Place – the Meet Ups have been invaluable for me to deepen relationships with Australian learning professionals.

My Ozlearn buddies – Thank you Con Sotidis for founding OzLearn.  The monthly Twitter chats have attracted some top global learning leaders.  There is a big overlap with the Third Place network and many people I have most contact with online participate in both groups – Ryan Tracey who is always quietly supportive; Tanya Lau who ensures everyone feels welcome, and is authentic and curious; Matt Guyan who works out loud with generosity; and Vanessa North who challenges, extends and amuses me.

Elizabeth Robinson and the AITD team – I appreciated the opportunity to speak and write for the Australian Institute of Training & Development this year.  Than you for the good work you are doing to enhance the AITD’s services and events.

Anne Bartlett-Bragg – When I think of innovation I think of you.  Thank you for your generosity when I was seeking input on a SharePoint design question earlier in the year.  It was the first time I went to my Twitter network with a specific request for help and you responded.

Mark Britz – Gosh I enjoy our little conversations on Twitter.  I feel like a kindred spirit, trying to make a difference to performance via social on opposite sides of the globe.  I always enjoy reading your blog posts – they are thought-provoking and well-written.  You encourage me to keep it real, although your Halloween avatar was a little freaky.

Rachel Burnham – My PKM in 40 days buddy.  You are another prodigious sharer, and encourage me to keep reading, learning and tending to my veggie patch.  I loved your Seek-Sense-Share drawing.


Rachel Burnham’s diagram of Harold Jarche’ Seek-Sense-Share PKM Model

Sacha Chua – I dip in and out of your blog, always curious about your semi-retirement experiment.  Your example of living consciously and creatively inspire me.  I love your Sketchnotes and aim to develop the skill to create my own sketch notes in 2015, although I shall give EMACS a miss.

Lynette Curtis and Justine Jardine – You made me feel less like a lone voice in the wilderness within our organisation and encouraged me to keep going.  Thank you.

Jeff Maguire – Thank you for your unwavering trust and support as I brought new ideas and approaches to our organisation this year.  I appreciate the autonomy, the space to experiment and learn by trying things out, and your confidence in me.


Supporting Narration – from Role Modelling to Guided Learning

For a number of months I have been using a strategy of role modelling, encouragement and positive reinforcement to support others in my work team to narrate their work.  I have written previously about the Working Out Loud 3 Habits experiment that I tried.  This strategy has had mixed results.  Three of the ten group members are posting on our ESN at least once a week.  On one hand, a 30% online community participation rate is relatively good.  However, we are aiming to build online communities and encourage people across the business unit to share their expertise via narrating their work.  As the Capability Community are key learning change agents, it’s important to increase their online narration as part of shifting their mindset and skills to enable them to lead and support others.

Recently I’ve been working with support of an external consultant, Helen Blunden of Activate Learning, on analysis and planning of a Community of Practice (COP) for our maintenance and engineering teams. During discussions with team members we have asked them about their view of narrating their work.  Their responses have been similar to feedback from the Capability Community.

Narrating ReactionsPeople don’t necessarily see the point of narrating their work.  They’re unsure of the benefit to themselves or others.  They can’t see how to fit it into their work flow when they are busy and it just feels like another task to do.  They don’t know how to do it – either how to use the online tools or how to talk about their work.  There are also psychological barriers – concerns about what others will think of them and read into their motives.

After discovering John Stepper’s Working Out Loud blog I have been thinking that a guided mastery approach could help to address these common barriers.  Last week in her Learning@Work keynote address on learning in a social workplace, Jane Hart provided the term I have been looking for to describe the approach that we shall adopt – Guided Social learning.  This semi-structured approach ‘scaffolds’ an online social learning process for participants providing them with some content/guidance and activities to get them started connecting with others and narrating their work.  The intent is to enable them to transition to continuous, autonomous online social learning either as a team or individuals.

We shall be designing and developing our Guided Social Learning program which we will launch internally in early 2015.  Although the program will include curated resources from the internet, it will be customised to our organisation – our tools, people and context.  I’m looking forward to working on this as I complete the Guided Social Learning Experience Design Program offered by the Modern Workplace Learning Centre this month.

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Team Social Learning Review

In this post I reflect on the social learning skills of the team in which I work.  This is the second part of the social learning skills review I completed as part of the Social Learning Practitioner Program.

I lead a small core team of capability consultants and instructional designers who create and support implementation of learning programs and resources across our Business Unit.  We work closely with Capability Managers in a range of geographical areas who represent the managers and learners who are our internal customers.  They also drive local use of programs, and are key change agents.  We refer to this extended team as our ‘Capability Community’.

microsoft-sharepoint-logo1We use Sharepoint 2010 as our Enterprise Social Network (ESN).  We have a public community site which is used primarily to publish learning materials and reference documents for meetings or joint projects.  These documents are rarely developed collaboratively.  Our community meets fortnightly via teleconference, supported by online document/screen sharing using Microsoft Lync.  Outside of this meeting we use email to communicate as a group rather than Sharepoint.  Community members support each other to solve performance problems and share resources when asked; however this is done primarily in response to a specific request from an individual rather than sharing resources and experience as an ongoing part of how we work.

I have attempted to introduce some use of Sharepoint’s collaboration and social features, with limited take up.  Working together socially supported by our ESN is different to how our community members currently work together or with other teams that they participate in, and I have not been explicit with the group about the change in behaviour that I am trying to encourage and why.   Also, use of external online and social media tools to support personal learning by individual team members is limited, hence community members do not have this experience to adapt or model.


Our interaction in our fortnightly one hour catchups has matured from status reporting and project decisions two years ago to now  starting each meeting with verbal updates of what each person has been working on and engage in more discussion of our experiences on common activities.  This has helped the team to identify more opportunity to share resources and draw out/upon each others experience.  I think the group is well positioned to take the next step and try narrating our work online.

Our ESN will be upgraded to Sharepoint 2013 next month, along with relocation of our department files from a series of folders in Windows Explorer segregated by geography to Sharepoint team sites set up by function . The new team site structure creates significant opportunity for people doing similar work across the organisation to better connect and share, and we can set up our online space in a way that better supports collaboration and social learning.

Our community met face to face last week for two days to refresh our capability development strategy – our first face to face session in well over a year.  We committed to improve our knowledge sharing practices and trial use of Sharepoint to support continuous learning in our Community, providing a role model for other groups and building experience that will help us to support development of other communities in our business unit.

Please leave your observations on this ‘case study’ or tips on how this team could become more ‘social’ in how we work in Comments below.  I’ll do an update post later in the year to create a case study.

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