If I had a dollar every time someone asks me to give them an example of social learning, I’d be a… (insert your favorite pile of money phrase here) -ionnaire. You know the old saying. The term itself has become very muddled from its roots back in the days of Vygotsky and Bandura, with visions of today’s web 2.0 and social networking technologies. Let’s get something straight here, once and for all-
Put your instructional design or performance management toolbox away here. You’re not going to be designing any social learning today. Social learning happens mostly serendipitously, and not be design. Look for employees learning from one another, from a customer, or from some resource outside of your organization. Yes, that’s right, from OUTSIDE of your organization. Believe it or not, your networked employees are learning all the time from within and from outside of your organization. Take it from one of this decade’s most innovative and forward thinking CEO’s, Tony Hsieh from Zappos―
“Hsieh’s biggest bet is that Zappos has more to learn from smart people outside the company than inside it.”
That’s right, one of Tony’s biggest bets going forward is squarely on what we endearingly call― Social Learning.
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.