In a past post I linked to a post about social learning, and was really impressed in how similar the concept of “social learning” was to “social computing” or what we are calling “KM 2.0″…basically working in a more visible, open, collaborative and networked way.
When we take this more horizontal and public approach to working (collaborative culture); as we do our work we learn, we tap into the corporate know-how and learn informally on a needs basis.
Once we get scale and network effects from a thriving social organisational culture, we will see:
- we get things done
- we can find stuff through people (our network) and directly through participant contributions
- we learn from doing our work
- we contribute and absorb knowledge from doing our work
- the right people seem to find the right job (autonomy)…a feeling that we have not lost on opportunities as we know the talent we have
It’s amazing what the idea (and result) of an organisational culture change to a more social and collaborative work environment will bring. The hard challenge is to work with a new approach, more socially and transparently, and we get all these other benefits, we have a knowledge sharing culture without trying to directly create one, and we educate and learn off each other without it being a separate exercise.
The way we get things done on the open web, ie. social computing, is proof that it works (it’s not just a concept), and organisations have to experience it to feel what it’s all about.
The enterprise is a different framework than the open web, there are managers, hierarchy, people are designated job roles, benchmarks, targets, measuring, outcomes, expectations, and the prime directive being time, money and efficiency.
I’m keen to see how the social computing organism plays out in a structured and hierarchial environment, how it will sneakily cross boundaries and ways of doing and exemplify performance, creating a more transparent and effective enterprise.
I think social computing is very natural and will be seen less as tools and more as “a way”, these social tools gel well with the way humans work, they don’t get in the way, they flow as our companion in allowing us to effortlessly express and achieve our aims, and “more.”
Currently email gives us this freedom to tap horizontally across the organisation, but it does nothing for a visible corporate memory, collective benefits, discovery, network, etc… social computing will be what we like about using email, but it delivers much more in the way of sense-making.
We know social computing will be good for the enterprise, and is the only competitive differentiator left…all companies can outsource, offshore, have a prime supply chain, cash and assets, great people…so the only edge is an ecosystem where anyone can tap into knowledge and exploit it so we can get ahead (make decisions and innovate.)
“We participate, therefore we are…understanding is socially constructured”
Rather than someone teaching about an information object to someone else (knowledge transfer)
Here’s an excerpt on the value of the process and how we absorb knowledge by engaging with it, rather than what we are learning:
“What do we mean by “social learning”? Perhaps the simplest way to explain this concept is to note that social learning is based on the premise that our understanding of content is socially constructed through conversations about that content and through grounded interactions, especially with others, around problems or actions. The focus is not so much on what we are learning but on how we are learning.
There is a second, perhaps even more significant, aspect of social learning. Mastering a field of knowledge involves not only “learning about” the subject matter but also “learning to be” a full participant in the field.”
The below part in bold sums up what KM 2.0 could be about:
“In a traditional Cartesian educational system, students may spend years learning about a subject; only after amassing sufficient (explicit) knowledge are they expected to start acquiring the (tacit) knowledge or practice of how to be an active practitioner/professional in a field. But viewing learning as the process of joining a community of practice reverses this pattern and allows new students to engage in “learning to be” even as they are mastering the content of a field. This encourages the practice of what John Dewey called “productive inquiry”—that is, the process of seeking the knowledge when it is needed in order to carry out a particular situated task.”