Overcoming Social Learning Challenges

Below are three social learning challenges I have faced at my client organization and how we are trying to overcome them.  The last two are the most difficult.  Early (enthusiastic) adopters are not always the “youngest” people.  We have found several early adopters in leadership positions and in line management.  We have preferred to work with “professional communities”, apprentices, field coaches, and learning partners.  I have been running workshops with business teams to help them use social learning in order to reach specific business results.  These teams appreciate receiving some structure to get them started.

What has been your experience with these and other challenges?

Challenges Aims Approach
Delivering business    value Convince senior management to provide funding and support
  • Identify unmet learning needs that formal training is unable to address
  • Conduct a proof of concept
  • Leverage existing technologies
Overcoming cultural barriers Create an open learning environment where people want to network and share
  • Include early (enthusiastic) adopters in a pilot test
  • Provide equipment and support
  • Allow for private areas
  • Introduce new rewards and incentives
Governing participation & behaviour Establish the rules of engagement and prevent too much control
  • Confirm and update policies
  • Educate users about standards, policies, and expectations
  • Establish “approval” workflows and ways to report inappropriate content
  • Work with people to appropriately respond and react

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