I came across a blog post by “Bill” and found an interesting summary about the premise of Web 2.0 that could have easily been called a premise of social learning (Bills Blog Post).
- People are more than executors of commands – they have important and relevant knowledge, and they are sources of good ideas.
- Significant value is gained by allowing people to collaborate, work out problems on the open stage, and make that knowledge available and easily findable. Better decisions can be made (people will have better information with which to make them), decisions and tasks can be completed more quickly (they will spend less time finding relevant information), and the organization will be less brittle (knowledge will be stored centrally, rather than solely in people’s heads).
- People – on the whole – are smart and ethical.
A change in management culture is often required of organizations that want to take part in this. Historically, organizations were based on “command and control”, with jobs and tasks specified from the top down; and information was shared “on a need to know basis.” But Web 2.0 in the enterprise requires trust, a willingness to listen to the ideas of people at every level of the organization (and to act and allow action on good ideas), and acceptance of a more open, transparent, and collaborative environment.
Many business leaders are uncertain about the business benefits of social learning and have fears over the negative implications of losing control over people and content. Furthermore, most organizations are content with piecemeal deployments of specific Web 2.0 capabilities or technologies and overlook the need to address the management and cultural change.
You might like to see the results of a social learning survey conducted by the Masie Center: social learning survey results