One of the key ways to do this is by encouraging team members to narrate their work. -
What’s the best way to use the last 10 minutes of your day? Take this short time to reflect on your workday: what invigorated you, what frustrated you, and what you plan to do next. Then write down 100 words about it. Depending on what you choose to write, the exercise may serve to motivate you as you keep a record of your “small wins,” incremental steps toward meaningful goals. Or it may help you to plan if you use it as a tool for drafting your next steps. You may find that writing fuels your personal growth. The diary can also be a way of working through your difficult events, helping you gain new perspectives on them. On frustrating days, it can serve as a reminder that you’ve made it through days that (at the time) seemed even worse.
“Sharing” has become a key term to describe how that individuals can learn from one another, but it is all too easily to “over-share” – or share for the sake of sharing – and in doing so cause an unnecessary surfeit of irrelevant information. Individuals will need to apply Harold’s Personal Knowledge Management model of Seek (filter), Sense (discern – ie ask themselves is this relevant to the group, or of value to the group) and only then Share.
This leads us to the concept of “purposeful” or “productive” collaboration, working with one or more people in order to get work done and/or to achieve a goal. This might be to create something, to learn something or simply to generate ideas. Alan Lepofsky has produced a nice presentation on the topic of The Rise of purposeful collaboration (embedded below).
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Collaborative Working & Learning, I talked about 12 different scenarios and how collaborative technologies might help -
New team skills
Successful initiatives in supporting teams and communities will not just about implementing new social technologies; they will also involve helping to developing a range of new social workplace worker skills:
and support these new skills, required a different approach from traditional training …
“… as for the new social and collaboration skills that workers require, well you simply can’t train people to be social! What was required was getting down and dirty and
helping people understand what it actually meant to work collaboratively in the new social workplace, and the value that this would bring to them.”
Harold Jarche, refers to this as modelling, not shaping. So a key part of supporting team learning will be to build (through modelling, what Harold Jarche and I call,...
the Connected Worker skillset.
This includes a set of both personal and social skills.
Social networks (e.g. LinkedIn & Google Plus), activity streams (e.g. Yammer & Twitter), web search tools, aggregators (e.g. Google Reader), social bookmarking (e.g. Delicious), curation tools, read it later tools, note-taking, mindmapping tools, and blogging tools (e.g. WordPress)
Teams have been collaborating for years, but with new social technologies this has become a powerful new concept, as it allows individuals to share their knowledge and experiences with one another on a continuous basis so that the team, community or group can work and learn together.
But working and learning together effectively requires a new set of social skills:
Social and collaboration skills
Social and collaboration tools
Enterprise social network and collaboration platforms, file sharing tools, job aid tools, collaborative documentation tools, wikis, collaborative mindmapping tools, live meeting and video conferencing tools
Workshops or Coaching
We can also help to build and develop the new business skills through Coaching and Mentoring. Many people prefer this individual approach, although we are happy to work with small groups too. We can support all the main skills using this approach.
Basic skills required by all workers
Further skills required by some workers
Building and maintaining successful communities takes time and effort.
A successful community management requires a good set of skills in order to keep the community vibrant and dynamic.
Community management skills
Community management tools
Enterprise social networking and collaboration platforms, and collaborative group spaces.
The 21st century workplace is all about understanding networks, modelling network learning, and strengthening networks. Anyone can show leadership in these areas. Leadership in networks does not come from above, as there is no top.
A key function of leaders in the connected workplace is to listen to and analyze what is happening. From this bird’s-eye view, those in a leadership role can help set the work context according to the changing environment and then work on building consensus.
The power of social networks, like electricity, will inevitably change almost every existing business model. Leaders need to understand the importance of organizational architecture. Working smarter in the future workplace starts by organizing to embrace networks, manage complexity, and build trust.
Although individual team members will need new skills – their managers will also need a new set of skills to manage connected teams. Find out here. Connected Leader
Connected leadership skills
5 Coaching Skills That Every Manager Needs to Have, TLNT, 25 June 2013
Supporting communities of practice
The term “Community of Practice” or CoP for short, is another term that is often used to refer to any kind of community, but once again it does have a distinct meaning. It’s actually a term that pre-dates the Web and certainly social media. The leading authority on Communities of Practice is Etienne Wenger . He defines a community of practice as
“groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”
In other words, the purpose of a community of practice is to “improve your practice”.
In fact, Etienne Wenger says:
“Note that this definition allows for, but does not assume, intentionality: learning can be the reason the community comes together or an incidental outcome of member’s interactions. Not everything called a community is a community of practice. A neighborhood for instance, is often called a community, but is usually not a community of practice.”
Building and sustaining communities of practice takes time and effort – and not something to be taken on lightly. Generally communities work best when they are self-organised, but sometimes they need a helping hand. A community manager’s role will involve planning, launching and sustaining the community. As well as understanding how to measure its success, and the routine tasks that need to be undertaken. Community management therefore requires a new set of skills, see Community Management skills
“Not only does effective knowledge sharing enable a better connected enterprise, it also helps to attract talent, build revenue and inspire innovation. Static document sharing no longer applies in today’s real-time socially connected world. To generate success it is critical that enterprises leverage social platforms and tap into the collective mindshare of the entire organization, enabling access to knowledge not only under one roof but connecting on a global scale.”
“To be clear, there’s little doubt that for now, social media is indeed an additive component to how we engage. Our legacy methods of connecting with each other such as e-mail, mass media, telephone, and other 20th century channels will be around for a while yet and will even remain primary channels for some companies for at least the next five years. But their growing ineffectiveness, lack of cost-effective scale, and limited ability to accumulate and exchange value is ultimately dooming them as relics of the pre-social era.”