Pieces of an Ecology of Workplace Learning


Lately I’ve been saying that you should cultivate learning in your organization as you might manage an ecological resource, like a forest, or any other complex system of high priority (like your computer network or your budget). As if learning were a “cognitive enterprise infrastructure” or worked like a kind of water cycle. But how would you do that, and what would it be like, and how would it be different than what you do when you think of your workplace as a kind of machine that consistently produces material stuff? I am not totally sure, but here I take a guess at nine possible pieces of an ecology of workplace learning.

1. Cultivate Development, Rather Than Manage Performance. 

The point is not to manage people’s performances, but rather to get them to develop as much as they can, on the assumption that more highly evolved people do better things. The annual performance review that tracks behaviors against rather limited metrics and has a kind of binary output (wrong or OK) here evolves into something more like a coaching relationship in an experiential context: growth is the focus, not proscription. You look for activities that are motivating to the individual, that are a bit out of their comfort zone, yes, and you expect to support them in iterative cycles of trying things out, reflecting, adapting, and trying them out again. And you might add a variety of unheard-of supports and activities to help people think and reflect and be aware of themselves in a variety of dimensions, drawing on things from personality styles assessments to mentoring relationships to counseling-like activities, such as item 2, below. The trick is that these things, that we kinda do now in a knee-jerk way, away from work, would be more like the work.

2. Support Cognitive Development.

According to the work of Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey (whom I talk about a lot), we evolve through a series of increasingly sophisticated ways of seeing ourselves and the world around us. That is, we can so develop, if given the right environment. And with this increased epistemological sophistication comes a better ability to deal with and thrive in complex environments. One such complex environment is the increasingly global, flat, multi-cultural, resource-starved, post-ideological, environmentally-challenged, a-traditional, scary world of today. To help people be effective in this kind of world requires activities that help us know differently; Kegan and Lahey’s Immunity to Change coaching process is one such structure. Having done it myself, I am amazed by its ability to make you reinvent the way you think about yourself and the world in which you engage; I fairly salivate to try it with a team of colleagues in a workplace. The downside? It’s an intensive, six-month process of bi-weekly meetings, invoking much deep personal questioning; that’s a huge investment. But in an ecology of workplace learning, invest in people is what you do: no rain means no rivers means no seas means no evaporation means no rain, etc.

3. Assess Development in New Ways.

In Higher Education we try to assess student learning, and it’s a challenge. But we don’t even try to assess faculty and staff learning; and the generic workplace doesn’t generally assess staff learning, either. But we should.  To promote development over production, we have see where this development is happening, individually and in teams. Of course it gets tricky: it’s easy to see your behaviors, but how do you see what’s going on behind the behaviors? Fortunately there are new kinds of tools that have potential in this regard: things like theDevelopmental Testing Service’s reflective judgment assessments, such as their test of managerial decision-making, which asks you to analyze complex, asymmetrical workplace problems, assesses you according to a complex scale of cognitive development rooted in Kurt Fischer’s work, and gives you (you yourself, the test taker!) rich feedback about your strengths and ways in which you can improve, data which feeds right back into the coaching relationship I mention above.

4.Represent the Learning Ecosystem. 

If you’re going to try to manage an ecosystem, you need some kind of a representation of it. As the water cycle has its famous circular chart with arrows and the budget has its classic representations in profit/loss statements and balance sheets, so does the learning system have something. I don’t know what it will look like, exactly; but I imagine it will be something like the famous Kellogg Logic Model, which the well-known foundation suggests you use to understand your various high-stakes interventions, and which helps you see programmatic inputs, outputs, assessments, changes. With a key difference: the effect of your ecology isn’t an output external to you, it’s an evolution of your ecology. So a learning logic model would show as its characteristic feature a looping back upon its constantly changing self.

5. Analyze How We Work; Analyze Our Culture. 

Part of learning is seeing yourself learn. That may be the single biggest difference between a learning organization and a producing organization: the learning organization sees itself and not just the things it makes. We will need to learn to pay attention not just to the products of our culture but to our culture, not just to the deliverable of the project, but to the way we work together on the project. For that a lot of tools exist already, like various kinds of post-activity group reflection encouraged in psychologically safe spaces, that let anyone share their experiences along the way. But new tools will help: the same sort of analytics thinking that has been transforming everything around us can help transform how we work together: social and network analyses to show us how we engage, corpus-linguistics analyses on the big data of our communications and cultural artifacts; these will help us, too, to see the patterns that make up our togetherness.

6. Assign Staff to Cultivate Learning. 

Of course you can’t really have a garden without a gardener. And all the network analysis and group reflection exercises you might want to use won’t be that helpful unless it’s somebody’s job to watch learning in the organization at a meta level: to gather relevant data, assess its meaning, and help the group understand where it’s going. The teacher, if you will, of the organization. This would be a new thing: we’re used to thinking of Chief Information Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Executive Officers: this would be a Chief Learning Officer. Although of course it needs to be more than one person. And of course everyone has to be involved. But still the CLO might help organize it all. How much of your people resources should you put into learning, CLO and everything else thrown in? I propose 20% as a start. But I suspect it should be more, maybe up to 50%. Maybe 63%.

7. Find New Ways to Gather and Share Ideas. Which Means Liking Them.

One of the most important things in your organization are the ideas in people’s minds. The business world is just beginning to learn that to be relentlessly innovative, they have to gather and tend ideas in new ways, because ideas are the seed of innovation, be these ideas from their staff, their customers, their partners, their competitors. (See my last post for more on this). Part of this idea-tending requires a real cultural change–towards the acceptance and collective cultivation of ideas–and away from the general distrust of all things new that naturally grows up in an organization designed to perform consistently. Let me say that again: we will have to learn to like each other’s ideas.  And treat them, as it were, like a community resource, like, as it were, children. Because without them growing and maturing, we’ll fail. Businesses are starting to do this by building open, inclusive, idea-participation systems called Ideation Engines or Idea Stock Markets that aim to make the ideas in the group transparent and collectively developed. But I suspect you can go a long way without a particularly unique tool (a shared spreadsheet might work as well).

8. Create Loops and Groups. 

In my perhaps over-simplified way of thinking, learning comes down to loops (in that feedback and reflection are crucial) and groups (in that learning is social; and in that your co-learners are as important for your learning as your own mind). So I think much of the key work of the Chief Learning Officer and her team will boil down to finding or building, and supporting, new sorts of groups in which people are desirous of learning together, and in adding “loops” to existing processes, to work reflection into the fabric of the organization.

9. Do Some Old-School Ethnography. 

I am continually amazed by the complexity and mystery of people and of organizations. And by the fact that all you need to do to begin seeing and unravelling (or ravelling) the mystery is to observe people and ask questions (of course taking notes and writing down the answers). This is the way anthropologists settled on coming to know things as complex and mysterious as entire alien (to them) cultures. Libraries and IT departments have recently begun seeing that ethnography helps them understand the mysterious complexities of cultures alien to them, too (their customers). And it will work for you. On a certain level you can see an ethnographically-inclined research project as a kind of mirror to the people (if its results are shared with the people it studies), a loop at a high level, that both honors people and lets them see what’s going on. I think a lot about the emphasis in the popular Reggio Emilia model on the artful documentation of what the learners are doing; an ethnographic approach to your own organization is like that.



David Grainger Wedaman Entreprise Collaborative Ecollab ContributeurDr. David Grainger Wedaman is Director for Outreach in the merged Library and Technology Services organization at Brandeis University. In that capacity, he develops new strategic collaborations in the areas of teaching, learning, scholarship, and assessment.

At Brandeis he's overseen a variety of teaching and research support and consultation services. He also taught French and Writing courses. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in Humanities.

D. Grainger is chair of the board of the Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP), chaired its annual conference and SIGs (professional development workshops) committees, and was its vice chair and treasurer. He's also one of the founding deans of the NERCOMP Learning Organization Academy. He is a member of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Advisory Board, the National Advisory Board of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), and the organizing committee of NorthEast Regional Learning Analytics group (NERLA). He is a FRYE Institute fellow (class of 2007), and attended the Educause Institute Management Program 2004.

D. Grainger blogs on learning and working in higher ed at http://wedaman.wordpress.com.

Leadership and Innovation: The new role of leader in network contexts


This post was written with some questions in mind: What does it mean to lead an innovation team in a network context? How can one be prepared for innovation management, talent management and performance delivery? After all, does this challenge change when we consider that relations are configured as networks and this configuration might facilitate the emergence of innovation? Is it possible to manage emergent innovation?

The intention here is to outline some ideas on this subject.

Managing a team: Competences or Talent?

Most multinational and big size companies use a competence evaluation matrix derived from the company’s strategy as a means to evaluate their professionals. We’re talking about a very useful and consolidated tool that guides important processes, from recruitment to career assessment. It is meant to guarantee some uniformity in performance evaluation, facilitate internal hiring and career planning.

But these competences might have little (or nothing) to do with how each person sees his or her own talents. Think of it for a moment. How would you tag your own talents? Are your tags similar to those your organization uses to evaluate you?

One usually finds very similar competences in companies that operate in different business contexts and even different countries. They mostly represent the common sense of professional profile with some bits of differentiation according to the specific organization they are applied to.

It is useful, but overall, this tool subjects people to a gap analysis and reinforces an external reference as a basis for assessment. People are permanently “lacking” something; therefore they should seek development to fit the organization’s expectations. This pattern of evaluation might contribute to professional anxiety, something that our society is abundant in.

We might be missing something very important, especially when innovation is concerned.

Now let us focus on talent, a notion deeply linked to abundance (something that our society is lacking). Understanding talent is realizing what overflows and wants to be expressed by each person. It has to do with the uniqueness, the life history, the emotional structure and the mental maps each one creates. It is related to finding one’s singularity, which is usually a slow and lifelong process. Talent is a much more fluid concept than that of competences, more difficult to catch and hold.

Managing Emerging talents

That said, we can distinguish competence management from the management of emerging talents, considering emerging talents as the unique potential that results from the complex combination of occurrences represented by:

  • The diverse roles each person plays and has played in life (from which individual talent results) and
  • The encounters and talent combinations of a specific group (the talents that can emerge in a team).

Emerging talents, when expressed:

  • Might surprise the person and the team
  • Increases the creative energy
  • Enhances the odds that innovation will come out.

It is part of the innovation manager’s role to facilitate the identification and the connection of the team’s talents, having the mission and the vision of the organization as a framework. Is this complex? Yes, but it is also simple. Anyone can learn to tag his or her own talents, although the total number of tags will certainly be much broader than the number of corporate competences.

Innovation Management

The manager is also responsible for innovation management, often using corporate tools, such as stage gates or portfolio management. These features are critical for the organization to distinguish the most valuable projects and to validate them. It is necessary to have clear criteria for the comparison of these projects and to have consolidated tools for decision-making. Nonetheless, these tools may have little (or nothing) to do with the actual pace of innovation, which is based on the connection of internal and external talents and can include leaps and connections that take time to mature. This fundamental nonlinearity of innovation is called slow hunch by Steven Johnson in his very popular video: Where Good Ideas Come From.

So now we can picture the situation of the leader: different tools, rituals and control codes and, at the same time, the challenge of living in a network that is increasingly enhanced by social media, where each person seeks for talent expression, connections and meaningful production. The bottom up component of innovation becomes increasingly important.

Leadership And Innovation

The trapped leader 

So what “tools” does the leader have to deal with the bottom up characteristics of innovation? How will he or she manage emerging talents? How can innovation projects based on emerging talents be fostered?

We don’t intend to propose that organizations drop all existing tools and start from scratch. This is not a Zero-One question, but a matter of learning to operate in grey scale and to deal with paradoxes. What we cannot avoid is the fact that it is up to this generation of leaders to seriously address the issue of emergence in organizations and to seek for new lines of action in the “micro-contexts” of innovation that the teams represent.

But how?

Here we intend to present a list of useful practices that might inspire new forms of leadership and complement the control tools that dominate life (and the way of perceiving life, which is more serious) in organizations. 

8 Ideas for managing emergent innovation

1. Identify and support the emerging talents: what each person says he or she knows is more important for innovation than mapped competences. Based in the mutual recognition of talents some truly original combinations and innovations may arise. Maybe that’s what Google is looking for when it offers 20% free time for people to meet and create new projects. 

2. Give visibility to what the team does, give context to what emerges. The leader may be a mirror, a catalyst that allows the team to see its achievements and to put them into context. For those who want to learn more about this, it is worth reading Margaret Wheatley. But visibility is also making it happen! Once an innovative idea is brought to life, a gate is open. The team must pass the gate and execution then becomes the name of the game. Although accidents might lead the team back to problem solving.

3. Creating contexts for good encounters. What do we want when we meet somebody? According to the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who interprets Espinosa, good encounters happen when two bodies affect each other in composition, so energy grows. But in organizations, people meet for many different purposes, encounters are not free, but have very specific purposes. Paul Pangaro, in his critics of the excessive faith in design thinking, proposes what he names conversation design: the creation of conversation contexts and dynamics for different purposes. Setting goals, creating solutions and finding relevant innovation questions will require a specific design.

The leader might have an important role here, not only on setting up the design for conversations, but also on helping the team to be conscious of its own dynamics. How do we do what we do? What happens when we meet? Does our energy grow or decrease?

Even though consultants may be hired for this, the leader will increasingly need to think about the adequate space, dynamics and context for each different intention.

4. Create an open language, easily translatable that can be appropriated by the team. It’s amazing how rarely we stop to create new questions, open semantic fields (ie, conversations to share emerging questions and build new metaphors). There are teams that don’t even stop to build a deep understanding of the organization’s strategy. To create new language is a cornerstone of innovation because we live the mental maps we create and these maps are based on language and images. An open language, in beta, in permanent composition, as in open programming, is an opportunity for new types of appropriation and creative work.

5. Assign responsibility and seek responsiveness. On one hand, YES, there is performance to be delivered and the team is responsible for it. But responsiveness is related to the ability to creatively and timely respond to business challenges. It has to do with the ability to surprise and at the same time be relevant. Good relationships and trust among members of the team must then be combined with execution skills.

6. Create boarders, not limits. As Maturana and Avila put it, limits are walls, and boarders are like mobile fences that can be explored and moved to some extent. It is the leaders role to keep the boarders clear and open to creative exploration. Not everything is possible, but it is fundamental to foster new questions and at the same time give containment.

7. Search for meaning. With the volume of information and connections we have today, sensemaking is one of the biggest challenges for all professionals who want to be engaged with networks that are meaningful  for their work areas. Harold Jarche mentions the abilities to Seek, Sense and Share as the basis of personal knowledge management. Not by chance is sensing the central process. The team could be “the” place to share the knowledge being generated in the networks of each person, and to discuss the filters that were used to process information. After all it is in conversation with peers who can challenge us that we generate knowledge. The leader may have an active role by creating context for dialogue and collective information mapping. He can also help the team understand what is most relevant. It’s easy to get lost when the forest is dense, and networks are dense.

Storytelling, something so valued these days, is also an important part of sensemaking, but we are talking, in this case, about making sense collectively in a team. What is the story we are all building together as we do our work?

8. Recognize. The more people share their thoughts out in the open networks, the more necessary to recognize the authorship of ideas. Thoughts are on a network to be appropriated by others, but giving credit is the basis of long lasting sharing. That is, for example, the principle behind the creative commons license. This so called “hacker ethics can be applied to the team context in the sense that people will increasingly share if they feel recognition and connection to others’ ideas.

There are many other ideas that would make a great debate, but I’d like to attempt a synthesis: the organization can be a platform for the expression of emerging talents and leaders can be the conversational weavers of those platforms. Innovation is a natural consequence.

Are you prepared?


Luciana Annunziata   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeur"Our great desire to accomplish changes in human systems calls for an equal amount of humility to understand complexity."


Luciana Annunziata is a Brazilian social learning and innovation designer, director of Dobra Learning and Innovation consulting agency. Passionate about the emerging possibilities of social innovation based on the combination of social media and open conversations.


Works in the intersection of organizational development, innovation and group facilitation, especially for multinational companies in Brazil. Editor ofideastoinnovate and ideiasprainovar blogs. Loves arts, literature, laughter and believes in sharing and building a more sustainable world.



Is all learning social?


Just about every day I find myself embroiled in discussions about fundamentals of learning, the nature of knowledge and the processes of education. It comes with the territory of working as an academic in a university, and I expect to do it much of the time. When I'm not talking about learning, I'm reading about it, researching it, thinking about it, and writing about it. Today was particularly interesting because I had a conversation on this blog with ePortfolio Keith (Keith Brennan aka @wiltwhatman), who was commenting on my Three Things post. In the post I made the remark that today's learning needs to be personal, social and global, all of which can be mediated through technology. Keith asked me 'Does learning always need to be social?' This of course is a profound question, and one which demands some good theory and reflection. I told Keith that his question deserved a more protracted and considered response than I could provide within the constraints of a blog comment box. I said I would write a full blog post and I therefore present my response here:

Just about everything we learn is situated within a social context. We learn during our early years by observing and mimicking others. No first language is learnt in isolation. Much of an individual's sense of conscience, social justice and even compliance to authority are thought to derive from social modelling processes in early life (see Bandura 1977). We also learn through experimentation, but even though some of this is conducted in a solitary context, our thinking is still shaped by previous social encounters and conversations.  Much of our thinking about learning over the past few decades has been influenced significantly by the writings of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotskii, who proposed the theory of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978).  In essence, Vygotskii's argument is that all humans learn within rich social and cultural situations, and that children and novices learn better when they are in the presence of knowledgeable or more experienced others than they do when they are on their own. This is known as the zone of proximal development (ZPD). This does not preclude good learning in isolated settings, but ZPD does hold that learning is strengthened and extended through the presence of others.

Tools also play a part in what we learn. One theory that has emerged from the social constructivist school, Activity Theory, suggests that all learning is shaped and motivated by social influences (Engeström et al, 1999). We act upon our environment and with the use of tools, mediate our understanding through them and use them as mind tools to construct, negotiate and develop our learning. The manipulation of tools, a very specific human activity, carries with them an accumulation of cultural and social knowledge. They are infused with social meaning. Even a tool such as a book, when read by a solo reader, socially mediates learning. The reader in effect has an internal conversation with himself (thinking) which is shaped through reading text that has been written by a knowledgeable other person - the author. Even consciousness is social. It is not seen as 'a series of disembodied cognitive acts', but rather is located in the everyday practice of social interactions (see Nardi, 1995).

Another theory derived from social constructivism has been proposed by Lave and Wenger (1991) who argue that the formation of communities of practice can explain much of the informal learning that occurs for example in the workplace. Development of this theory placed emphasis on the sharing of knowledge within the community of practice, enabling members to situate their learning within their community. Further development in the digital age has led to such theories as connectivism (Siemens, 2004) which suggests that knowledge is not exclusively something we internalise, but can now also reside outside the individual within the social context he inhabits and the tools he employs. Anyone who maintains a personal learning network will clearly recognise this phenomenon.

I trust that in this brief essay I have been able to outline and highlight some of the key arguments for learning as a predominantly social process. I will not have convinced everyone that all learning is social, indeed I have some minor doubts myself. But I intentionally leave plenty of space for discussion. There is a great deal more that can be said about the social nature of learning, but that will need to wait for the next blog post.

Bandura, A. (1977) Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs: NJ: Prentice Hall.
Engeström, Y., Miettinen, R. and Punamäki, R-L (1999) Perspectives on Activity Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nardi, B. (1995) Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Siemens, G. (2004) Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Available online at http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm (Retrieved 19 February, 2013).
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


Steve Wheeler Entreprise Collaborative Ecollab Contributeur

Steve Wheeler is Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at Plymouth University, in South West England. Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (NHS 1981-1995) and teacher education and training (1976-1981 and 1995-present). He is now in the School of Education, at the Faculty of Health, Education and Society.

A qualified educator, he teaches on a number of undergraduate and post-graduate teacher education programmes in the UK and overseas. He researches into e-learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 tools, and he also has research interests in mobile learning and cyber-cultures. Steve is regularly invited to speak about his work and has given keynotes and invited lectures to audiences in 30 countries across 5 continents. He is currently involved in several research programmes related to e-learning, social media and handheld technologies.

Steve is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 2000 academic citations and is an active and prolific edublogger. His blog Learning with ‘e’s is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education and training. It currently attracts in excess of 150,000 views each month.

Steve is chair of the Plymouth e-Learning Conference, and between 2008-2011 was also co-editor of the journalInteractive Learning Environments. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of learning technology and education related open access academic journals including Research in Learning Technology (formerly ALT-J), the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), the European Journal of Open, Distance and eLearning (EURODL) andDigital Culture and Education. He has served on the organising and executive committees of a number of international academic conferences, including ALT-C, ICL, EDEN, IFIP and AICT.

In 2008 Steve was awarded a Fellowship by the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN), and in 2011 he was elected to serve as a member of the Steering group of EDEN’s Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP). He is also chair of the influential worldwide research group IFIP Technical Committee Working Group 3.6 (distance education) and is author of several books including The Digital Classroom (Routledge: 2008) and Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures (Information Age: 2009). He lives in Plymouth, on the South West coast of England.




The Brand University: How to make a sustainable, successful brand


Executive Summary

The world of branding has, over a very condensed period of time, undergone a virtual and very real revolution as far as both the consumer and the employee are concerned. The challenge that companies are now facing is how to adapt effectively and efficiently to several convergent paradigm shifts. This paper reviews some of the major changes and raises questions about the implications for today’s leaders. This paper’s position is that, more than ever before, companies need to evolve into Learning Organizations1 and that instituting a company-wide Brand University can offer a compelling way to accompany such a change.

Building a successful brand is a more complex task

In today’s marketplace and, certainly, going forward, creating a sustainably successful brand has become a different and more complex task than in, even, the near past. The main factors that have brought about this shift are threefold: (1) the plethora of brands with the onslaught of new product launches; (2) the digital world (internet and mobility) with its ability to diffuse the power of traditional marketing and distribution; and (3) the latent lack of trust between the consumer and the brand, layered in with the lack of trust between employee and employer.

The consumer – certainly impacted by the economic pressures -- has pulled back from buying brands blindly. The luxury market, for example, has been distinctly hit, as there has been more scrutiny of the intrinsic value in the upscale prices. As Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing said in their 2009 study on the luxury market, "[a]ffluent consumers are redefining, reassessing and re-evaluating their lives and their lifestyles. This is happening across the culture, not just among a small segment of the affluent market and it will mean major shifts to how luxury brands can market their goods in the new economy."2

The paradigm shifts are on many levels

Yet, the phenomenon of questioning the value of brands goes much further. In the current environment, with manifold uncertainties produced by the lingering threat of terrorism, global warming and economic recession, the consumer has been re-evaluating his/her relationship with money and the purchase decision in search of greater meaning. In order to rise above the strictly functional performance of a given product, the brand will need to demonstrate its "added value", whereby the consumer finds significance in -- and identifies with – the brand’s values. And a large part of the challenge is in being able to communicate that value effectively and fluidly.

Brands have to fight through the clutter of crowded, confusing and disparate communication channels to reach an audience that no longer takes as the gospel the marketing messages. Broad and dislocated access to information – especially on price, performance and location – has empowered the consumer. With the so-called "left brain3" messaging driven to its logical extreme, the new world order belongs increasingly to the "right brain" where image, emotion and experience are privileged – if only unconsciously -- by the consumer in their purchase decision. In this context, companies need to evaluate whether their employees are tapping into their more creative and conceptual side. In his book, "A Whole New Mind 4" Dan Pink forcefully speaks to the value of a balanced mind, combining the rational and analytical components with the more imaginative, artistic sides of the brain. And such is the need inside the new organization, which could be better described as a living organism, capable of learning, growing and adapting to the new environment and demands of the marketplace. As Peter Senge said, "[i]n the long run, the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is [the] organization’s ability to learn faster than its competition."5

In search of congruency

If product excellence and innovation remain the sine qua non of leading brands, traditional Kotler-like marketing no longer carries the same weight in creating a successful brand. One could even argue that marketing, as we know it, must take a step back to re-allocate resources toward building the business the "old fashioned way," that is to say via relationship and network building, aided by the burgeoning new technologies. As written by Minter Dial on TheMyndset.com: "The emphasis so often remains on the product, its performance, packaging, pricing and publicity — all part of a hardcore left brain (i.e. super rational) affair, with no room for fun or out of the box thinking. While marketing teams must continue to plot their 4 p’s, the real action is in words (i.e. accompanied by the authentic acts) that begin with an e: engagement, emotion, exchange, experience & essence. These 5 e’s come on top of the 4 p’s, not in replacement thereof."

Ecollab The Brand University The 5 E

If social media has become so powerful, it is because it is "social" before it is media. The new business environment puts a greater emphasis on the quality of the relationship and other intangibles such as humor, education and the element of surprise. A successful brand, therefore, needs to create what Carl Rogers described as congruency6 as part of a larger value system. In a company setting, this value system requires time to develop and transmit and, by extension, requires a tremendous effort of coherency. Consequently, brands need to revisit their strategies and, importantly, need to rethink how to create an appropriate company-wide culture, with the adapted processes and tools.

The employer brand

At the centre of the equation is the human being, the employee, breathing life into the product experience every living day (and not just the working days). Brands interact with the customer in many inanimate one-way and interruptive manners, through advertising, packaging and merchandising. Such mechanisms will undoubtedly remain in place, albeit evolving with the new technologies. However, the strength of a brand – and its ability to retain a sustainable loyalty – will lie in the development of a dynamic and evolutionary relationship. Brands that will succeed in the future, therefore, will need to strengthen the emotional link – and this link passes most credibly via personal relationship building, networking and interaction. The key actor then becomes the employee. As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, has said, "every employee is the brand".

And the main challenge in this context is being able to attract, select, train and empower the employee population to own, transport and transpose those values onto the end consumer experience.

The old moniker of "keeping it simple, stupid" remains pertinent, but not sufficient. The new world is radically more complex with evermore disperse, confused and crowded communication channels. A brand has to unify all its forces in the same direction in order to compete in this cluttered world. The strongest and most vibrant brands will be those that are meaningful and consistent, all the while being innovative. And there is no better vehicle to pass this message than via the employee. Some brands that have been doing an excellent job at this include Patagonia or Starbucks, while other high profile brands have actually taken to advertising their employees as their "product" (e.g. General Electric, IBM, Intel and, recently, Toyota). Whether that employee is the salesperson, beauty advisor at the department store stand, an educator for hairdressers, a customer service representative, telephone operator, or any junior employee in head office in an online chat room, the challenge is in spreading the values and galvanizing the entire organization behind the same tone of message.

Breaking down the silos

For the vast majority of companies, the notion of brand building is rudimentary and limited to the development of product (or services) and filling of orders. Even when an enterprise is aware of the need to move from selling a product/service to creating an unforgettable experience. there are many hindrances to implementing a full brand experience. The ambition is oftentimes curtailed because of budgetary restraints, a lack of know-how or internal politics where departments operate too much in silos. And the challenge is not a simple one to overcome. At its core, the corporate culture may need to be reconditioned to break down those silos and to allocate the time and resources necessary around the common uniting force: the client. And, in due recognition of the limited nature of resources, this will frequently entail what not to do as much as what is necessary to do.

In this new environment, companies need to evolve their corporate ethos and culture toward a style of management which favours collaboration intra- and, even, inter-company, to find ways to foster intradepartmental sharing of values and information, to harness the expertise and history resident in the individuals of the company via the new technologies. With the trend toward distributed workforces and the burgeoning wave of web-enabled technologies, there are opportunities – particularly for the larger multinational companies – to create blended (i.e. off- and online) networking and, equally important, blended learning environments. This suggests a host of new managerial skills and processes such as:

  • A review of the brand’s strategy and an alignment of the brand’s strategy with its deeper mission (assuming such has been appropriately defined).
  • The ability to define a corporate identity and culture, to clarify and share its values throughout the organization and to live fully by those values, i.e. to hire and fire according to these values.
  • The need for new measurement tools for the organization which recognize a truly collaborative ("web 2.0"7) spirit.
  • A re-definition of the role of the manager as a coach or a facilitator (for example, of networks)

This raises 3 important questions:

  • How to share the new brand identity – the vision – in order to get people to question outdated beliefs about what the company "is", and, ultimately, to change behaviours?
  • How to create a [worldwide] network of trainers and/or consultants able to deliver the content and tools necessary to accompany such a transition?
  • How to provide a sustainable, cost-effective presence in the countries to maintain the connection to and vibrancy of the brand’s values?

It is our conviction that one of the key methods of building a successful brand, that will have a sustainable future, is by creating a University for the Brand, an internally oriented organization which helps define those values within the enterprise. More importantly, this Brand University communicates those values via its partners and throughout the multiple channels and touchpoints toward the end consumer. The Brand University would be, by our definition, a centre of creativity, innovation and collective intelligence. However, we believe the notion needs to go much further toward building a spirit, an identity and a community united around the brand. We believe that such a university must have three central principles to help create a sustainably powerful brand.

3 principles of the Brand University

The first principle of The Brand University is that the company is genuinely dedicated to being client centric. Much lip service is paid to being client focused; however, many companies trip up under the sales pressure, overblown egos as well as a lack of means. To put the customer truly at the centre, a company needs to have the customer’s interests at heart. In order even to have access to those interests, the brand necessarily must gain the trust of that customer. As coined by Alex Mangossian8, brands need to be less concerned with building their [internal] database and more concerned with building their fan base, through a relationship founded on trust. With that trust comes the opportunities to learn together, to collaborate and share invaluable data. Given the ability for consumers to circumvent or even to twist standard corporate communications, brands must learn to get involved with the customer in ways that are credible and, in short, more human. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) must be converted from a mechanical one-way conversation into social relationship building.

The second principle of The Brand University is that the strength of the brand resides in the human element. Employees up and down the age scale are increasingly seeking—above just straight compensation—greater meaning from their place of employment. It is well known that employee satisfaction can come from learning, providing instruction for purposes increased effectiveness and a degree of motivation. However, greater fulfilment can come from working in an ongoing learning environment. Well beyond one-time, off-site trainings, a learning environment implies more a shared state of mind. And, the coincidence is that companies need also to convert themselves into learning organizations in order better to capture the history and knowledge that resides in its human bank. A Learning Organisation is one in which the internal team is committed to a constructive and systemic approach of sharing and learning in the pursuit of a positive economic result. Importantly, the entire organisation must be involved and, fundamentally, the ‘corporate’ strategy, if not culture, must involve and encourage experimentation, learning and the "right to err". As said by Pedler et al, "[t]he Learning Company is a vision of what might be possible. It is not brought about simply by training individuals; it can only happen as a result of learning at the whole organization level. A Learning Company is an organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself."9

The third principle, in line with the generally accepted definition of the Learning Organisation, is that the Brand University must become a project-wide undertaking, not limited to the sales force or the other branches directly in touch with the end customer. Not only does the CEO need to be the brand’s biggest and best spokesperson, all departments need to be aligned behind the same values and messages. We believe that The Brand University concept, that seeks to propagate the brand’s values and systems throughout the brand and all the subsidiaries, starting with the sales branch, is the most comprehensive and organic process, adapted to the modern challenge of multinational brands. The undertaking of a true Brand University for a major brand is as yet unprecedented on an international stage. While there are many corporate universities in existence, they tend to focus on competence acquisition or sales training. The Brand University, as the basis of a vibrant learning organization, remains untested in the field in its fullest measure. And for companies with a portfolio of brands to manage, the further challenge is creating an all-encompassing company-wide sales university without compromising or effacing the differences resident in each of the brands.

How does such a university become reality?

The very first step is critical: to establish that the company is ready and willing to evolve, with buy-in from top management. As is so often the case, top management must lead by example. Moreover, the allocation of resources is systematically a top-down decision belonging to the C-suite. In order to avoid creating an empty concept, the starting point has to be operational, and close to one of the organization's nerve centres. This will allow the creation of a community of practice10. The idea here is not a Corporate University, more often devoted to the development or the recognition of some Happy Few, but a real Brand University. This, by bringing together the various communities of practice, creates relationships, bonding the different stakeholders while embracing Brand values and thus creating a sense and pride of belonging. When it comes down to it, staff members are the first to create a positive energy around their Brand. And they are the first to share, contagiously, their enthusiasm, their confidence, and their pride in the products or services promoted by their Brand.

The Brand University is a real or virtual space in which staff can share codes, symbols, habits, behaviour, and language, and gain from cultural, generational, or even hierarchical diversity. It is a forum for the shared ideas, values, and especially the vision which are the bases of any "human company". A Brand University will thrive if the initial impulse is accompanied by the boundless capacity to encourage innovation, the sole guarantor of future value. Today, more than ever, innovation cannot come solely from R&D locked away in a laboratory, or from brand management pirouetting in its headquarters, but must instead be encouraged, sought after, supported, and recognised within all levels of an organisation. To return to the metaphor of a living organism, the survival of the organisation depends on a developmental intelligence and having adaptation skills built into every living cell.

From this perspective, the initial "community of practice", as the starting point of the Brand University, allows us to come back to the fundamental professions associated with the common goal of production, whatever the industry. Organisations operate with increasingly complex structures. Multi-national companies create matrix hierarchies, cross-departmental projects, indispensable yet potentially stultifying rules, and seek economies of scale that can kill off good ideas before they get off the ground. In this world of ever more complex organisations, a return to the basics and the lowest common professional denominator is the best way to put the horse back before the cart and give a new impulse and energy to move forward. At the granular level, individuals are faced with the fragmentation of tasks and the emergence of often-misunderstood virtual tools (whose adoption is resisted). Combined with a fear of change, individuals experience isolation, stress, discouragement and disorientation. In this context, regaining confidence in "knowing what you know, doing what you do" and sharing it with others across professional and language barriers, are a source of enrichment and empowerment. Such empowerment gives back to employees the feeling of working together, pride in belonging, and peer recognition, all of which help lead to a renewed hope that difficulties can be overcome by individual initiative and collective mobilisation as well as a commitment to the values which bring them together: The Brand.

The Brand University should be a space in which everyone, whatever their position in the company, not only accepts change, but become actors who create change. They can experiment with new perspectives, open themselves up to new ideas, cut through traditional hierarchies or divisions to create new relationships, and act and talk differently in order to try out new ideas on a neutral terrain. The goal of The Brand University is to capitalise on shared knowledge and passion to find ideas that will, in the future, contribute to the organisation of the company, and especially to test how these discoveries can be implemented and integrated to become the new Business as Usual.


1 A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. Pedler, M., Burgogyne, J. and Boydell, T. 1997. The Learning Company: A strategy for sustainable development. 2nd Ed. London; McGraw-Hill.

2 Unity Marketing, run by Pamela Danziger, is a boutique market research firm specializing in consumer insights for marketers and retailers.

3 The idea of left and right sides of the brain is a misnomer as it is far too reductive. For purposes of this paper, we use the "left brain" term to be associated with rational, analytical thought, while the "right brain" is associated with abstract, creative thought.

4 Daniel Pink, "A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age," (NY, NY: Penguin, 2005).

5 Peter M. Senge, "The Fifth Discipline, The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization." (NY, NY: Doubleday, 2000). The quotation was paraphrased by Senge from a statement made by Arie de Geus, Head of Planning of Royal Dutch/Shell, p8.

6 As described by Carl Rogers (in On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable, 1961), congruency for the individual can be applied to the brand, whereby a fully congruent brand realizes its potential without compromising a positive experience. The brand – and the individuals within – can remain authentic and genuine in pursuit of the brand’s objectives.

7 The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration (such as user-generated content) on the World Wide Web.

8 Alex Mangossian, CEO of Heritage House Publishing, Inc. Author of alexmangossian.com and atMarketingOnlineLive.com. Taken from the Podcast "Smartest thing you can do in 2010".

9 M. Pedler, J. Burgoyne & T. Boydell, The Learning Company. A Strategy for Sustainable Development, Mc Graw-Hill, 1997

10 A "community of practice" is a group of people who share an interest, concern or passion and who interact together in an effort to build a collective intelligence and learn how to do their activity better.


Minter Dial Ecollab ContributeurMinter Dial is a Professional speaker, coach & consultant on Branding and Digital Marketing. After a long and successful international career at L’Oreal, he created TheMyndset Company to help senior management teams to adapt to the new exigencies of the web-enabled marketplace.  Minter has worked with world-class organizations to help them – and their executive teams — improve their digital literacy and catalyze a change in mindset, necessary to adopt the new digital landscape.


Minter combines years of senior multi-cultural leadership experience, management of Redken (US #1 salon professional brand) around the world and a deep involvement in the Internet.  In the 1990s, he was a pioneer, creating L’Oreal’s first ever professional web site.  With this experience, Minter helps brands to capitalize on the digital opportunities by providing proven methods to drive the mindset change necessary to make a digital strategy succeed.



Eric Mellet Ecollab ContributeurBuilding on a wealth of experience in sales and sales management in France, Eric Mellet took on wider responsibilities as European Zone Director for the launch of the Redken NYC 5th Avenue and Matrix brands. 

Today, he is the Sales & Education Development & Training Director for the L'Oréal's Professional Products Division (L'Oréal's B2B2C structure). He created the Matrix Sales University in 2005, followed more recently by the L'Oréal Sales Academy, with the aim of professionalizing sales teams and organizations, and to support the management of a change to an ever more client-centric model.



The stupid company or the myth of collective intelligence ?


Here is my exploration with the eyes of hosting learning spaces to the Blog Carnival proposed by eCollab :

In theory, everyone is for the learning organization or the mobilization of collective intelligence. How could you be against it? Would that make you in favour of the “stupid organization”? Yet few organizations have developed a model for a sustainable learning organization. So, is collective intelligence a myth? What are the reasons for successive failures at attempts to implement the learning organization? How can this be fixed?

Those two terms, learning organisation and collective intelligence, carry lots of interpretations, insights and fantasies. I will add more to it :) with a dialogical perspective and then look at the question of implementation of a learning organisation.

A Learning Organisation is not an Organisation made to Learn

Organisations do not have learning as the centre of what they do. Organisations are purposeful systems, constructs of people who want to perfom a function together. That central function is never about learning (not even schools and universities have learning as their raison d’etre).

As ‘learning organisation’ I will then assume we are talking about a group of people working to adapt its designed system (structures and communications) towards a certain level of alignment with its environment.

If learning does not happen, the group ceases to coordinate their actions in a meaninful way with the environment and ceases to exist. If we look at a designed system as a narrative, adaptative learning is always generative learning.

While people in organisations will always learn, the only way learning can influence structures and communications in designed systems is if we hold spaces to re-design and co-design.

Even if we don’t create an organisations with the purpose of learning, we can design an organisation where opportunities for learning are at hand.

There is an important work in generating learning opportunities or acknowledging learning in organisations today. Besides that, it is crucial that the design allow for spaces of redesign where learning about the organisational system can happen.

Spaces of design benefit from structures where power is more distributed than concentrated and where a variety of voices can contribute to the interpretation of the system’s narrative.

Individual Intelligence is a Myth

Check the questions that are posed by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence:

What would it mean for a group of people to be “intelligent”? For instance, if a single superhuman intelligence had access to all the knowledge and resources of a company like IBM or General Motors, what would it do? What strategies would it pursue? How quickly could it respond to changes in the marketplace? How productively could it use factories and money? How profitable would it be? And-most importantly-how closely could we approximate the behavior of this imaginary superhuman intelligence by cleverly connecting real people and computers?

These questions seem based on the assumption that intelligence relates to knowledge acummulation and/or a systhesis of greater knowledge that could be generated by a superhuman entity.

Making a syntesis of many conciousnesses into one collective consciousness is a road to abstract metaphysic solutions that ends up in stupitidity over time.

To explore many consciousnesses, there is some talk about diversity, but even that can also mean different things.

Diversity can be used as an abstract mathematical concept – there is a positive correlation: higher the diversity, more accurate the answer. Taken this way, the term confirms the assumption of having one overarching entity representing a group of people in synthesis. The synthesis is a creation of a single story that would be the destruction of intelligence over time.

On the other hand, if diversity is situational in time and space, it would mean that individual consciounesses interact in creating the story that integrates that diversity at a certain time. From this perpective it is individual intelligence that is a myth, since nothing is created by one individual consciousness alone.

So if collective intelligence refers to an abstract entity that represents a group, I would think it is a myth. If it is referring to a multitude of entities in a group generating an interpretation, a prediction or an action that can be judged by an observer as intelligent, than it is the only thing that has ever been.

Fixing it

There is a balance between telling your own story of purpose (within the organisation or in your own mind) and listening to what other systems of society are talking about. There is no formula, only a continuous process.

Companies that have no focus don’t last long. Without holding some things in place, we cannot move forward not even in creating the new. An organisation is defined by the boundaries it creates to operate and this definition of boundaries come with the price of less resilience.

Companies that have great focus on what they do tend to have a clear purpose and thrive until a fundamental change makes the focus unclear or irrelevant. Reminds me of the story from Good to Great – companies being consistent as a hedgehog responds to a fox. It makes complete sense for an environment with foxes, but rolling into a ball is not a good strategy in case an earthquake happens. We live in times of both foxes and earthquakes.

We have to constant re-construct organisations. Rather than fixing, organisations should have clear spaces for re-construction. It might be a fix, it might be a rebuild or just a change in colour – but it is only through a place where engaged multiple intelligences can generate new narratives that learning at the level of the organisational system can happen.

It is more than doing things more collectively or collaboratively, it is about creating a structure of spaces and opportunities where natural collective learning can happen.


Read more


Augusto%20cuginotti%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

Augusto Cuginotti has worked on projects with private and governmental companies in areas related to management and training in Latin America, Europe and Asia. He has contributed to the foundation and development of Spirit in Business in Brazil and also co-created a network in which many projects around learning communities were developed.

He went on a journey to study Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability in Sweden and has a specialization in Learning Processes. He has taken part and hosted workshops around conscious leadership, appreciative inquiry, the art of hosting, training for trainers and others.

He is a contributor to the book Facilitating Sustainable Innovation through Collaboration and hosts an international and local-focused program called Butterfly Connection.

Augusto is currently in Leiston, Suffolk, UK and working at Summerhill School.




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Holistic Approach to Learning

Stories.luciana Annunziata   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  I've recently read the post by Frédéric Domon at the Socialearning blog site. He describes in a very precise manner the origin and the consequences of the 70-20-10 approach...

Enterprise Social Networks: contribution, trust and loyalty

Stories.claude Super   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  The latest feedback shows that the contribution remains the question mark as to the implementation and success of an enterprise social network! Today, a rate of 20-25% of...

Informalizing Formal Learning

Stories.jason Green   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  Our relationship with technology is changing the ways we live and work. We connect digitally with our mobile devices, social networking tools, and various computer...

The knowledge-bubble trap worsens

Stories.nick Milton   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  I posted a while back about the way we tend to create knowledge silos in social media, giving the example below of knowledge related to BP during...

Who needs training again ?

Stories.charles Jennings   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  At some point in time I am sure we’ve all found ourselves with an answer staring us in the face, but we just haven’t managed...

Find Where Social Learning Will Work at Your Company

Stories.entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab   Find Where Social Learning Will Work F1nsp 350

  If you haven't been hiding under a rock on the edge of Antarctica for the past few years, you've probably heard of social learning. If you've...

Learning vs Development

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  Is there a difference between learning and development? I ruminated over this question for a number of years as a Learning & Development professional, but without...

Social CRM and business transformation

Mark%20tamis%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Forget all this talk about “Social Business”, “Social Enterprise”, “Social Organization”, “Social XYZ” – your business already is “Social” because by its very nature it...

Is Collaboration a Crock ?

Stories.articles.thierry De Baillon   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  Let us face it; we, as humans, are selfish, individualists, and undoubtedly clinging to any privileges associated with power. Goodwill and sharing among peers follow Nielsen’s...

Enterprise 2.0 - French Touch (white paper)


  When we think of about "Enterprise 2.0" since 2006, the year that Andrew McAfee coined the term, we see that there has been considerable experience...

Moving from the Learning to the Teaching Enterprise

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    In a recent post published on the Harvard blog, Bill Taylor notices the rise of the Teaching Organization, as an evolutionary step of the Learning...

Formaliser l’apprentissage informel : Consulting et Bene Gesserit

Stories.articles.benegesseritnsp 350

No translation available    Pouvons nous formaliser l’apprentissage informel ?  Je vais donner mon point de vue en faisant un petit détour par le cycle de Dune...

Collaborative training departments

Tom%20haskins%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  It's likely that new start-ups in the coming decade will be intensely collaborative, but initially small and without training departments. Established organizations, large enough to...

Social Networking: Bridging Formal and Informal Learning

Ecollab%20 %20construire%20un%20pont%20entre%20la%20formation%20formelle%20et%20informelle

  There’s been much justifiable excitement about social media recently; are you on top of it?  The recognition that learning is 80% informal suggests that we...

Joining Is Important to Social Learning

Enterprise%20collaborative%20 %20joining%20in%20social%20learning

  Ever sign up for a gym membership and not really use it that much?  I know… I know this probably hasn’t happened to you.  But,...

In order to join, you need a social identity, and you need a space

Dennis%20callahan%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur%20copie

  I’m still thinking about the concept of joining since I wrote my post last week Joining is Important to Social Learning. Other people have been thinking...

Le département de la formation survivra-t-il à l’entreprise collaborative ou 2.0 ?

Stories.articles.formationnsp 350

 No translation available   La formation est importante pour le fonctionnement et le développement d’une entreprise car sa mission est de développer les compétences qui lui sont...

7 objections to social media in learning (and answers)

Stories.social Media Worldnsp 350

  Social media, I’m a fan. I blog, facebook and tweet daily, and love all of the additional resources and tools. But when an important social...

Where Social Learning Thrives

Entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20where%20social%20learning%20thrives

  To benefit from social learning, build a culture that makes learning fun, productive and commonplace, a culture where learning is part of everyday work. Marcia Conner and Steve...

Social media learning principles

Entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20social%20media%20learning%20principles

    At the LAMS European conference I gave a talk in which I explored what we know about learning, and what I've deduced about social media. My conclusion...

Stupendous bronze and the man who didn’t win the National

Dave%20ferguson%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

    Collaborative Enterprise’s blog carnival this month looks at formalizing the informal – are there ways to deliberately harness social media to foster learning without losing the...

L'avenir de la formation dans l'Entreprise Collaborative

Anthony%20poncier%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

 No translation available   Pour ce premier thème sur la formation dans l’entreprise, je vais aborder deux points qui me semblent importants, notamment pour les grandes entreprises...

Knowledge: Cheshire or Schrödinger’s cat ?

Ecollab%20 %20modern%20definition%20of%20knowledge

  Much has been told and written about the capital importance of knowledge in organizations, and the rise of networks-enabled enterprise emphasizes even more the role...

Knowledge, From Productivity Source to Critical Component

Thierry%20de%20baillon%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Productivity: The amount of output per unit of input (labor, equipment, and capital). Enterprise has for long understood, and applied, that training and education are an important part of its hunt for competitive advantages. ...

Examples of Facilitating Collaborative Work and Learning

Stories.articles.michael Glazer   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  The nature of my work has changed significantly over the past few years. Some of the change is due to advances in technology while others...

The Future of the Training Department

Mark%20tamis%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  In my previous role at BEA Systems/Oracle, I created and managed a Professional Services business unit for training clients on the implementation of Enterprise Portals...

social learning: learning never ends

  a video from LAB SSJ    

The future of the training department in the Collaborative Enterprise

Ecollab%20 %20future%20of%20training%20department

      The latter 20th Century was the golden era of the training department. Before the 20th Century, training per se did not exist outside the special...

LMS is no longer the centre of the universe


  OK, so here’s the deal – if learning is work and work is learning, why is organizational learning controlled by a learning management systems (LMS)...

Formalizing the informal

Stories.articles.ecollab2   Social Learning Blog Carnivalnsp 350

  Ecollab will discuss Informal Learning. Can we formalize it? Can we Should we? How much? How?   This is our own response, originally written by Harold Jarche and Jane Hart:   If informal...

The Evolving Social Organization

Stories.articles.thierry De Baillon   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

    Simplicity and the Enterprise Most companies start simple, with a few people gathering together around an idea. For small companies, decision-making, task assignments and direct interaction...

Informal Learning: mission critical

Harold%20jarche%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20administrator

    When Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan return from patrol, they spend time relaxing together in small, tightly-knit groups and tell stories about the mission. There is...

The Community Manager: enabling knowledge flows

Stories.articles.entreprise Collaborative   Le Community Manager Activer Les Flux De Savoirnsp 350

  With digital media becoming embedded in our lives, many of us will be connected to several online communities at any given time.  The Web enables...

Formalized informal learning: a blend we don’t need

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    Telling people that we can “formalize informal learning” is a not so subtle way of saying, “it’s OK, you don’t have to make any fundamental...

Innovation through network learning

Stories.PKM Mar2010 293x440nsp 350

  Innovation I’ve really appreciated the many posts where Tim Kastelle and I have connected by sharing ideas. Tim says that innovation is the process of idea management, which makes...

Resetting learning and work


  A large portion of the workforce face significant barriers to being autonomous learners on the job. From early on we are told to look to...

Social learning: the freedom to act and cooperate with others

Stories.me 394 Statusquonsp 350

  “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy“ - Article #7 of The Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999. The Net, especially working and learning in networks, subverts many of the hierarchies we have developed...

Social Learning is real

Ecollab%20 %20le%20social%20learning%20concretement

    Once again, I’m learning from my colleagues, as yesterday I realized how important self-direction is in enabling social learning. Now I’m picking up on Jay’s post on Social...

An interview with Jay Cross, the author of Informal Learning

Stories.articles.51rlu5xokl. Ss500 Nsp 350

  Jay Cross, Chief Scientist at the Internet Time Group, is the author of Informal Learning: Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance, which was...

Social Learning and Customer Engagement

Entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20social%20learning%20et%20engagement%20client

      One of the approaches to improving Customer Engagement and Experiences I’d like to explore is the potential to include customers, partners and suppliers in the Social...

LearnTrends 2009: The corporate learning trends and innovations conférence

Stories.learntrends2nsp 350

        From 17 to 19 November 2009 will take place one of the most important conferences devoted to trends and innovation in corporate learning. The theme of...

How to formalise Informal Learning


In my last post, I asked some questions about formalising informal learning. And answered them. If: you understand that formalising informal learning will have organisation-wide consequences you use...

The Collaboration Cycle

Stories.collabcyclensp 350

  In a previous instalment entitled “The Collaboration Curve”, I discussed the basic premise that over a period of time and as the use of collaboration...

Can we formalise Informal Learning

Stories.ecollab Blooms Taxonomy Posternsp 350

  Ecollab ask the question for their blog carnival: Informal learning - can we formalise it? Should we? How much? How?   1. Can we? Is it practical? Any...

To Really Drive Enterprise 2.0 Forward We Need A Behaviour Change

Ecollab%20 %20barriers%20to%20social%20business

  At the beginning of the year, on January 2 in fact, I wrote about reciprocity. My hopes were that we’d begin using the behavior of reciprocity...

Informal Learning: Can we formalize it ?

Christiana%20houck%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Formalizing informal learning is my research topic for writing class. It may very well be the foundation of my dissertation! Recently I posted the mind...

Impact of Informal Learning: Output learning

Stories.ol1 2nsp 350

  How do you assess whether your informal learning, social learning, continuous learning and performance support initiatives have the desired impact or if they achieve the...

Apprenance en réseau : Entre formel et informel

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No translation available Pour Thierry de Baillon, je cite «  il est de plus en plus illusoire de vouloir considérer le savoir comme étant soit informel, soit...

From the silo enterprise to the networked enterprise

Stories.cecil Dijoux   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  When an innovation emerges, there always are two steps. The first one consists in integrating the innovation in the way we work. The second one...

Creating Value from Social Learning

Stories.articles.entreprise Collaborative   Creating Value From Social Learningnsp 350

  Social learning — namely, the use of social media in the workplace to foster learning, collaboration, networking, knowledge sharing, and communications — has taken on...

L'avenir de la formation et Mars

Stories.articles.marsnsp 350

 No translation available   Depuis plusieurs années, Mars a suscité l'intérêt des chercheurs. Des robots sont envoyés sur cette planète pour détecter des signes de vie et...

Social Learning, Social Media: Brothers in Arms

Craig%20weiss%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

    Is it me or does it seem that most vendors in the LMS/LCMS market still believe that with some smoke and mirrors, you won’t realize...

Social Learning: Take Me To Your Experts

David%20mallon%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Quick Question:  How easy is it to find another employee in your organization with a specific expertise?  Let me ask the question again another way:...

Social Learning, Collaboration, and Team Identity

Stories.articles.larry Irons   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeur Copiensp 350

  Harold Jarche recently offered a framework for social learning in the enterprise to outline how the concept of social learning relates to the large-scale changes facing organizations...

Learning to Learn in the modern Enterprise

Stories.articles.collaborative Enterprise Learning To Learn In The Modern Enterprisensp 350

  The last few days in Hong Kong have been incredible -- I saw some great sights, participated in some interesting activities and backed all of...

The Lean IT applied to the e-learning

Stories.niconsp 350

  The Social Learning is based on the sharing of knowledge between each individual people. Everyone can bring something into the knowledge pool of its colleagues. The fixed...

Gossip, Collaboration, and Performance in Distributed Teams

Stories.water Cooler Uidnsp 350

  What do you think the typical manager might say if you told them their employees don't gossip and engage one another enough in social interaction...

What constitutes a Social Learning Culture?

Socialearning%20 %20un%20social%20software%20quest Ce%20que%20cest%20jen%20ai%20dj%20plein%20les%20mains

  I've often thought of social learning as a very culture dependent phenomenon. A few weeks back I read an interesting article by Thierry de Baillon, his...

At the Corner of Assertiveness & Cooperation: Collaboration

Ecollab%20 %20cooperative%20assertive%20matrix

  What do we meet at the corner of Assertiveness and Cooperation? The Thomas-Kilmann assessment suggests that it's Collaboration. Their assessment, which is the basis for many others, explores different...

From Competition to Cocreation - and Back Sometimes

Stories.michelle James   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollabnsp 350

  How do you approach working with others? What is your resonant mode? Here's my two cents: Competition - "I win if you lose." Cooperation - "I will agree...

Why Best Practices Don't Work for Knowledge Work

Stories.luis Suarez   Entreprise Collaborative   Contributeurnsp 350

  I don’t recall having put together a blog post over here on the specific topic of capturing "Best Practices"; so after reading last Friday’s blog...

The Collaborative Curve

Stories.collabcurvensp 350

  Now that I’m on a mission to merge the terms Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 and rephrase asCollaboration, I thought it would be a good...

Formalizing the Informal: Been there, done that

Donald%20clark%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  @Ecollab asks, “Can we formalize informal learning ?” My answer, “We've been there, done that.” Except for perhaps compliance learning programs, formal learning processes are...

Learning to formalize informal learning

Tom%20haskins%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

    When we don't already know how to formalize informal learning, there's a lot to learn. We can welcome the challenge if the process of learning...

From Social Media to Social Business: The social learning as missing link

Thierry%20de%20baillon%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  I am often puzzled by the way organizations and agencies tackle social media, as if conversational marketing and Enterprise 2.0 were living in separate worlds,...

The Real Secret to Social Learning Success

Stories.entreprise Collaborative   The Real Secret Of Social Learning Succesnsp 350

      For years training and development departments have struggled to compile the data they need to show value to their organizations. However, we will find ourselves...