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Making Sense of Social Media and Learning


Making Sense of Social Media and Learning

 In 2017 not using social media as a leader is akin to sitting in a closed office with the door shut and the phone on divert – all day everyday.

However – there’s often a gap between social media and our ‘real’ work.

Despite the fact that we’ll spend about three years of our lives on social media many of our workplaces still block access or see it as ‘non-work’.

The question I posed during a webinar I presented this week was:

If you’re not using social media as part of your learning and development, what are you using?

The people who are shaping – and challenging – my work and thoughts are all active participants in interactive media. The leaders and emergent leaders I admire are all using a range of tools to communicate ideas. Not in a broadcast way, but as part of many-to-many conversations that they respond to in real time.

However I know that many current leaders think that time spent on social media is not real work. That it means you don’t have enough to do.

Traditional leadership distrusts social networks in the same way the mainstream media does.

People are rapidly migrating away from the old-school mainstream media, away from centrally controlled and managed models. Many of us are out there forging our own networks – making new connections and using our communities to bridge the gap between innovation and getting work done.

We can spot spin. We no longer need the push messages from organisations and government. We don’t need your leadership development programmes thanks – we can develop our own.

However we can help our organisations make sense of social media – by being more purposeful about how and where we spend our time.

I’ve posted before about developing your own personal social media policy – but I took the opportunity during the webinar to refresh it.

My current five rules are:

Claritiy of purpose is increasingly important to me in deciding how I spend time online. If we can articulate this to our organisations – and can demonstrate how social learning translates into work outcomes – we’ll bridge the gap.

If we are going to spend three-to-four years with our thumbs on our smartphones we owe it to ourselves and our employers to be more purposeful.

Using the idea exchange of social media to transform the workplace would be a good place to start.

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