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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Freeform beats highly Structured in the 2.0 world

Andrew McAfee has another great post following up his spectacular thoughts on Enterprise2.0.   This is one of many great points he makes.
"Yet corporate collaboration platforms remain pretty highly regimented, while Web 2.0 collaboration is not.  I don't think that this strange situation will persist, at least not everywhere, for one very simple reason:  freeform IT-based collaborations are yielding  great results."
Inside the corporate walls IT is in the driver's seat when it comes to what the training department can and cannot rollout to its customers.  Training organizations have struggled with this for years trying desparately to convince IT to support yet another system (LMS, LCMS, etc) on their watch.  If you were lucky over the last 10 years you had a "friend" managing IT that would help you implement your CBT, WBT, tracking systems, etc.  Outside the corporate structures many eLearning consulting companies have made millions creating and installing these systems within corporate enterprise environment.

As Learning Professionals move towards providing a service supporting informal learning we will begin to find that IT is already there ahead of us with the technologies we need.  Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, and feed readers are just the beginning.  The tools are coming out faster than we can learn how to use them and they are easier than ever for IT to install.  While we see the benefit to the Learning environment, IT sees the productivity increase possibilities which is part of their charter.  So with little risk, they can implement a bunch of technologies and simply turn off the ones that don't stick without a loss of millions in capital expenditures.  They can also afford to wait until the slower moving technologies take hold:  Social Networking does not happen over night.

The high performing workers will begin to see the value in spending some time consuming, creating, and sharing content.  I actually forsee this as a determining factor in the future when HR looks for the high performers.  You will begin to see lists with items like...maintains blog with high volume, is a main contributor to corporate wiki, Responds to high volume of questions via blog comments in his/her field of experise.  The success of social networking is tech supporting the notion that it's not what you know but who you know.  In some cases your social network becomes more valuable then your knowledge, however to increase your position amongst your social network you must have unique and valuable knowledge or wisdom (or something) that is valuable to the network as well. 

The creation of formal training (ILT or eLearning) will become less and less important as workers become more comfortable with educating themselves, defining their own "career ladder"s, and creating their own resources to support their network. 
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