Friday, May 26, 2006

Ignoring Web2.0 will cost you talent

From the Elliot Masie Learning TRENDS newsletter:
1. "Me-Publishing" Imperatives: Your employees want an opportunity to
"me-publish" their profiles and perspectives at work!  Let me share an
interesting story from a young employee that I met on an airplane:

This young man had been recently hired by a Fortune 100 company
to work in their procurement office. On his first day of work, he asked
the HR person conducting orientation where he could publish his profile.
This was a perplexing question to the facilitator who responded that his
profile was already in their HR system. The new employee replied: "But,
where do I post my profile so that everyone else in the company can see
what I am about?"

He kept his profile on Facebook and MySpaces up to date and used these
social networking systems every day.  So, he just assumed that a big
corporation would have a similar system.  He wanted to be able to see who
had graduated from his college, who shared some of his same interests,
even who already knew the massive system he was about to learn. His model
of learning and "belonging" involved a degree of "me-publishing" and
social networking. He was amazed that people could work for a 50,000
person company and not be able to self-publish their profiles and

The HR orientation leader told him he should get used to the fact that big
companies didn't foster that type of networking and it could be used to
help recruit away some of their best talent. Actually, her response had
the same effect. One week later, he resigned and went to a company that
gave him the tools and permissions to keep a daily work blog and access to
an internally secure social networking system.  By the way, he took a 15%
reduction in salary in order to be in a better topography of knowledge

Don't do this just for your NextGen employees. The age of me-publishing
and social networking is upon us and will be leveraged by every generation
of our workforce. We can create models that protect the company's
interests while deeply fostering the power of the network and the wisdom
of crowds.
This is a powerful story that speaks for itself.  And what we should be considering in this space as well is how much longer will our employees continue to tolerate "click2death" learning?  An eLearning vendor told me the other day that there are still many companies that haven't even moved to "eLearning"(referring to the standard 1hr seat time click next style course).  I say don't bother.  Spend your money on supporting the informal learning ecosystem within your company for better ROI.

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