Happy Social Media Day, all! Jane Hart suggested we write how social media have affected our lives within the Social Learning Centre. I did, then realized I’d like to share this with everyone. For me, social media have been a game-changer since a perfect storm moment in February earlier this year.
I’ve been working behind a corporate firewall for more than 25 years, occasionally getting to conferences or visiting other organizations to discuss things related to workplace education. The Web and trade journals were sources of ideas, case studies, research and more. Still, life behind the firewall was quiet, to say the least.
What stimulated my foray into social media for business performance was a question: “What are other organizations doing in learning and development?” Months of research yielded some results, but a conference seemed a good way to talk with more people and get a wider range of input. That happened in February of this year.
I got more than I needed to answer the question initially asked. I got started on building my knowledge network through Twitter. I started narrating my work. I embraced transparency, not as a buzzword tossed about by leaders but as a matter of personal philosophy (and it helped our culture already rewards and expects knowledge sharing).
More importantly, I learned to be the bridge between my workplace and the social network I was building. I discovered I could discuss and share freely outside the workplace as myself and bring new ideas into my workplace teams.
My network is now my primary source of ideas and knowledge. It’s the first place I go, and am often resident in the network just to listen to others and share as I am able. No longer will I spend weeks, days, or even hours getting answers to questions about workplace education. No longer will I go to conferences to get answers, I’ll go to participate and share. I’ll also go to cement relationships established online and discuss in real-time ideas and new concepts.
So social media enable my network, and the network is a game-changer for me and my performance in my workplace.
This work by Tom Spiglanin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at tom.spiglanin.com.