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Social Learning Leadership: A New Panacea For Ignorance?

A dear friend’s TWINS (yes all caps) just entered a prestigious New England university. They are bright, driven, focused students and they’ll do well. They’d better, because it will cost my friend north of $100K a year to keep them in New England college splendor. Smiles.

It would have been more costly at Harvard, which in 2012-2013 provided cost guidelines for undergraduates in excess of $62,000. Of course a recent graduate, if he or she were fortunate enough to find a full-time job (almost half are not so lucky, according to a recent study) might expect to receive an annual salary of $42,000. Not much when you add in an apartment, or a car, or an IRA, or student loan repayments. No wonder so many college graduates still live at home (spoiler career alert – they’ll need that IRA?) Heaven help you if your student holds a degree in fine arts or journalism. Don’t say no one warned you on this career move these days. Always a risky proposition so do your homework please.

Perhaps as leaders we need to re-examine the learning business or the business of learning. On the job, in your career, which part of your studies contributes to success? I’m betting the semester in Prague has yet to pay dividends, and the minor degree in psychology, while it may enable you to pop-diagnose personality disorders in co-workers, hasn’t helped you get a report done, contributed to critical thinking skills necessary to problem-solve, or helped when you needed a Word or Excel shortcut.

In short, classroom learning – what the experts call formal learning – has limits. I’m a believer in the value of an education but it has limits and our system is in need of care and social innovation. Anyone who’s slogged through 12 years plus in the classroom will agree. Then there’s informal learning – stuff you do on your own, for the most part. Read any good business books lately? Ah, no, ok then.

Finally, **queue social learning** like so much else today it’s an outgrowth of social media. I’ve been living the social learning lifestyle online for a few solid years now (plus actually – I’m in denial). I host two chats on Twitter that are dedicated to the World of Work and HR Technology = Social Learning Leadership in ACTION.

The good news: it turns out companies are looking at social learning, and many are opting away from classroom, which they can control but which costs money – part-time classes at Harvard run around $5K per class per semester, for example – and also forgoing informal learning, where they tell an employee they’d better read a certain book and be prepared for the pop quiz. These days everything is social, so why not social learning?

Who knew all that time at Starbucks was finally going to pay off?

Social learning, as my friend Sharlyn Lauby points out, happens pretty much anywhere, with or without social (media) tools. Remember when you started a job at a tech company, tried to query a database, and had no idea what MySQL was? Bet someone helped you, gave you just enough info to get the job done without worrying about making you an expert. Then you passed that skill on at an all-hands meeting. Voila, social learning!

Social learning takes the relaxed nature of informal learning and the expertise and rigor of classroom learning to make something more suited to today’s on-the-job learners. It adds the context of the workplace, subtracts the expense of the classroom, and informs the experience with the social element so necessary in today’s interactions.

Bingo, as they say. I’m a big fan of Twitter as a classroom for social learners.

So Let’s Celebrate Five Advantages of Social Learning Leadership:

1) Social learning advantages millennials while also benefitting other age cohorts. It’s a multi-generational party! Let’s face it, if you run a company, HR or internal training, you need to manage all the generational populations, but you’re probably biased to the needs of the millennials, the generation inheriting the jobs and wisdom of Boomers. Very little downside here – you’re covering the entire employee population, at a lower price point than classroom learning.

2) Social learning is not time-constrained. No need to call a two-day training that takes out 75 percent of the department. Make it social, create many entry points and create a rewards system to ensure most employees participate. Don’t worry about the hold-outs – they will, in time, pick up the knowledge gained by those who took the class (see informal training.)

3) Social learning encompasses an explicit and visible rewards system for those who participate. Everyone wants the gold star, real or virtual. Making the award visible across the employee population, using social media, is common sense.

4) Links to business value must be explicit. People need to know their contributions are valued by the organization. Social leaning is no exception. You will need to construct a value-investment chain; many organizations, free or fee, can help.

5) Social learning is strategic, not tactical. Sure it’s a tactical benefit when someone learns to code a spreadsheet formula without taking a three-day class. But look for strategic value: an employee who attends Edward Tufte’s visual presentation of data seminar has enormous value. His or her ability to present quantitative information in a visually appealing form will reinvigorate employees who can’t go to the seminar but are bored to death with PowerPoint or Prezi. Invest in social learning in such a way that all learning becomes social, even when it begins in the classroom. Make it creative and engaging to your audience.

Finally, remember that creating a learning environment is an exercise in smart workplace culture, and an investment in creating competitive advantage for your company or your community.

Social is the how, not the why. Focus on the how, and social learning will make sense.

A version of this post was first published on Forbes.com on 9/11/12

Photo Credit: Terence Dillard via Compfight cc

What You Need To Impact Training the Right Way

Opportunities for growth can really make or break employee retention ratings. It’s the reason why 76 percent of employees choose to stay with an organization. So, organizations throw overwhelming amounts of money at formal training programs — $164 billion in 2012, according to ATD. Unfortunately, research suggests they’re seeing very little ROI.

Formal initiatives do not impact employee development the same way social learning does. Eighty percent of learning takes place through on-the-job interactions with peers, experts and managers, according to Bersin and Associates, as opposed to a formal environment.

If managers aim to retain employees through development opportunities, they should invest in initiatives that make a difference, like social learning.

The infographic below — compiled by showd.me, an enterprise peer-to-peer learning platform — shares new trends impacting learning and development.

Some stats to note:

  • 70 percent of people forget what they learn in formal training in just one week

  • 66 percent of people don’t see opportunities for professional growth in their organization

  • 86 percent of employees are learning what they need to know for work by collaborating with others

  • Trainees increased their performance by 22 percent through deliberate reflection and sharing lessons learned with others

Check out the full infographic below to discover how social learning can make a positive impact within your organization.

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What do you think? How might social learning improve training at your organization?

Image Credit: Confused by Jean-Rene Vauzelle, IMCreator, cc

The Year Of Living Inspirationally

I checked my latest Instagram/Facebook picture post and one of the comments read: “You really should have your own reality show, Kevin.”

I smiled. KevTV, I thought. Nice ring to it. But no – the movies The Truman Show (1998) and Edtv (1999) and the onslaught of “real” reality TV shows since have turned me off to that prospect. Overexposure and exploitation now, as well before the “Twitters” really took off way back when, continue to raise the bar on offensive banality.

However, I’ll bet some folks who know me well, or not so, raised their eyebrows at my own brand of overly shared social banality (which is thankfully far from being offensive). That’s fine because each of us has the choice to change the channels, right?

Indeed. My latest socially shared channel of late was my own family “Disney” channel when we took our girls to Disneyland right after the New Year. And I shared picture after family picture after funny artsy picture after family picture. Hence the comment, “You really should have your own reality show, Kevin.”Disney Sisters

But that’s not why I do it. At least, not the primary reason. It’s not why I’ve had a fairly regular blog about personal leadership, responsible parenting, and domestic violence awareness called Get Off The Ground since 2007. It’s not why I’ve had my own “world of work” blog called Reach-West since 2010 (and it’s not why I had been blogging years before that with HRmarketer.com, since 2004 actually). And it’s not why I’m so excited to raise the bar on the recruiting experience in 2015 with PeopleFluent.

All these self-proclaimed accomplishments and accolades don’t mean I’m “Mister Fancy Pants early-adopter and thought leader” (my LinkedIn number from when I joined is over 1 million). Considering my first tweet was on May 11, 2008 – “I’m setting up my Twitter account and have no idea what to do next” – I’ve only wanted to connect, to share and more importantly, to learn before that and ever since.

Which is what led me to TalentCulture and #TChat way back when in 2010. Again, to connect, to share and to learn. Which is also why reminiscing this moment on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt, co-authors of A World Gone Social, was so poignant.

Two particular points they made in their Harvard Business Review article titled The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media resonated with me and inspired this piece. Not only for CEOs – for anyone in any leadership position – including leading the social “self,” what I feel is the most important position of all:

They Are Relentless Givers. They give back, they mentor, and they care about real social issues that have nothing to do with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They constantly share what they know, connect others and — often for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do — they do good.

They Lead with an OPEN Mindset. “OPEN” – short for Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network – means that no one person, even the highest-level leader, can have all the answers. Instead, we deliberately build personal relationships with those willing to help us discover the answers, together.

Combine that with what Jeanne Meister, author of The 20/20 Workplace, wrote recently, the fact that we’re all “digital citizens” today; it ain’t just the Millennials digging the social scene. And as a recent MIT Sloan research report showed, 57% of workers now consider “social business sophistication” to be an important factor when choosing an employer.

Each of us can and should be social leaders today in work and in life, relentless givers with an OPEN mindset, commiserating and celebrating with one another in collaboratively creative ways we’d never imagined, even way back in 1999. We should even demand it. That raises the bar on the beneficial.

Okay, but Disneyland? Hey, I like to be liked and I like to have fun with my immediate family and extended family and friends (online and off). That I will not deny. I’d argue that most of us do to some extent, but for me, it’s not contingent on how I choose to connect, to share and to learn. 2015 will be the year that the rest of the world finally starts to catch up with their own social mojo – we’ve already seen time and again how the world chooses and uses social to elevate, not denigrate. The TalentCulture #TChat community never fails to inspire.

And the reality is, I do think that this inspiration will make for a very good year.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: hang_in_there via photopin cc

10 Social Media Resources To Advance Your Career

Knowing which social media resources to use and how to get the most from them can help during job hunting as well as for taking your career to the next level within your current organization. It’s not just about finding jobs using LinkedIn or Twitter, it’s more about getting the most out of learning opportunities, building your authority, enhancing your workplace productivity, external networking and last but not least job hunting.

Here are 10 star social media resources that can help you tackle all the activities mentioned above. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, establishing yourself as a thought-leader is important for all steps in your career ladder.

Learning Opportunities

  1. Ted Talks provides videos on informative and thought provoking talks from TED Conferences. The portal also has a section to engage in related ideas, questions and debates.

Key Benefit – Ted Talks are 18 minutes or shorter. All you need is a lunch break to keep growing your knowledge base.

  1. Slideshare’s your library of presentations, pdf’s, videos and webinars. It’s a crowdsourced solution for educating yourself with a diverse educational and professional community contributing material and sharing comments.

Key Benefit – Students, CEO’s and professional speakers all contribute content to Slideshare, providing information from all levels of the professional and educational worlds.

Building Your Authority

  1. Quora is a community of 1.5 million professionals answering business questions. Quora answers often get syndicated in major publications such as Forbes which helps build the author’s credibility.

Key Benefit – Quora answers typically get more exposure than a blog for personal branding.

  1. WordPress is a simple blogging solution with free templates and a community of bloggers to share content with. Suitable for professionals and newbies, WordPress lets you blog like a pro.

Key Benefit – Blogging helps you get clarity on your ideas by polishing them up.

Workplace Productivity

  1. Evernote can be considered as “Note taking on steroids”. You can sync between devices, add images and audio content, clip web pages – all of which lets team members share research and notes.

Key Benefit – Your ideas, research and notes will all be in one place rather than scattered across devices and applications.

  1. Asana’s aimed at those who are looking for an alternate to email for collaboration. It provides a way to manage tasks, get updates on progress and organize ideas, plans and deadlines all without email.

Key Benefit – By fully implementing Asana you can automatically segregate your business and personal life…digitally at least.

External Networking

  1. Twitter is a popular tool because it’s 140 character microblogging platform creates a low barrier for maintance. It has become a popular place to connect with influencers across all industries.

Key Benefit – You can have one-on-one conversations with recruiters even before you score the interview.

  1. LinkedIn Groups are like conference rooms where professionals of a certain industry or interest get together and talk. It’s a way to post updates, share news or add you own post links.

Key Benefit – A great way to advance your career is to be considered a thought leader in your field by becoming a well-known contributor to LinkedIn Groups.

Job Hunting

  1. DoYouBuzz starts job hunting on the right foot by helping you create a snazzy resume. It provides templates for creating CVs, storing them online, exporting .pdf versions and even provides statistics for premium users.

Key Benefit – Recruiters are overloaded with CV’s thus having a unique resume increases your chances of capturing their attention.

  1. BeKnown combines Monster job search with the ability to connect to professionals at their listed companies. It integrates with Facebook and keeps your business and professional connections separate.

Key Benefit – Sometimes all you need is a foot in the door to advance your career in a new organization…that’s exactly what BeKnown does.

What about you? What social media platforms do you think have been the most valuable in advancing your career? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

(About the Author: Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Managing Partner of Engage Consulting in Malaysia, Pakistan and U.A.E. He focuses on transforming top teams and managing talent across Asia’s emerging and frontier markets. Paul has a firm belief that outstanding results can only be achieved through people, by engaging teams and building commitment by creating a new paradigm between company and employee. Paul has delivered transformational interventions for more than 50 blue chip organizations in countries across Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Egypt, Korea, U.A.E. and India.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

#TChatHoliday: Sharing Warm Wishes, Community-Style!

The holidays are a perfect time to reflect upon the past year’s experiences, and look ahead to new opportunities — something the TalentCulture community does continuously.

But earlier this week, Kevin W. Grossman joined me for a brief hangout to compare notes about what it has meant to connect with all of you this year, what our holiday plans are, and best of all, why we’re so excited for 2014!

Of course, we’re not the only ones with ideas, plans and goodwill to share with the community. We’d love to hear from you, too!

Just leave a comment below — or post a tweet, photo or video from Vine or Instagram, and include the hashtag #TChatHoliday. As we roll into the New Year, we’ll curate and share your greetings, memories and aspirations for all to see.

THANK YOU for being part of our growing, thriving, continuous world of work conversation! We appreciate everyone who is helping us explore this new form of community building.

We hope that you enjoyed Hanukkah and Thanksgiving holidays. And we wish you a Merry Christmas, Heri za Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Looking forward to our next #TChat on January 8 — but until then, make the most of this time to catch-up with those who matter most to you. Stay safe, and be merry!

Image credit: Kirkland’s

Going Social: Learning In Action #TChat Recap

“Learning is more effective when it is active rather than a passive process.”
– Euripides

One of the most active learning environments I know is #TChat.

In fact, sometimes it’s truly hyper-active, as the TalentCulture community meets on the Twitter stream to exchange ideas about the world of work. That’s certainly how it felt this week, as we gathered to celebrate three years of #TChat events and continuous online knowledge sharing.

It was fitting that our conversation focused on social learning. And it was equally fitting to welcome an HR executive who’s responsible for (among many other things) leveraging social tools and techniques to foster learning across her fast-paced, global organization.

Our guest this week was Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite. And the insights she shared on #TChat Radio are instructive for any organization striving to elevate its learning culture.

(Editor’s Note: See full event highlights and resource links at the end of this post.)

Social Workplace: Learning Everywhere

As social media weaves itself deeper into daily life, organizations are searching for effective ways to blend social behaviors with learning methodology. There are good reasons for all the interest.

Social channels remove the hierarchy found in most organizations. With traditional roles de-emphasized, everyone has more freedom to contribute, interact, experiment and develop personally and professionally. It’s collaboration at its best. When organizations channel this collective energy, there’s great potential to boost innovation and business performance.

However, many companies are still only testing the waters in their cultural commitment to social learning. Twitter chats such as #TChat provide a low-risk model outside organizational walls; bringing together experts and talent-minded professionals to discuss today’s workplace — what works, what doesn’t, and how to address key issues.

#TChat: Social Learning Slice Of Life

As #TChat proves, social tools and techniques are an attractive way to develop and sustain learning communities. The immediacy, flexibility and availability of social media make it possible for people with common interests to connect and contribute easily in real-time, from all corners of the globe.

Imagine the possibilities when this approach is applied within organizations! Employees feel more appreciated and valued for their input. Engagement increases. And employers signal a commitment to employee development and growth. It’s a win-win. Companies gain a more engaged, productive workforce, and in turn, employees are challenged and become more competent.

This is why I look forward to many more wonderful years for #TChat and TalentCulture — an open, ongoing learning environment that is helping us all shape the world of work for the better!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Online Communities and Professional Growth

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Watch the #TChat hangout now

SAT 11/16:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Editorial Director, Kathleen Kruse framed this week’s topic in a post that features a special 3rd Anniversary #TChat hangout video with co-founder, Kevin W. Grossman. Read the Preview: “We’re Turning Three! Let’s Celebrate Community.”

SUN 11/17:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at 7 ways leaders can foster a high-octane social workplace culture. Read: “7 Characteristics of a Social Leader.”

MON 11/18 — THU 11/21

Related Posts:
Read: “What Drives Social Influence? Insights From Recruiting Circles” by Carter Hostelley
Read: “#TChat Road Trip: Going to the Next Level Together” by Meghan M. Biro
Read: “Community Heart + Soul: #TChat Favorites” by Kevin W. Grossman

WED 11/20:

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guest Ambrosia Humphrey , VP HR at HootSuite, about why and how organizations benefit by committing to social learning initiatives. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and team Hootsuite joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: The Growth of Online Learning

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/from-the-virtual-wilds-the-growth-of-online-learni.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Ambrosia Humphrey for sharing your perspectives on social learning and organizational culture. We value your time, enthusiasm and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning in the workplace? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, #TChat Events go quiet, as we celebrate the Thanksgiving week in the U.S. However, we’ll be back on December 4th, with a special double-header, featuring two of our community’s most beloved HR experts, Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers! Look for more details next weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream,  our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Quantum Change: Embracing Innovation #TChat Recap

Last night at #TChat forums, we came, we saw, and we disrupted. But this wasn’t random disruption. It was organized chaos — all in the name of knowledge sharing among talent-minded professionals. (For tweet-by-tweet highlights, see the Storify slideshow below.)

Business technology analyst Jim Lundy helped lead the TalentCulture community conversation this week, as we explored the most disruptive innovations on the horizon, and discussed their potential impact on the world of work.

As Jim explained in a blog post yesterday, innovation is at the heart of how we measure companies today. Organizations must have a robust approach to managing innovation. Although disruptive innovation is based on technology, its success actually depends upon how well people understand and apply it in real-world environments.

What Is Disruptive Innovation?

The concept of disruptive innovation was first coined by the soft-spoken Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1997. Think of it as technology that transforms a market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability where complexity and high cost are the norm. At first blush, a disruptive innovation may seem inconsequential or unattractive, but ultimately it can radically redefine whole industries or sectors.

In this brief video, Professor Christensen describes how he introduced the theory to former Intel CEO, Andy Grove:

The Value of Innovation: Big Dollars In Disruption

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See the disruptive innovation chart and article at the New York Times

What does all this mean, in terms of business benefits? A new McKinsey report examines the economic impact of 12 emerging disruptive technologies — led by the mobile Internet and knowledge work automation. As the New York Times illustrates, by 2025, these 12 technologies are expected to create a whopping $33 trillion a year in global business value.

Linking Disruption With Employee Engagement

Why and how can leaders encourage employee engagement via disruption? Recently, TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro examined this question, in response to a Gallup poll that indicates 70% of American workers are either actively or passively disengaged at work. Business collaboration and knowledge sharing tools can make a big difference in supporting connections and professional development that help employees feel empowered and appreciated.

In addition, talent strategist Gary Kastenbaum recommends that business leaders approach employee engagement with a disruptive mindset. He outlines three guiding principles:

  • Lesson 1: Corporate social responsibility programs and cause marketing are linked and drive employee engagement.
  • Lesson 2: Engaged employees are proud of your organization’s values and they are loyal to your company.
  • Lesson 3: Engaged employees are recruited, not created.

What do you think of this framework for “disruptive” engagement? How far into organizational process should “disruption” reach?

Big Issues — Big Ideas

This week’s events challenged each of us to take a fresh look at our personal and organizational attitudes, values and behaviors when it comes to technology and innovation. But we’ve only just begun to push the envelope! Thanks for contributing your thoughts and concerns — we look forward to hearing more from you on this topic. In case you missed any of the #TChat action, we invite you to review highlights in the slideshow below, along with other related resources.

#TChat Week-in-Review: Technology Disruption and Adoption

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Read the Preview Post now

SUN 8/11:

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the week’s topic in the preview post: Tech Disruption: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

MON 8/12:

Forbes.com Post: Several previous posts from TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro underscored technology advancements, and their implications for today’s workplace. Read:

•  “5 Trends Defining The World of Work and Leadership in 2013”
•  
“Your Employees Are Engaged: Really?”
•  “Employee Engagement: Every Leader’s Imperative”

WED 8/14

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio: This was a fascinating warm-up before the main Twitter chat event! Our radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Jim Lundy about today’s hottest technology advancements, and their impact on business organizations. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Jim joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about disruptive technologies in today’s workplace. If you missed the action, or want to review highlights, check out the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Technology Innovation: Disruption and Adoption

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-workplace-innovation-how-to-fuse-d.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jim Lundy for generously sharing insights about today’s most innovative workplace technologies. It’s exciting to peek into the future of work with experts like you!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about innovation, disruption and corporate culture? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, our “summer restart” series continues, with a look into the strategic business value of workplace flexibility. So plan to join us, and check for details this weekend on TalentCulture social channels.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues everyday. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

 

Social Learning: The New Business Edge?

A recent #TChat Radio show really piqued my interest. The topic was collaboration and social learning, with guest, Nick Kellet. Nick is one of the innovative minds who founded Listly — a service that nurtures individual and collective growth by enabling people to discover, filter and share content easily within their digital communities.

Obviously, social learning isn’t a new concept. As Nick noted, it’s not really even “actually a thing” in itself. Rather it’s a by-product of the fact that we are social beings. Learning through interaction with others is naturally built into our work lives. And now, with content and tools that make it incredibly easy to collaborate online, social learning is gaining tremendous momentum in the digital space.

In fact, according to Bersin by Deloitte, U.S. companies spent 39% more on social learning initiatives last year than in 2011. That’s a huge jump, and it indicates how swiftly business is embracing the need to provide infrastructure for collaborative business processes.

Why Social Learning Is Essential: 3 Reasons

So what’s the big deal? Why is social learning suddenly such a hot business topic? Actually, I think it boils down to three fundamentals:

• Employees want to learn and grow.
• Growth contributes to engagement.
• Engaged employees stick around.

It’s just that simple.

Consider this: The Cornerstone OnDemand 2013 U.S. Employee Report indicates that 1 in 3 employees would stay at their company longer if their employer helped them develop their skills. That’s a significant number of employees you could retain — not to mention recruitment costs you could save — just by providing today’s workforce with better paths to learning.

Social learning options are an ideal way to respond to employees’ desire for development, because in addition to providing the knowledge and growth they crave, it also builds a sense of connection and belonging within your organization.

Building Competence and Connections

In responding to performance review questions, have you ever been asked if you have a best friend at work? Did you wonder why that question was relevant? It’s because employees who form bonds with their peers feel much more engaged and comfortable in the workplace. And connections that are good for individuals are also good for organizational culture. Social learning helps employees to connect — not just within their workgroups, but with peers around the globe — expanding their networks and strengthening their sense of belonging. That’s no small feat.

While the technology may be ever-changing, the concept of social learning is clearly here to stay. It’s wise to take a cue from the companies that increased their social learning spending last year, and make it a priority in 2013 and beyond. Your employees will thank you for your investment in their future — and ultimately, so will your bottom line.

Tell me: How is your organization enriching or expanding the learning experience? What hurdles have you faced? And what kind of difference do you see in your workforce? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s learn from one another.

(Note: If you’re not yet one of Listly’s many ardent fans, we recommend you take a closer look. We love it at Achievers. We’ve even created a Listly-powered Achievers resources collection.)

Image Credit: Niharb via flickr Creative Commons

Crowdsourcing: Hot Mess or High Art? #TChat Recap

Do you ever wonder what unsuspecting people think when they stumble across a #TChat event in-progress? Do they mistake it for some sort of wild, unchained idea orgy?

I can see why the uninitiated might assume that a magical “meeting of the minds” has spontaneously sprouted in a random social media moment.

After all, for 2+ years on Wednesday nights, the #TChat hashtag has consistently trended on Twitter, as the stream lights up in a blaze of 140-character glory about workplace culture. We’re creating our own gravitational pull with all those tweets. Could a TalentCulture zip code be far away?

But seriously, those of us who participate in #TChat conversations know that it’s not crowdsourcing’s answer to a flash mob. This isn’t just a way to fill an hour with social serendipity that evaporates when we turn out the lights. At least, that’s not the intent.

Instead, I like to think of TalentCulture as a living learning laboratory — or as Meghan Biro puts it, a metaphor for the social workplace. And each week’s events are carefully planned and presented with the goal of creating something bigger than the sum of its parts. Ideally, each of us can find something useful to ponder and apply in our professional lives, between those intense #TChat conversations.

For me, the most memorable and meaningful idea this week came from learning expert, Justin Mass:

What was your top takeaway?

Most likely, it was one of the brilliant thoughts from our guest, Nick Kellet. As co-founder of List.ly, a service that makes it easy for people to organize and share information through social channels, Nick deeply understands the art and science of digital discovery, curation and collaboration. His #TChat insights were so varied and powerful, I’m inspired to write a separate post that showcases those ideas. But in the meantime, here’s the “Nick” tweet that garnered the most retweets this week — with good reason:

So, in that spirit of discovery and sharing, we invite you to review other comments from Nick and the entire #TChat tribe in the “highlights” slideshow below. There’s an abundance of wisdom in this crowd, and we’re grateful for your contributions. Let us know how these resources help you gain a better perspective on tools and techniques can improve your world of work. We’re always open and interested in your thoughts!

#TChat Week in Review: Learning Through Collaboration

SAT 7/27

NickKellet

Watch the G+ Hangout with Nick Kellet

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topics in a post featuring a brief G+ Hangout with Nick. Read the Preview Post: “Social Learning: Making Connections Count”

SUN 7/28

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how organizations can create more value from collaborative endeavors. Read “5 Leadership Secrets of Collaboration Success.”

Audit ResultsTUE 7/30

Related Post: Our guest, Nick, contributed a fascinating post about blog content analysis, inspired by a benchmarking tool he has created with Listly. To learn more and to request a free audit of your blog site, read “Web Content: What Does It Say About You?”

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

WED 7/31

#TChat Radio: Just prior to our weekly Twitter chat event, Nick joined TalentCulture founders and radio hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a thoughtful look at why and how collaboration tools and techniques are redefining how we live, work and play. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, the entire TalentCulture community came together for an open discussion on the #TChat stream. In case you missed the action, check out the highlights in our Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Social Learning Through Collaboration

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-social-learning-making-connections.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Nick Kellet for sharing his extensive understanding of core issues and opportunities surrounding learning in today’s networked business environment. Your passion and depth of knowledge inspire us to keep pushing the collaborative envelope.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning tools, techniques or implications? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we welcome workplace learning and innovation expert and author, Marcia Conner! Stay tuned to TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The gears are always turning here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Punkrose via Flickr Creative Commons

Web Content: What Does It Say About You?

Written by Nick Kellet

In today’s digital world of work, all of us are content consumers and producers. Our personal brands are defined by the thousands of ways we express our preferences and communicate our personal values. Our choices become us.

This is the power of social media in the age of self-expression. We can be anything we choose. We’re defined both by our inputs and outputs:

• We are what we create.
• We are what we consume.
• We are what we share.

What’s more, our experiences with content reveal how we learn, across multiple dimensions:

• What we know and aspire to know;
• What we like and dislike;
• What sources of information we trust;
• Who we know and want to know.

It’s useful to see how, why and where we share ideas, because this helps us understand the social learning process. I’m particularly fascinated by this “social” side of learning, because my company (Listly) exists to help others easily find, organize and share meaningful information on the web.

Let’s Look Closer at Digital Content

Recently I analyzed popular content networks like YouTube and Slideshare — comparing them to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I concluded that both types of content sources have their own unique advantages. (For details, see my posts about Content Networks and Social Networks.) I also concluded that there are 6 key types of “sharable” digital content: Video, Audio, Slides, Lists, Graphics and Documents.

Shareable Content: Content Networks

(Infographic: Courtesy of Visually)

We can freely create and embed these types of content in blog posts. We can also share them directly with others on social media and through private communication channels. It’s now easy to track and measure activities involving any of these content types, so we can understand what works best in various scenarios. The metrics also help us decide which content is worth consuming.

I took the analysis one step further and devised a quick way to perform a blog content audit. This enables us to generate a “snapshot” of any blog’s content mix, and compare that profile with others. The results appear in a customized “trading card” for each blog.

This initiative began by focusing on 22 top blogs, but because we’ve received such a strong response, we’re now expanding that scope and deepening our analysis.

Sample Blog Analysis: TalentCulture

To illustrate how the process works, let me explain how I audited TalentCulture.com. I reviewed the site’s most recent 25 posts, and simply tagged posts that include videos, slides and other content elements. If a post contains more than one type of embedded media, all the content elements are counted. Here are the results, in our “trading card” format:
TC TradingCard

Interpreting Results

So what does this all mean? Relative to other blogs we’ve analyzed, TalentCulture very frequently features lists, with videos as a secondary form of content. Audio, slides and graphic content play a much less prominent role, compared to benchmark sites.

What is the perfect mix of “sharable” content elements? That’s a hard question to answer, because each blog serves a different audience. However, here are results from 70+ blogs analyzed thus far:

Blog Audit Benchmarks

Key Takeaways

Here are some recommendations worth noting, based on our findings to-date:

1) Consider “mixed media” a strength. There’s clearly a trend toward posts that include multiple content types.

2) Include slides and video where possible/applicable. (Don’t just embed your own content — shine a light on the work of others.)

3) Transform existing content into other forms of media, when appropriate. (For example, turn a blog post into a slidedeck or a video.)

4) Make sure you integrate some audio content — whether it’s a podcast or simply a recording of an author reading post content aloud.

5) Lists are the most frequently used form of content. Blog posts that include a list in the title are usually popular, simply because they imply that the content will be easy to skim.

6) Include “Pin-friendly” images, with meme-worthy quotes in your posts. This lends itself to sharing — images with text are much more meaningful than isolated images without written context.

7) Use embedded content to break-up your copy visually. This makes your body copy more approachable and easier for visitors to digest.

8) Consider performing a similar content audit of blogs from competitors or from thought leaders who have creative blogs that your admire.

9) Be aware of your content mix, and follow a weekly or monthly format that repeats themes. This makes it easy to manage your mix.

In summary: You are a reflection of not only what you write, but also of the content that you include in your digital space. Aim to help people think of your content as fun and easy to consume. It will create a more inviting experience for visitors, and will add a more authentic human personality to your web presence and your brand image.

(Editor’s Note: To request a content audit of your blog, “like” Nick’s “Top Content” post at Slideshare and add your URL in the “comments” area of that post. We look forward to hearing about your score!)

015_img_2801(Author Profile: Nick Kellet is co-founder of social curation platform Listly. He believes that effective curation is as much about listening and engaging as it is about publishing and the tools themselves. A serial innovator who loves to jump domains from board games to business intelligence, Nick also believes that passion in the company of friends and community is an unstoppable force.

Connect with Nick on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on G+, and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at NickKellet.com and at blog.list.ly.)

Social Learning: Making Connections Count #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Want to see a full overview of this week’s event’s and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: Crowdsourcing — Hot Mess or High Art?)

Learning. It’s fundamental to human personal and professional growth. And increasingly, corporations recognize its critical contribution to overall business growth.

But how is the learning process changing in today’s more connected, “social” world of work? Are we making the most of opportunities to collaborate? How can we leverage personal and professional networks to be smarter and more effective in every aspect of our lives?

This week, our “Summer Restart” series moves beyond last week’s crowdsourcing event, to focus more specifically on how to get more out of tools and techniques designed to curate and share collective wisdom.

Our guest brings unique, first-hand understanding of how and why collaborative learning can enrich our lives, improve professional performance and drive business innovation.

Nick Kellet is a pioneer in applying purposeful collaboration to business challenges and opportunities. He is co-founder of List.ly, a service that empowers people to create, manage, share and engage with the web’s best lists.

Nick helped me frame this week’s events by discussing his perspective on social learning in a brief G+ Hangout:

#TChat Events: Connecting Collaboration and Success

This week’s topic is destined to shift your collaborative spirit into high gear. So be sure to join us on Wednesday, July 31, for a dynamic #TChat double-header. Bring your questions, concerns, ideas and suggestions, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, July 31 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Nick joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a thoughtful look at why and how collaboration tools and techniques are redefining how we live, work and play. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, July 31 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll go wide with Nick for an open-mic community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we explore collaboration and learning together, with these questions as a guide:

Q1:  Social learning — what exactly is it and why is it exploding?
Q2:  What soft skills are needed to facilitate collaboration online and offline?
Q3:  How do collaboration and knowledge sharing enrich our integrated work/life lives today?
Q4:  Nick says “We are what we consume, produce and share.” Agree? Why/why not?
Q5:  What technologies enable social learning and collaboration today? What’s missing?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Lessons From a Free-Range Learning Community #TChat Recap

“What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free?”

That’s a good question! It was posed by a brilliant professor (Clay Shirky) in a fascinating “TED Radio Hour” program on NPR called, “Why We Collaborate.”

I suppose occasionally all of us who participate in TalentCulture #TChat events ask ourselves that same question. But this week, we didn’t need experts to tell us why.

Crowdsourcing: It Takes a Village

If you ask our founder, Meghan Biro, she would say that the #TChat hashtag is a living metaphor for the social workplace — a virtual gathering place for purposeful knowledge sharing and co-creation. And this week, our purpose was two-fold:

1) To gather input for a new “Resources” section on this site;
2) To capture feedback that will help us map topics for future #TChat Events.

In other words, in the spirit of Dorie Clark’s recent “Reinventing You” 360 brand review advice, it was an ideal time for a reality check from our trusted community members. So, rather than inviting a special guest to share expertise, we tapped into our crowdsourcing roots, asking for your thoughts. And, of course, you blew our minds with thousands of comments and recommendations! (See highlights in the Storify slideshow below.)

But Wait, There’s More

Now we have a rich “starter” collection of reference ideas and guidance for #TChat planning. And unexpectedly, we’ve learned something else — how much our participants value the community relationships they’ve developed, over time. I think Steve Levy and Dave Ryan said it best:

If the medium is the message, then at #TChat, the connections are the content! Thanks to each of you for generously participating, so that together, we are better, indeed.

#TChat Week in Review: Sources of Insight

SAT 7/20

TimM_WhatInspiresYou #TChat

Watch Tim’s sneak peek Hangout now

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced this week’s topic by sharing a slice of his own life in a great G+ Hangout video. See “Where Do You Find Ideas and Insight — and Why?

WED 7/24

#TChat Twitter: A diverse crowd of participants hopped on the Twitter stream, as social learning expert, Dr. Nancy Rubin led us through questions designed to capture “best of…” ideas, from books and blogs, to helpful tools and thought leaders who are active on social media. For a taste of the action, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Where Do You Find Ideas And Insight — And Why?”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-where-do-you-find-ideas-and-insigh.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about your experience as a community member or your favorite “go to” resources? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat events, we’ll continue our crowdsourcing discussion with special guest Nick Kellet of Listly fame. Check for details in a preview post this weekend.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of “Coffee Talk” Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of "Coffee Talk" Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Reboot: Personal Brands and the #TFT13 Conference

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled to welcome Nick Kellet to TalentCulture as a guest blogger. For more information about Nick, see his profile at the end of this post.)

For many members of the TalentCulture community, there’s only one conference this week — SHRM13, the Society for Human Resource Management annual meeting in Chicago. But I’d like to focus on another conference that happens on Tuesday. It’s called TomorrowsFutureToday (TFT).

At first blush, TFT may not seem relevant. The topic is IT service management. But TFT’s business model deserves a closer look. Founder Chris Dancy is leading a movement to rethink every aspect of conference design and management — including how speakers are recruited, how content is created and shared, and how participants engage during live sessions and beyond.

This fascinating story lives at the intersection of social business, content strategy and technology. It’s a disruptive model that signals the growing power of crowdsourcing, expert networks and personal branding. It touches on many of the same issues and opportunities that are redefining the “world of work.” And from that perspective, it’s an inspiring example for TalentCulture.

Snapshot: What Sets TFT Apart

TFTResultsTFT is a semi-annual, one-day “follow-the-sun” virtual conference, where 24 experts from around the globe speak for an hour each. Unlike classic conferences, the speakers are selected by professional practitioners and peers (via Listly). This replaces the “old-boy” model, where conference organizers control the agenda. Very cool.

Even cooler, all the speakers are paid. Yes, all of them. What’s more, the content “lives” long after the conference. Presentations are recorded and automatically converted into trans-media assets (slides, video, audio and transcribed text) that are reusable across a wide spectrum of digital channels. (This is accomplished via Zapier.)

  • Speakers are encouraged to redistribute content anywhere they wish, indefinitely
  • Access to all content is absolutely free to anyone who is interested, forever
  • The overall event experience — before, during and after — has a big impact on its perceived value
  • Similar to TED Conferences, the agenda development process ensures superior quality speakers and content. No pressure.

Implications for Personal Branding

The first TFT conference occurred in December 2012. That inaugural event demonstrated not only strong community engagement that won sponsorships, but also helped boost awareness and credibility of its speakers. Fact: since their appearance in December, half of the speakers have moved on to bigger and better professional roles.

So, what does that say about the power social media exposure, and its influence on personal brands? Chris Dancy took several moments to discuss this and several other related questions:

1) How do collaboration and social community relate to personal brand building?
“Collaboration and social community are the foundation of personal branding. Both depend on systems of attention, influence and altruism. Personal brands don’t transfer in hyper-digital economies without conscious consumption of community content. By serving the community first as a consumer, you then have the ability to understand the needs of that system. You have two ears, one mouth and 10 fingers — talent observes before it offers suggestion.”

2) Can you really crowdsource your way to a “brand” new career? How can others do so?
“I don’t believe you can crowdsource your ‘brand.’ You can crowdsource your values. If those values are stronger than the habits of a community, then your brand and career will reflect these systems. Others suffer from being overwhelmed by information, tech and connections. We must first teach people to make healthy tech and information choices. Healthy information diets are to the 2020’s what Tab cola was to the 1970’s.”

3) Did the speakers who landed new careers imagine this would be the outcome from a virtual conference culture?
“None of the speakers on TFT who transitioned to different careers imagined the vault in their careers.  The speakers at TFT12 and TFT13 never considered it a virtual conference. In large part, speakers felt honored to be selected by their peers. It was that empowerment that moved their careers. To feel worthy of attention and time in a climate short on both, is the brand found inside of confidence and outside of hubris.”

The next LIVE round-the-clock event is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Click here to follow the action in real time, or check back anytime to find content after-the-fact. You can also follow the conference backchannel at #TFT13.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about this business model. Could this work for your business domain? And how could you shape and enhance your personal brand while sitting in front of your computer?

Interesting questions — and enterprising people like Chris Dancy are helping us fill in the blanks. Share your ideas below, or connect with me on Twitter @NickKellet.

Nick Kellet, Founder, Listly.com 015_img_2801(Author Profile: Nick Kellet is co-founder of social curation platform Listly. He believes that effective curation is as much about listening and engaging as it is about publishing and the tools themselves. A serial innovator who loves to jump domains from board games to business intelligence, Nick also believes that passion in the company of friends and community is an unstoppable force.

Connect with Nick on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on G+, and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at NickKellet.com and at blog.list.ly.)

Creating Future Leaders: A Mission That Matters

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled that Angela Maiers was our guest this week at #TChat forums. She’s a passionate, highly visible education advocate who helps create life-changing learning experiences for today’s youth. We invited her to share some thoughts about her mission — creating better ways to prepare students for success in tomorrow’s world of work. To see an inspiring video interview with Angela, see “The Business Case for Mentoring #TChat Preview.” OR for a full recap of the week, see “1 Million+ Ways to Bridge the Skills Gap.”)

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”  Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

The world is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. This has been the case at least since the invention of the personal computer in the 1980s, and became ever more so with the introduction of the commercial Internet in 1993.

In light of this drastic change in the workforce, how much has the US education system changed? Let me assure you of this: if you are under the age of 65 and if you returned to high school today, you’d feel right at home. Does that surprise you?

Educational Standards: A Reality Check

The “world and workforce” standards to which every school in our nation subscribes are not standards that the business community sets. They are standards “our community” — educators — are comfortable with. We can handle critical thinking, good communication skills, impeccable grammar and computation.

But schools do not encourage students to become bold thinkers, dreamers and doers.

Sure, schools have computer labs and some of them even have a computing device for every student. But instruction has changed very little. Indeed, with the never-ending growth of standardized assessment tests, US schools have become narrowly focused on teaching students how to fill-in the proper bubble on a multiple-choice, standardized exam.

Did you see any transferable work or life skills in the above paragraph?

Opportunity Cost: Priceless

Jack Welch may have it exactly right. While some pundits are forecasting a “revolution” in public education, most observers see these words as totally incongruous. Sure, public schools will continue to exist — at least (as educational consultant Peter Pappas writes) until parents find somewhere else to send their kids all day. But school is quickly becoming largely irrelevant to a student’s learning experience.

Every second that a child is “being educated” without insight, experience and real-life support from accomplished adults is a wasted opportunity to maximize their education — and their potential contribution to the world.

Mentoring Can Make All the Difference

Into this breach comes Choose2Matter and the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2Matter recently launched the Quest2Matter, which challenges every student in three essential ways:

  1. To accept that they matter
  2. To accelerate the message that everyone matters, and
  3. To act on a problem that breaks their heart.

Students have boundless energy and enthusiasm for taking action. What they lack is real-world savvy and the ability to find authoritative and comprehensive information on how to tackle a problem.

Where do they find this insight? Enter the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2MatterThese future world-changers can and will do incredible things. Members of the TalentCulture community can greatly enhance the students’ contribution by serving as mentors to these amazing young people.

As they work on selecting, curating, and moving forward the top world-changing ideas, TalentCulture members will be guiding them every step of the way.

Merely by knowing that accomplished professionals take their ideas seriously will profoundly impact the seriousness with which students approach their contributions.  For mentors from TalentCulture, this is an unparalleled opportunity to provide real-time, real-life leadership to budding leaders of the world. This will help redefine what the TalentCulture community stands for, and will establish a paradigm of professional and student mentorship for the entire world to follow.

As one talent-minded professional to another, I hope you’ll consider offering your expertise and enthusiasm to help shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Looking forward to discussing the Choose2Matter mission in more depth in #TChat forums this week — and I’m excited to collaborate with the TalentCulture community, going forward!

 Image Credit: Pixabay

Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap

Why in the world of work would anyone sit online for an hour and share serious answers to a list of questions – along with random bits of wit and wisdom that come to mind?

No, I’m not talking about watching “Game of Thrones” and tweeting with my friends. I’m talking about our chat — #TChat — the weekly Twitter chat where TalentCulture community members come together to talk about today’s “world of work.”

Learning Together: A Surprise Inside

No subject is off limits, except maybe “Game of Thrones” (which, by the way, trended lower than #TChat on Twitter last night). No offense to that show, or to this week’s historic #MarriageEquality trend line (which also was less active than #TChat during our session last night). In fact, we’re honored to trend with both of these popular topics.

But I digress. Once again, I ask, why would anyone devote an hour each week to a Twitter chat like ours? I remember asking myself that question when we launched #TChat over two-and-a-half years ago. I never thought it would last a month. I love telling that story because, well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Collective Knowledge: Sharing Adds Value

This week, the TalentCulture community dug deep into the concept of “learning.” In particular, we’ve been exploring social learning — that amorphous, organic, continuous, “knowledge sharing” activity that was originally ignited in the Garden of Eden. (“Adam, would you like a bite of this juicy apple?”) Or if you prefer, that point in human evolution when our frontal lobes sparked cognitive thought, we began hunting for information, exchanging it with others, and making decisions on behalf of ourselves and those in our social circles.

Social learning can be as simple as a single moment: an incremental yet transformative interaction where one person shares a piece of information that another receives, absorbs, adopts and applies in a new context that propels him or her forward. This process of information exchange, reinforcement and transformation lights up pleasure centers in the brain, as ideas pass from one person to another in an “additive” way. With each hand-off, information evolves, and is modified by the next person who absorbs, adopts and applies…

Layers of Learning That Live On

And so it goes. This is the beauty of social learning. And this is why I participate in #TChat forums.

It is why I’ve found value in showing up nearly every week for over two-and-a-half years. Participants offer ideas that continue to build on one another. As I step back and look at this community’s body of work it’s similar to the formation of rock over a geological span of time.

We can dig through #TChat archives and see the layers of growth and progress. We can see how continuous interaction has created a context that helps our community evolve – absorbing the bad with the good, and establishing more useful understanding as we move forward. It’s a community where a better world of work emerges every week from the layers below — generating a new level of wonder and wisdom.

The beauty astounds.

#TChat “Social Learning” Week-in-Review

MichaelClark

Watch the sneak peek interview with Michael Clark

To dig deeply into organizational learning and talent development issues this week, we joined forces with two brilliant experts: Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, and Justin Mass, Sr. Manager of Learning Technology & Design at Adobe. The richness of their contributions added tremendous value throughout the week.

We invite you to revisit insights on this topic anytime! Just follow the links below…

SAT 3/23  “Sneak Peek” Video: ReCenter’s Michael Clark kicked-off the week by defining key terms with our community manager, Tim McDonald.

SUN 3/24  TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, outlined 5 ways that professionals can leverage learning in her column at Forbes.com.

MON 3/25  #TChat Weekly Preview “Igniting Social Learning” laid out the week’s premise and questions.

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the recorded #TChat Radio show

TUE 3/26  #TChat Radio: “The Social Learning Show.” Our hosts joined forces with organizational development experts, Michael Clark, and Justin Mass, to examine social learning innovation and its role in optimizing talent in today’s workplace. It’s a fascinating 30-minute session for anyone interested in improving professional and organizational performance through learning.

WED 3/27  #TChat TwitterJustin and Michael gathered around the Twitter stream with hundreds of other participants to expand and amplify key issues in workforce learning and development. See highlights from the conversation in the slideshow below…

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: Igniting Social Learning

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: We extend our gratitude to Michael Clark, and Justin Mass for leading our community through the social learning discovery path this week. Your expertise in learning tools and techniques is inspiring and invaluable.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning and talent development? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we move to yet another level of talent discovery, as we explore the notion of “Humans as a Service (HaaS), with Jason Averbook, Chief Business Innovation Officer at Appirio, and Richie Etwaru, Group Vice President of Cloud and Digital Innovation at Cegedim Relationship Management.

Until then, we’ll continue to tackle World of Work conversation each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of this redesigned blog/community website. TalentCulture is always open and the lights are always on.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Stock.xchnge

 

Developing Talent in a Social Business World

(Editorial Note: This is post 1 of 2)

Now more than ever, talent development is a life-long process, transcending education, career, technology and social media. It cuts to the core of why we’re here and what it means to be human.

We are here to become more — to maximize the development of our talent by improving performance in every aspect of living. And, we are here to guide and support others in doing the same.

Consider the countless number of hard and soft skills it takes to navigate a single day of living in the 21st century. We’re swimming in a contextual field of opportunities, challenges, goals and choices!

Social Business: What’s New?

Business has always been a social endeavor. Despite relentless change — including the recent arrival of revolutionary social media tools — many of the essential skills for business success have remained the same throughout history. No mystery there. Business is and will always be about creating and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships.

So what’s changing at a revolutionary level? According to “Social Era” author, Nilofer Merchant, the most successful businesses are adapting and integrating traditional relationship-building skills and processes into the digital landscape.

Professional Life and the New Social Norm

Of course, the implications of social business don’t stop at an organizational level. Work and personal life are merging, as workloads increase, and mobile technology and social platforms grow more prevalent. The traditional boundaries and walls that separated life roles are being erased. Social and mobile channels are morphing work-life balance into a work-life blend.

Our diverse roles are becoming synthesized into a single life style. We work, we play, and we live — engaging anywhere, anytime, with anyone we choose. Many people now live in a blurry space between “real” life and digital life, professional and personal, internal and external.

Filtering the Social Clutter

IBM estimates that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. What does that mean for social learning? We have too much information, not enough transformation. Despite extensive learning, education, training and development, people think, feel and react in the same ways over and over. Think about the volume of content you absorb on a daily basis. What percentage of that information actually helps you create a positive impact in your life, or the lives of others?

Here’s a tool to help cut through the fog and chaos of today’s deafening social noise. I call it the “social business contextual field.” This filter helps brings clarity and precision to individual and organizational goals, strategies, learning, development, communication and transformation. It is based on six core components.

Social Business Contextual Field

These six concepts represent all the complex relationships within social business. We can draw endless connections between words. For example, we think about how we feel. How we feel impacts how we think. Our thoughts and emotions largely determine our reactions and choices. We think about people, spaces and technology. We’re emotionally connected to people, spaces and technology. We physically engage with people spaces and technology.

Social business success hinges on learning how to develop and continuously improve connections, communication and collaboration among all aspects of the contextual field. Specifically, when individuals and organizations align, integrate and transform both sides of the contextual field, success follows.

Engagement-Performance Transformation

As I explained in a recent TalentCulture video, engagement-performance transformation is an essential social learning skill. It’s a  solution to seizing opportunities, overcoming challenges, boosting productivity, realizing goals and amplifying social business success.

In our work, we mash the two words “engagement” and “performance” into a single word, “engagement-performance.”

  • Engagement: The moment we recognize and seize opportunities to improve parts of the social business contextual field.
  • Performance: Everything that happens intellectually, emotionally and physically from the moment we engage, and as we move thorough the experience.

Engagement-performance transformation is above and behind all skill development. Consciously or unconsciously, we are engaging and performing every moment. Social talent development centers on transforming our capacity to engage-perform-produce more, better, faster, now — no matter what’s happening in or around us.

Three Steps for Engagement-Performance-Transformation

A culture of social learning, backed by engagement-performance transformation, does not happen by accident or good intentions. We must do three things to create and sustain engagement-performance transformation:

  • Take personal responsibility for transforming intellectual, emotional and physical engagement-performance.
  • Learn, practice and apply real-time power tool strategies for engagement-performance transformation in the midst of intense situations, persistent challenges and diverse people.
  • Proactively embrace the process of engagement-performance transformation, in self and others, from moment-to-moment, day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year.

Editorial Note: This is Part 1 in a series by Michael Clark. Part 2 will be published soon. Sign-up for TalentCulture.com email updates or via RSS feed, to follow Michael’s posts.

Image credit: Stock.xchng

Igniting Social Learning: #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap)

Social learning. Two simple words with so many meanings.

The TalentCulture community understands one meaning very well. After all, we exist is to encourage social learning among talent-minded professionals. But this week, we want to look more expansively at the role of learning in today’s social business environment.

Our mission is to unpack this concept collaboratively – sharing ideas and information about how and why social learning can make a meaningful difference for individual careers, as well as organizations.

We even have some heavy-hitter experts to help us see how leading-edge learning tools and techniques can transform business.

MichaelClarkWhat’s Your Learning Goal?

Yesterday, I started the conversation on Forbes.com by thinking aloud about 5 ways anyone can jump-start social learning. As I fleshed-out these thoughts, a key question kept coming to mind: When you pursue learning, what’s your purpose?

  • Are you learning, so you can teach?
  • Are you teaching so you can learn?
  • Are you learning for learning’s sake?
  • Or do you have other intentions?

What’s more, does your goal really matter? I think it does. Arguably, the most powerful learning experiences are fueled by purpose-driven passion.

Truth is, learning should propel us not just through school, not just through work, but through life. And when our personal quest for knowledge, skill and competence aligns with business goals, the results can make a meaningful difference.

#TChat Focus Topic: Let’s Get Social About Learning

Life is a continuous process of learning and skill development. And by nature, learning is a social activity. Throughout our lives we look to others – parents, teachers, mentors, managers, experts, peers and others – for information, instruction, insight, guidance and validation. It’s all part of the learning process.

So, what does it mean to apply emerging social tools and techniques to the process of continuous learning? And why does it matter? Let’s talk about it!

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio

#TChat Radio – Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT

Tune-in online and discover new ways to ignite professional and organization learning, as we interview Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, and Justin Mass, Sr. Manager of Learning Technology & Design at Adobe.

#TChat Twitter

#TChat Twitter – Wednesday, March 27 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT. Join our weekly online forum, and share your thoughts with others about these key questions:

Q1: How & why should we define social learning & talent development in the world of work?
Q2: How can we bridge today’s skills gap by connecting business with education?
Q3: We equate social learning with online learning, but is that view complete? Why/why not?
Q4: What are the most important technology platforms for social learning today?
Q5: What critical metrics should leaders should use to measure social learning & talent development?

Want to see more about this week’s topic? Watch Michael Clark, talk with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald in this preview video on YouTube, or read Tim’s “Sneak Peek” blog post now.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter stream and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

 

Channeling Crowd-Sourced Mindshare: #TChat Recap

“I don’t want to be out here doing nothing. It’s dangerous.”

This from a 14-year-old boy in Chicago who should be in school, but is not, because of the Chicago Teachers’ strike. This isn’t a rebuke of why he’s not in school, it’s just a brief commentary about the phrase itself as metaphor for the power of social and informal learning.

Many of you have heard the quote, “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop,” which comes from H.G. Bohn‘s Handbook of Proverbs, published in 1855. Its Biblical origins comes from the belief that hard work keeps us focused and out of trouble, and without it, we can only conceive evil deeds from laziness. But with the latest in neuroscience research, we now know that our frontal cortex has much smaller windows of focal strength during the course of the day, that we need idle breaks in thought, to allow the mind to rest and revitalize, letting what we’ve absorbed during the focal spikes to reengineer our synaptic pathways.

Of course I don’t literally mean that teenagers should be roaming the streets unchecked with no formal or informal learning in place. I’m segueing more to the adult world of work and how the progressive enterprise understands how we truly learn and adopt and adapt — and it is doing what it can to integrate this into the workplace, from applicant to alumni.

But we’ve got a lot of “process debt” to deal with. Similar to “technical debt” that refers to layers of outdated programming code that we just overwrite instead of starting fresh, process debt is the same thing when it comes to change management in the workplace. Our decades old learning and development processes haven’t changed much even in the light of research referenced above. We still throw the new employee handbook at new hires, make everyone sit for day-long training seminars where we check out halfway in, and then we silo ourselves in self-branded promotional kiosks with limited if any exposure outside the firewall to valuable content from informal learning channels.

I’m talking about social channels, of course — which of course we’re getting access to anyway inside and outside the firewall, via mobile and tablet devices.

The democratization of social learning is here to stay, and we should embrace the shorter bursts of quality peer-to-peer interaction and actionable insights. By letting us do what we’ve already been doing for thousands of years, the sharing and learning around relevant topics across brand agnostic open networks, organizations can channel the crowd-sourced mindshare and elevate the great global enterprise of empowerment and improvement.

“I don’t want to be out here doing nothing. It’s dangerous.”

The good news is, we’re not doing nothing. The danger is in resistance, not idleness.

Did you miss this week’s preview? Click here, and check out all the crowd-sourced mind-sharing below, channeled through a slideshow of your #TChat tweets. Thank you, Joe Sanchez (@sanchezjb), for your guest  moderation of yesterday’s chat. We look forward to seeing everyone next week.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

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#TChat INSIGHTS: These Are a Few of my Favorite TWEETS (Social Learning Culture)

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Storified by Sean Charles · Wed, Sep 12 2012 22:23:10

Just me and my pigeon friend #TChat ing it! Don’t jump lil guy! It ain’t worth it! ;) http://pic.twitter.com/W0OHRqH6Jocelyn Aucoin
@SocialMediaSean Chi-town!! #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/vGgg5pvbBarb Buckner
There are always more ways to fail than to succeed – always. Change the questions, walk a new path, see differently. #tchatVala Afshar
Let’s roll! Q1 What are the top attributes of a learning culture? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A1. Look around, do you see learning outside of L&D? Do you see learning happening organically? Yes? Yes. #tchatJustin Mass
A1. Must be adaptable. Things change ridiculously fast. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1) Must be open to honest criticism about the environment. Tear that bandaid OFF #tchatKeith Punches
A1: Total Employee Collaboration towards shared values #tchatNissrine Ghannoum
A1. Here’s a simple answer we overlooked: investment in creative methods of training! (Disclosure: These include our platform!) #tchatTeamalaya
A1: The culture of learning runs from how you approach meetings to performance reviews, every facet, it’s a total rework of process #tchatJen Olney
a1) confidence in taking risks. Don’t over-analyze. Do it, assess it, do it again if it works #tchatRich Grant
A1) Much informal learning isn’t directly tied to performance, yet it results nonetheless. Don’t try to measure its ROI #tchatTom Spiglanin
A1: permission to fail #tchatAndy Phillips
A1: No killer phrases like “that will never work” #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A1 Be open to the diverse way people learn best. Give options, be flexible and all inclusive. #tchatTeala Wilson
A1: #Learning cultures take risks and value the experience of failure. #TChatAndrew Henck
A1: Learning cultures encourage everyone to ask questions and share stories about successes, failures, and what they’ve learned #tchatJen Olney
A1: A healthy learning culture might allow one to admit mistakes with fear. #tchatMark Salke
A1: The celebration of mistakes that result from courageous adventure if they’re not careless. #tchatDavid Lapin
A1) Equal access to learning for all; open access to informal learning channels thru #SoMe #tchatTom Spiglanin
A1: Also about providing mentorship at the mid-level. Younger #employees need to know it’s safe to ask questions #tchatLara Zuehlke
@sanchezjb A1) Open-minded to new ideas, enthusiastic and willing to take risks. #TChatIcarus Agency
Curiosity may have killed the cat but it gives rise to a learning culture. A1 #TchatJocelyn Aucoin
A1 – the right to fail trying something new #tchatRichard S Pearson
A1 When comps present themselves 2 job candidates as employer that supports employees growth, stage is set 4 what ppl can expect. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A1) On-fire learning finds value in every interaction. The culture that stimulates that values innovation. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A1. Collective spirit of inquiry and open source leadership #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1 Availability of “learning materials”. #tchatObjectiveli
A1: ability to ask questions no matter the circumstances #TChatBrad Galin
A1. A place where leaders encourage teams to continually grow professionally and personally by being open to new ideas and concepts. #tchatTerri Klass
A1) A learning culture just “is” – it’s like a good film, you know it when you see it. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A1: Needs to be supported from the top, organizational culture, competency of leadership, talent management etc. #tchatRobert Rojo
A1: Trust! Trust->fearlessness->sharing knowledge->everyone benefits #tchatBright.com
A1. Learning should actually occur :-) #tchatSheree Van Vreede
A1 Starts with an open “mindset” – values ideas. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: A learning culture must continually promote curiosity, that’s where it all starts. #tchatRandy Thio
A1: If we are open-minded, aren’t we always learning despite the #culture? #TchatLara Zuehlke
@sanchezjb A1. Strong learning culture acknowledges all ideas, good and bad. #TChatJason Ebbing
A1: An organization that commits to training established employees as well as onboarded employees. #tchatTeamalaya
A1: Providing dollars as well as support for cont education, learning & sharing. #TchatLara Zuehlke
@SocialMediaSean @marksalke I’ll go you 1 better: late summer @ my office. http://pic.twitter.com/fMVP2eORMandi Bishop
Q2 How can leaders teach employees to learn how to learn? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A2 “Enable everyone to be a teacher” @4KM More priceless advice from #tchat on Twitter!Daniel Hudson
A2: Leaders can advocate for their employees to experience growth opportunities and share experiences with employees #tchatTeala Wilson
A2: Learn from mistakes, they’re a great opportunity to teach, learn and grow from. Will add value to organization. #tchatRobert Rojo
A2 asking q’s (genuinely), building trust, & designing 4 cooperation help spur learning. teaching doesn’t nec. mean learning happens #tchatMiriam Brosseau
A2: when ppl share knowledge, f/u and say thank you. = creating open learning & sharing environment #tchatPlatinum Resource
A2 Enable everyone to be a teacher #tchatAlice MacGillivray
@SocialMediaSean Awesome panorama from 21st floor ! Ottawa #Canada #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/sZJkojGMNissrine Ghannoum
A2: Isn’t #learning the point of working? To teach, connect, grow? You can make money all kinds ‘o ways. Don’t need a job for that. #tchatLara Zuehlke
#tchat a2 asked them what area they would like to receive more trainingSage Bramhall
A2: by using tools like #SoMe – being progressive examples #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A2 Leaders need to challenge employees to answer their own questions, not provide answers, make people uncomfortable at times #tchatPam Ross
A2 Allow people room to “fail forward” #tchatWandaHopkinsMcClure
A2 Worked 4 comp that encouraged ppl 2 join Toastmasters & allowed time during work hrs. & considered it part of annual learning goal #TchatCyndy Trivella
A2 Looking back and admitting what didn’t work – then moving on. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2: Leaders have to be intentional effort to offer and gain a new perspective so that everyone can see situations in fresh new ways. #tchatJen Olney
A2: by Fostering dialogue, setting an example & connecting employees to the org objectives #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
#tchat A2 you can help others learn. Adults are hard but make them love learning as much as u thru example. I provided proff dev. For 8 yrs!Sage Bramhall
A2: Share learning experiences and demonstrate the importance. Allow opportunities for self and team to apply learning on the job #tchatLaTonya Wilkins
A2 Leaders have to be open to feedback and change. Modeling learning from experience so that employees learn. #TChatPam Ross
A2. Leaders can take interest in what their team wants to learn and pursue. Ask. Listen. Integrate ideas. #tchatTerri Klass
A2: Everyone already knows how to learn, they just need to be reminded to keep doing it at work (managers and peers can help) #TChat #TChatFaronics HR
A2: Encourage EEs to trust themselves & ask questions. If they didn’t already know how to learn, they wouldn’t have gotten very far. #tchatBright.com
A2 The leaders should encourage participation without the fear of failing or making mistakes #tchatRitu Raj
A2: #Leaders need to be OK in their own skin. Insecurity is what erodes #learning & growth. Leads to micromanaging. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A2 – be willing to walk the walk as well as talk the talk when it comes to learning. Many ldrs don’t do this #tchatBrad Galin
A2 There’s value in teaching people how to ask questions – the right questions. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A2) lead by example. Show them you are open to their ideas by accepting their honest appraisal of current status quo. #tchatKeith Punches
A2) Lead by example, a leader who is still passionate about learning themselves will naturally encourage those around them. #tchatBlair Hite
A2 Companies can include “fun” time learning into the mix so it’s not always a classroom or CBT learning experience. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A2) give them some breathing room. Let them figure things out; consult when needed #tchatRich Grant
A2: Leadership has 2 drive it, need 2 encourage, can’t b afraid of failure use it 2 develop the culture and character of organization #tchatRobert Rojo
A2: I believe you should teach by modeling. #tchatTyrrel Walker
A2: Leaders must be committed to a day-in and day-out shift in attention and practice to learning and make it consistent #tchatJen Olney
A2. Stay present; stay on message; and keep listening. #tchatSheree Van Vreede
A2 Mentoring might be good start… #tchat #csuite #leadership #workplaceGood Business
A2 At Teamalaya, all employees are willing to do the dirty work. It will show future employees that we’re willing to do w/e it takes. #tchatTeamalaya
A2. They can create the conditions that give people permission to learn without boundaries or borders #tchatSalima Nathoo
A2: By starting everyone in preschool. Really. Soft skills and learning cultures start there. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A2 Mgrs can set reasonable expectations for a set # of learning hrs per month/yr. and tie learning into the performance expectations. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A2 model learning, be open to it, provide learning at every opportunity, ask questions, challenge assumptions, don’t give answers #TChatPam Ross
A2: Identifying + recognizing the strengths + learning styles of your team is key. #TChatAndrew Henck
A2: Set an example and then provide the same opportunity #TChatBarb Buckner
a2) ask them the questions; don’t spoon feed them the answers #tchatRich Grant
A2 Model the behaviors. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Late summer on the deck in Ann Arbor. @SocialMediaSean #tchat http://pic.twitter.com/OtjDfSOQMark Salke
Q3 How can an organization leverage informal social learning opportunities? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A3: Provide UNSTRUCTURE time to think, dream, mastermind,tinker, explore reflect- genius is not a lightening bolt #TChatAngela Maiers
A3. Recognizing informal learning value and understanding its benefits, could be a good start #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A3: Orgs can leverage informal #SocialLearning by mixing it up – provide content that provokes personal and professional interest #tchatTeala Wilson
A3: Build intentional reflection and inquiry into meetings and exchanges. Questions like, “What did you notice when…”#tchat #hsdinstituteRoyce Holladay
A3 – Create intersections – social is fast moving & ideas spring up – then do something w/those ideas as a jump board for learning #TchatLeAnna J. Carey
A3) @hjarche @C4LPT and others promote narrating work. Within the org, this goes a long way to show others how it’s done. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A3 employees are a great way to bounce ideas around about new ideas and new opportunities. #TChatKZO Innovations
Less social media. More face to face. More work. More production. Less chat. #TChat A3Lois Martin
A3: Afford ppl the freedom to learn using a method that makes sense for them, often is met with less resistance. #tchatRandy Thio
A3: Peer to peer teaching opportunities allow everyone a chance to gain knowledge. Create the space and time to make it happen #tchatJen Olney
A3 Learning is caught; not taught. Communicate, collaborate, celebrate together. #tchatWandaHopkinsMcClure
A3: Effective learning cultures already expect folks to bring outside (formal/informal) learning in + share it. #TChatAndrew Henck
A3: YouTube and TED are excellent sources of inspirationand information which can start ur creative juices flowing! @AngelaMaiers #TChatZenYinger
A3: We need to invite someone we don’t know well or from another area to lunch…. break bread, break barriers. #TChatJon M
A3. Embrace social learning as critical to innovation and cutting-edge knowledge. #tchatTerri Klass
A3: Make it public. So many opportunities in social learning to highlight your learning culture #TChatSean Charles
A3: Buy letting us do what we’re already doing. Sharing and learning around relevant topics across brand agnostic open networks. #TchatKevin W. Grossman
A3: Approach everything as a learning opp. Encourage learning by doing, observing, teaching. #tchatBright.com
A3 Onboarding is one opportunity. Social learning def. required. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3: give people some downtime to process and collaborate. Need to let go of control! #tchatBrad Galin
A3. Build a social sandbox in the workplace and champion creative sandcastle architects. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3) Identify existing pockets where social learning success exists & seek ways to cross-pollinate/expand/amplify on those examples #TchatExpertus
A3: Create an org culture that first values “out of the box” thinking + innovative learning opps. #TChatAndrew Henck
A3 Leverage by creating an environment which supports informal learning opps, ie, outta cubicles! It’s culture & physical #TchatClaire Crossley
A3: Provide UNSTRUCTURE time to think, dream, mastermind,tinker, explore reflect- genius is not a lightening bolt #TChatAngela Maiers
A3 – an open work environment – no cubicles – and encourage collaboration thru social media… #tchatRichard S Pearson
A3: accept unorthodox learning styles. org leadership retreats, to bond teams, and give back to community. displays comm, & collabora #tchatPlatinum Resource
A3 Informal learning allows ppl to learn in a place, time and thru a venue (i.e., mobile device )to fit employee’s learning style. #TchatCyndy Trivella
“@SocialMediaSean: Tweet a photo of where you are tweeting from tonight. Love to add pictures to the Storify. #TChat” http://pic.twitter.com/tSX0nbrhFar North Media
Q4 Why do learning cultures create competitive advantage? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A4 – The struggle after a company has been ramped up is ‘the founders dilemma – can you scale? #TchatLeAnna J. Carey
A4) Seeing love for failure. OK. But it’s how we attend respond & adjust & move forward that is the source of value in failure #TchatExpertus
A4 – barriers can be overcome by continually evolving the teaching models through an innovation lens #TChatLeAnna J. Carey
A4: Learning cultures tend to be more civil. #tchat #leadership #learningLindaFisherThornton
A4: Growing Leaders , Growing Companies #tchatNissrine Ghannoum
A4: there’s a jack welch quote about comp advantage is orgs that that learn fast ad convert that learning into action.. #tchatBill Cushard
A4: Adaptable to responding to external changes,competitive to innovations. The culture of learning is always shifting into high gear #tchatJen Olney
A4: A #LearningCulture creates a competitive advantage by allowing ideas and innovation to flow and be heard #tchatTeala Wilson
A4 Competition fosters efficiency–> production. Experts learn & produce. Leaders teach WHILE they learn & produce. #TChatJoseph Ned
A4: The more you “Learn” the more you “Earn” in life & business #TChatSean Charles
#TChat A4:More opportunity 2 empower employees to learn new things as well as challenge them, instead of “just showing up at work”! #rewardsMichael!
A4) Knowledge hoarding is a tactic for failure. Knowledge sharing is like passing down the recipe for success. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A4: To emphasize to employees to go the extra mile, be accountable & define expectations. #tchatRobert Rojo
A4: a learning culture is able to embrace diversity and this allows good mixing of ideas to bring new ones to life. #tchatBrad Galin
A4 Companies can have customer satisfaction recognition programs that R tied into learning new procedures/processes. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A4) because learning cultures = innovation = competitive advantage #TChatRich Grant
A4. Because they are inclusive, not exclusive. #tchatSheree Van Vreede
A4 I think a good place to look in organizations where and what learning is required, that also goes for tacit and general learning #tChatRitu Raj
A4. Encouraging emps to take part in their own education is empowering…and contagious #TChatKara Singh
A4: Learning cultures are inherently adapting to the changing needs of the day. #TChatAndrew Henck
A4. There are always opportunities to learn. It’s not only up to the mentor but the individual to take the lesson. #TChatKara Singh
Tweeting from Michigan State – #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/SfuOOLWoMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q5 How do you know whether or not an organization’s culture is conducive to learning? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A5 How they react to mistakes – do they learn from it or sweep it under the rug? #tchatAmy Do
A5. By profiling managers… are they multipliers or diminishers? The latter ones don’t leave room for failure and practical learning #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A5: Active Listening , Questioning & raising awareness #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
A5 transparent processes – opening up for feedback & taking it seriously – represent a learning culture #TChatMiriam Brosseau
A5 – It’s important to assess the appetite for change – can close up some barriers! #TchatLeAnna J. Carey
A5 The best learning, especially in business, comes from discovery. How does the org take what’s been discovered and create insights? #tchatJoe Sanchez
A5 you FEEL it! There is a good vibration in the air. #TChat #tchatLori~TranslationLady
A5) I facilitate a social session with newer employees to get to heart of our culture, which is knowledge sharing. Walk the talk. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A5 Leadership must set a purposeful direction for continual learning. Can’t be haphazard. #tchatTerri Klass
A5: I find there is a strong sense of humility in learning focused organizations. #TChatSean Charles
A5 An organization that fosters innovation, trying out new ideas – is more likely to be a learning organization #tchatKimbra Fox
A5. I’d agree on the fact that employees may be the ones to give some key evidences #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A5 Really, all you have to do is look around. If things aren’t changing, people aren’t learning. #TchatRedge
A5) In our org, a VP welcomes every new employee, even if some weeks it’s just one or two. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A5: Find out about an org’s rate of internal mobility and process for determining strategy & best practices #tchatTeala Wilson
A5- Examine how the highest level employee interacts with the lowest…if you see/feel the hierarchy probably not a learning org #TChatAngela Maiers
A5 How they react to mistakes – do they learn from it or sweep it under the rug? #tchatAmy Do
A5 open your network and find people who work there to talk to. They won’t hesitate to share if they are in a great (or horrible) co. #tchatRichard S Pearson
A5: Ask one of their regular employees what the company mission statement is! #tchatRandy Thio
A5: Are the leaders challenging their employees to push their own status quo beyond its limits and seek new perspectives? #tchatJen Olney
A5: if they are in survival mode or not. those they want to survive, tend to skip out on training & learning #tchatPlatinum Resource
A5) do SVPs and above ask more questions than make pronouncements? #TChatRich Grant
A5 How boring are the meetings? :) #tchat #csuite #leadership #workplaceGood Business
A5: If the org culture values failure + innovation, it is conducive to #learning #TChatAndrew Henck
As a manager you can either command excellence or help build excellence. Leaders always choose the latter. #tchatVala Afshar
@TerriKlass Dont use White Boards. Use butcher paper and markers. More creative thought. #tChatGenny Harrison
People can be human. Learning, growing, flawed, passionate, humans. Groups like that learn w/ and from each other. #tchatMatt Monge
@TerriKlass I got your jealously ripening in my yard right now http://www.twitpic.com/aqgpwe #TChat pina coladas for everyone!Sylvia Dahlby

How to Blog Without a Blog

While many students and professionals have jumped into the blogosphere to share their POV with the world on different topics, industries and areas of interest, some out there are more hesitant to make the investment and commitment to full-time blogging.

This may be due in part to them a) not knowing how to build and maintain a blog, b) not knowing exactly what to write about and/or c) not knowing whether they will have the time and energy necessary to keep it updated on a regular basis.

However, what most people don’t know is that you don’t have to start and maintain your own individual blog to share your POV and your personal brand online.  There are several ways you can start contributing immediately to bloggerdom and working your way up to potentially owning and managing your own blog down the road.

  • Commenting: Commenting on others’ blog posts can help you start networking and engaging your name and opinion with other bloggers.  Pick a couple blogs to follow on a weekly basis and contribute your comment.  Make sure you always add value to each post.  You can also use Google Alerts to flag new posts containing specific keywords.
  • HARO: HelpaReporter.com (HARO) is FREE tool that connects professionals and students with bloggers, journalists, writers and authors seeking sources for their articles and publications.  This is a great way to get interviewed and quoted across various blogs and other media outlets.  It also becomes a nice credential to feature in interviews and career networking.
  • Twitter: Micro-blogging using services and platforms like Twitter gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions, link your followers to valuable resources, articles and other information online and work your way up to more substantial blog contributions.
  • Guest Blogging: For those of you who want to try your hand at full-length articles, consider contributing a periodic guest post to one or more blogs in your industry.  It’s best to reach out to the blog owners and ask permission first.  This will start a relationship with them, but will also allow you to customize your content to their needs.
  • Team Blogging: If you’re ready for more regular contributions, reach out to a team blog and ask to join as a weekly or more regular contributor.  You can also start your own team blog if you can recruit some fellow bloggers to join you.  This will help you all share the load and commitment while giving all of your personal brands exposure to new audiences.

Once you get a good feel for contributing, if you decide you’re ready to launch your own blog, I definitely recommend you use the WordPress blogging platform.

There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress-hosted and self-hosted.

You can host your blog for free with the WordPress-hosted version via WordPress OR for a monthly fee with the self-hosted version via third-party web host. You may think this is a no-brainer and that you should go with the free WordPress-hosted version. Do what you please, but the WordPress-hosted version leaves you with less control over your blog and will end up costing you more in the end due to the fees WordPress charges for any customizations you may desire (including adding your own custom domain name and your own themes and designs).

I recommend you go with the self-hosted version and check out Page.ly which is an easy-to-use hosting service that will help you get your new WordPress blog up and running in a matter of minutes.

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer, Launchpad, Blogaristo and more.

Magnetic Cultures and Twitter Chats — The Latest #TChat Recap

Talk about a magnetic culture.

At least in the context of online Twitter Chats in 140 characters or less of reciprocal conversation and idea exchange — we’ve got a winner.

My fearless culture cohort in crime, TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro, and I started #TChat back on November 16, 2010, and have now hosted four forums.

The latest titled The Workplace Culture Audit:  Building a Magnetic Company Culture and Recruiting the Best Talent was our biggest yet.

Check out the stats here — over 250 contributors last night alone sharing over 2,000 tweets.

Our good friend Eric Leist, an Emerging Technology Strategist with Allen & Gerristen, wrote about Twitter chat madness this week.

Let’s get back to last night’s topic, though.  Meghan’s forte is company culture and here are some of her thoughts on the subject:

Companies faced with retaining their most important asset – employees = people – should focus on creating a workplace culture that accommodates not only the organization’s need to meet business objectives, but also what resonates with an employees’ need to see themselves as a key partner in the organization’s success. Let’s ensure people feel valued and respected in this equation at all levels in the organization.

 

Workplace culture is so much more than a mission statement or having a cool ping pong table for breaks or sharing free sodas in the refrigerator (these perks matter of course). It’s a powerful metaphor for the workplace that allows employees to compellingly describe where they work, what the business does, and what its value is to customers. Companies successful in creating a unique and compelling workplace culture will have much more success attracting and retaining talented people who experience ‘culture fit’ with the company.  It’s so important and often overlooked.

Right on the money.  If you don’t have a workplace culture that attracts and retains quality talent, that gets most of them excited about the why of do and not just the what, then your days in business may be numbered.

I say “may be” because cultural wasteland firms can still produce a product and/or service the market wants and be awash in huge profits.  You know, like banking, investment and financial services firms.  (Did I just write that?  Please, no e-mails or phone calls.)  Magnetic culture and business can be mutually exclusive but are oh so much better together.

Magnetic culture is organic, and although leaders help to spark it, fanning the flames comes from inside.

You can read more from Meghan on culture at Culture Brand: Create Magical Distinction to Attract the Very Best Talent.

Here were the questions from last night’s #TChat:

  • Q1: How do you define company culture and what makes it magnetic?
  • Q2: Why aren’t happy hour Fridays, flex time and nap couches enough for a magnetic company culture?
  • Q3: Why is culture a key determinant in attracting and retaining talent?
  • Q4: What constitutes fair compensation including benefits and how does that affect culture?
  • Q5: Do your talent objectives align with the business objectives?  Vice-versa?
  • Q6: How can employers make employee training/career development a priority and give culture more meaning?
  • Q7: Does “open” communication exist in your company? What does this term mean to you?
  • Q8: Why or why not is it important to have an emotionally intelligent company?
  • Q9: How are you challenging your employees (good or bad)? How is your employer challenging you?
  • Q10: How important is it for your personal values to match those of the company?  Vice-versa?

The caliber of attendees and their answers was outstanding.  Smart and savvy folk.  You can see a sampling below or search hashtag #TChat stream to read more.

A very special thanks to Monster Thinking for their support and partnership.  @monster_works and @MonsterWW will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT.

We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.

Thank you all again for joining us!  More #TChat next Tuesday, December 21, 2010 — The Very, Merry Cheddar edition.  I have no idea what that means, but be there.

Monster is Thinking + Join our #TChat Community

Could this be any cooler or what?

What I mean is having MonsterThinking as a #TChat co-host and brand ambassador. That’s very cool. The Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and our TalentCulture mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

The MonsterThinking blog explores the complex world of work and is more than just their tagline; it’s their mission. I always enjoy spending time with their talented team members at social media and career/workplace events and have personally known this company for many years and phases of their workplace culture.

I’m honored to have them on board with us. And of course, finding innovative ways to connect job seekers with the employers looking for them is what Monster’s all about. How can we not love this community of people?

@monster_works and @MonsterWW will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT. We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.

Read more from MonsterThinking on tonight’s #TChat topic. The Workplace Culture Audit: Steps To Building a Magnetic Company Culture and Recruiting the Best Talent.

We will see you tonight and look forward to a new 2011 jam packed with opportunity to learn and grow! Thank you for engaging with us on this channel.

Twitter Chats: A Method to the Madness

I’ve recently gotten into the practice of managing, organizing and consulting for Twitter chats including #LBSchat, #TChat and others. Bear with me in this very straightforward methodology for creating a chat on Twitter.

A Definition: What’s a Twitter chat?

A Twitter chat is a scheduled group orchestrated around a hashtag. Chats usually last about an hour and can capture any size audience. Typically, Twitter users are drawn to chats because chats offer a forum to air out ideas and opinions about a specific topic.

Goals

A Twitter chat should exist to accomplish a set of goals. The goals can be specific and measurable or qualitative in nature. Some examples of Twitter chat goals are as follows:

  • To grow thought leadership for the chat founders
  • To create an open forum for discussion around a previously under-explored topic
  • To fuel content for a blog, book, ebook or wiki

TalentCulture - Twitter Chat - How-to Image - "The View" Roundtable as a Twitter ChatDetermining a Need

There are already a ton of Twitter chats today. So determining whether or not enough demand exists is crucial to the success of a chat. Chat founders need to aim to create an experience participants can’t get elsewhere. Before jumping in head first, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are the existing conversations about my topic burgeoning, but disjointed? In other words, is there a need for organization around the conversations about this topic?
  • Are there enough sub topics to fuel this chat for more than a few sessions?
  • What influencers would be interested in this chat? Can I convince them to participate?
  • How many people would be ideal for a conversation about my topic?

Organization/Moderation

Structure

Establishing an official Twitter persona for your chat has several benefits:

  • The profile bio can be used to give a description of the chat.
  • The profile URL can link to a chat blog, group, category RSS feed, etc.
  • The account can be used to ask questions during the chat.
  • The account can build thought leadership in a niche vertical.

Some chats do not have an official Twitter persona behind them. They are run by the individuals who founded them. This format can work too, especially if the individual organizing the chat wants individual credibility.

Density

One of the most difficult issues to work out during a chat is how closely you want to control it. The number of questions in your chat can steer a conversation into very niche discussions or an open-mic style chat puts the chat direction entirely in the hands of the participants.

For many chats, 5-10 questions work well. Some chats will change format from time to time by hosting an occasional open forum or bringing in a special guest to do a Q&A.

Frequency

Most Twitter chats are weekly. Others are monthly. Still others are scheduled sporadically. Finding the right frequency for your audience will be largely based on how engaged they are and by how consistently compelling the content is.

It may take a few months to figure out an appropriate frequency. You will get a sense of how often a chat needs to take place based on the volume of participation.

Touchpoints

It’s helpful to think of your Twitter chat like a community. Figure out where and how your chat community will reach its members. Some examples of touchpoint models are:

  • Email newsletters
  • Twitter reminders (public @replies or Direct Messages)
  • LinkedIn group messages
  • Facebook Group notifications

Growing an Audience

Momentum is crucial to a successful chat. In an ideal world, your chat would gather more participants each week. Unfortunately, your Twitter chat is just a Twitter chat. It will not be a high priority item for your community members. So some of your chats will be smaller than others. However, there are best practices for growing a community between chats:

  • Encourage community members to spread the word about the chat.
  • Create recap blog posts for anyone who cannot participate in the live chat.
  • Thank and highlight chat participants regularly.
  • Establish a paper.li for your chat hashtag and tweet it during each update.
  • Keep engagement on the hashtag going even when the chat is not live.

Capitalizing on a Chat

Sponsored Twitter chats are becoming increasingly common. Some options you have for monetizing a chat are:

  • Charging per tweet
  • Charging per chat
  • Selling a sponsorship package for a set number of chats
  • Charging per click on a sponsored link

Resources

Some chats you may want to look at:

Some technology you may want to test into:

Crowdsourcing For Your Business Or Community

Crowdsourcing. It’s more than just a popular buzzword.

It’s a really useful community knowledge-sharing technique. Think of it as an open call for tasks, information or data collection – mostly through new media technology.

Often, a passionate, informed crowd can much more powerful in generating ideas or offering solutions  than an isolated individual, business or closed community.

Here’s How Crowdsourcing Works:

1) You identify and define a problem or a need.
2) You broadcast that need online and call for solutions.
3) An online crowd discovers that call and collectively contributes solutions.
4) You use the crowd’s suggestions to choose a way to fix your problem and reward the individuals who developed that suggestion.
5) In the end, you’ve fixed your problem and the passionate crowd gets that feel-good reward of helping someone out. Everybody wins.

 

Examples from the video:

NotchUp
Cambrian House

Another example of crowdsourcing at work:
Waze is a turn-by-turn navigation system that has been mapped and tagged entirely by its users. It’s a mobile application that aims to make driving a smoother and more social experience by giving users the power to inform other drives of speed traps, traffic delays, accidents and more all while their phones send geo-data to the waze network. Check it out at waze.com.

Image Credit: Pixabay