Monday, 11 January 2016

Where's your head?

Day 43 (Tuesday 12th January 2016)
43% of people in the UK aged 5 or over own or have access to a bicycle.
This compares to 
52% in the USA85% in Holland and only 5% in Jordan. 

36.5% of the population are cyclists in Australia.
One of the things I love about the #Adventblog series is its global reach and the interest it inspires around the world. Today's post comes from Australia and is written by Con Sotidis a Learning and Performance specialist and Director of LearnKotch Consulting, as well as the founder of #ozlearn. He spent many years in senior roles within the public sector (mainly within the Australian Taxation Office) before taking the plunge and setting up his own business. Con is an engaging public speaker and an excellent event facilitator. You can follow him on Twitter, his handle is @LearnKotch


Here we are again, "another year over, a new one just begun..." (thanks John for the words).

This year’s theme Comet Tails – Uh? What’s that?

Not to worry – just do what most of us do when we come across something we are not too familiar with - Google it.

See that was easy – how hard is it to discover, learn and share something new these days? We have so many resources at our disposal, and more that can be reached via a click through to our dear friend Google.

Well I know I am preaching to the converted, but it is scary to think about how many others in our profession, I am presuming that most of the AdventBlog readership are senior HR and L&D professionals, are shunning and ignoring the myriad of opportunities available to them.

Why this fear of Social Media?

If one is to be a leader in a business, steering and influencing the organisation's direction, especially around the human capital of the company and the new world of work, one thing that a great person in that role should be doing is tapping into the knowledge and expertise of others in the world that know how to get answers and provide solutions and who are continuing to do so.

The tools are plenty and one must be mindful of not being too focused on the tool, but my favourite social media app is Twitter – it's my go-to tool every morning and every night (and lots of times in between).  

Seeing, reading and sharing what I am receiving from my Personal Learning Network is an activity I enjoy and one that I actively participate in.  In fact, at times I also enjoy the curator role that I play - seeing others Re-Tweeting and sharing my tweets gives me a buzz, because I know, just like me, they too have found it useful and have enjoyed the subject matter.

Never before has the role of curator been more relevant and significant in our field than it is in today’s connected world. Content may be King but Curation will rule the world!

So why are some of our colleagues putting their Heads in the Sand? What is it about social media that they find hard to embrace?

Gemma Reucroft and Tim Scott considered this very issue in their great book Putting Social Media to Work – A Practical Guide:

Gemma and Tim have identified the myths very well, but even with these myths busted we still have little acceptance within our professions of Social Media as an effective means of learning and sharing.

I regularly follow conferences and create personal back channels via the creation of an Eventifier page. I do it for two reasons one to capture and review the tweets emanating from the conference as a learning tool, but the other is for social experiment purposes. I don't retain raw data but it is sad to see conferences of a few hundred L&D delegates attending and only a handful tweeting.  I know it is not an exact science and yes there are “lurkers” and others who follow via other means, but notwithstanding this, it is still sad to see how many have not yet embraced this “new world” or taken up the opportunity to seek and find out how they can. There are so many resources and people willing to help.

I use the hash tag #headinthesand often as a wake up call to the profession whenever I see things that disappoint me about learning. 

Recently though I had an interesting interaction on Twitter with one of my followers. They understood what I was trying to do and appreciated it, but they also wanted to see if we can take a positive outlook on learning by highlighting and recognising those that are already embracing and moving towards the new world of learning. She suggested we adopt the hash tag  #headinthegame.

What a wonderful idea, which I have embraced and will use during 2016. But more importantly one that was born out of interaction and sharing via Twitter !

Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself”

Let’s shine a light on the new world of Social Media and how it can help us learn share and connect. Don't bury your head in the sand – come join me and countless other HR / L&D professionals as we together embark on this learning journey.

We will fall over, we will laugh, we shall rejoice in our success and we shall reflect on our experiences – we have so much we can share with each other  - let’s not let fear impede our opportunity to reach out.

I leave you with this great reflection from Marcia Connor and Tony Bingham from The New Social Learning 2nd Edition:

Macintosh HD:Users:Kotsios:Canberra Conference:Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 3.41.33 pm.png

I wish you all a Happy and Joyous 2016 filled with tweets, likes, shares, follows and mentions!

Καλη Χρονια 2016 !

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