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A retiring workforce. Mergers and acquisitions. Siloed functions. A globally dispersed employee base. Costly formal training.  Unidentified employee knowledge assets. In last week’s webinar hosted by HCI, we learned that these are the business challenges that URS, a fully integrated engineering, construction, and technical services company, solves with social learning, enabled by River.  If you couldn’t make it to our webinar, don’t worry...

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00

HOW TO MODERNIZE MENTORING AT YOUR ORGANIZATION

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Businesses today operate in an era marked by increased complexity and competition.  With organizational hierarchies flattening, every worker in your organization is becoming more autonomous and increasingly responsible for making daily decisions that can alter the course of the corporation--for worse or for better. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that everyone throughout your organization has the timely knowledge they need...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:00

BAD MILLENNIAL MANAGERS: WHAT HR CAN DO ABOUT IT

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Think your Millennial boss has some room for improvement? A recent article by CNBC says you are not alone; only 5% of the current workforce thinks that Gen Y is ready to lead. And the Millennial-damning statistics don’t end there. A recently published Ernst and Young study, featured in the article, reveals that the prevailing perception in the workplace is that Millennial bosses aren’t overly effective; in fact 68% of survey respondents think Millennials...

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00

4 KEYS TO A WINNING SOCIAL LEARNING STRATEGY

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“Business leaders are keenly aware that social is becoming the primary tool that people use to share information or create knowledge.”  These words of wisdom come from a recent MIT Sloan Management Review research study called, “Social Business: Shifting out of First Gear.” While companies may acknowledge that social is the primary tool they need to use, how do companies get started...

What I’ve learned spending my career in the talent and learning industry is that there is never one system that can be an organization’s entire solution in terms of organizational learning. One system does not yet exist that effectively spans 100% of the 70:20:10 learning continuum and effectively support all the various nodes of learning (formal, social, and experiential). More often than not, large organizations require “Best of Breed” systems that support of the various learning nodes and that work together in harmony...

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

THE EVOLUTION OF MENTORING

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In the late 1980s, I was hired to do some executive leadership development consultancy work at a large Fortune 500 company. I remember being on site and walking down a hallway, which was lined with portraits of past company officers and executives, on the way to the executive office area. What struck me as truly rudimentary during my stroll down this hallway was the lack of diversity represented in the portraits. I have to believe that this company has since taken these paintings down, given the fact that all the subjects...

The Millennial generation, to which I belong, is 80 million strong, and it is estimated that we will make up 50-75% of the workforce by 2020.  Now, I don’t think that the Millennial generation will cause any Tsunami-like destruction (except maybe to outdated corporate practices and policies), but Millennials’ potential Tsunami-like disruption is what I think could be most powerful...

In a recent blog, I explained that many companies buy social networking systems like Jive, Yammer, and their built-in talent suite counterparts and expect these systems to enable meaningful social learning. Sadly, they don’t. This led me to share the Spanish saying, “No le pidas peras al olmo,” which means, “Don’t ask an elm tree for pears.” Instead of asking social networking systems (that were built for enterprise communication and coordination) to...

Effectively leading an online social learning group is part art and part science.  There is both a structural component (science) and a feel (art) that contributes to creating the optimal environment for generative learning among group participants.  A balance needs to be struck between these scientific and artistic components to help ensure that there is a learning focus that drives the conversation and engages the participants...

I am fascinated by watches and all the bells and whistles—or more accurately “complications”—that they can contain.  Every new action or feature added to a watch beyond the core function of the hour and minute hands is termed a complication.  As a result, adding a second hand, a display of the date, leap years, time zones, moon phases, astrolabe dials, days of the week, times of sunset, times of sunrise, thermometers, altimeters, barometers and so on each constitute an added complication to something that at a basic level was built to help you tell time with an hour and minute hand...

I have been fortunate in my short "Millennial" life to have encountered some truly great mentors, from teachers and bosses to colleagues and friends.  But one particular mentor stands out: my mom. My mom started an aerospace and defense contracting company (mostly providing engineering and IT services) in her basement a few months before 9/11 happened and sent the economy into a downward spiral. Nevertheless, she kept her company (and her dream) alive through the Great Recession...

When your company tagline is “We bring learning to social,” there’s no equivocation on what we value and work toward every day: learning.  As such, we are excited about the latest enhancements to River, which came out on July 10. Our latest update to River includes new features such as: A robust activity feed—similar to those of Facebook and LinkedIn—that displays the latest updates for an employee’s learning engagements on the individual’s home page...

In a new Brandon Hall Group research paper, The Shifting Workforce: Driving Development with Dynamic Learning Networks, author Stacey Harris details how Humana, URS, Monsanto and UnitedHealth Group are expanding their corporate learning environments to encompass structured knowledge sharing, collaboration, peer coaching, and experience-based connections. While business objectives and goals differ, the featured companies all use River. The paper includes examples of how River’s matching algorithms...

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:00

INNOVATION STARTS WITH COLLABORATION

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It’s no secret: Business leaders want to be more innovative and they want their employees to be more innovative, too, so that they can reap the benefits that organizational innovation has to offer.  But innovation is difficult to achieve.  It isn’t something that can be learned in a classroom or put in the employee handbook of expected behaviors.  So how do we, as business (and learning) leaders, create a work environment that fosters creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, novel concepts and innovative solutions...

Do you know what the term disintermediation means?  Merriam Dictionary defines it as the elimination of an intermediary in a transaction between parties. In the context of learning and development, disintermediation is the process of changing the role of the “knowledge brokers” that have historically been the facilitators and gatekeepers of the organization’s expertise, and shifting away from “directing” or “brokering” knowledge in an organizational setting to letting it flow unimpeded to relevant people who need it...

Gen Y, that. Millennials, this. Oh, this about Gen Z also. Blah, blah, Boomers retiring, blah. Does this sound familiar? Gen Y, the next mega-generation, Gen Z, the youngest and still mostly unknown generation, and Boomers, the generation that represents today’s leadership and C-Suite occupants, sure are getting a lot of ink these days. But what about Gen X...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 00:00

FORGET GEN Y. GET READY FOR GEN Z.

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Just when we all finally think we have a handle on how to talk to, interact with, attract and retain Millennials into our workforce, the inevitable happens: A new generation comes of age. Sorry, Millennials, but it looks like you may have some competition for that bright spotlight soon. While Generation Z (loosely defined as people born between 1995 and today) may still have a few years before they begin to trickle into our corporate halls, they will be the next big generation to enter the workforce after the Millennials...

What do your social learning program and Justin Beiber have in common? Probably not a whole lot, but they both stand to benefit from “going viral” to increase their popularity.  It is how Justin got his start as a YouTube star, and it’s how your program can thrive as well. In order for you to have a successful social learning program, you need to increase the organizational awareness and visibility surrounding it...

While doing leadership development in Central and South America in the early ‘90s , I picked up a great Spanish saying, “No le pidas peras al olmo.”  Translated it means don’t ask an elm tree for pears (elm trees don’t produce fruit of any kind) and it embodies the following common sense notion: don’t ask someone for something they can’t possibly provide, either because they don’t have it or are incapable of giving it to you. This saying came to mind when I saw an article about trying to use Twitter to facilitate corporate social learning...

Recently, as I’ve been doing some research for Millennial-related projects and thinking about how my generation is posed to influence organizations in the future, I’ve come to an interesting conclusion.  While the Millennial generation has many important attributes that employers will need to consider as it enters the workforce in droves, one of the biggest strengths this generation possesses is their shared hopeful and optimistic nature.  While these two descriptors could easily be dismissed as naïve or “green” by someone more seasoned; in my humble (Millennial) opinion, I think this positive mindset could have an important impact on the workforce...

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