With all this talk of ‘Show My Work’, I decided to go on another tangent (as I normally do) and show another’s work!
Rest assured, with full attribution and with a profusion of thanks and gratitude to my good friend and colleague Paul Batfay (@freefacilitator) who has kindly agreed for me to show HIS work here.
If you haven’t read Paul’s excellent and beautifully written blog The Free Facilitator Blog about his experiences as a facilitator then I strongly recommend you follow him on Twitter and his blog. His evocative posts recount the transformative experiences that he and his workshop participants go through in his programs.
So what did Paul do that piqued my curiosity?
He used Yammer in a way I hadn’t seen before which has direct applications for learning programs and events.
Mindfulness in May
I’ve been hearing a lot of mindfulness lately and I guess it’s the result of living in a fast pace world, where we rush around from one task to another and not taking the time to centre and focus on ourselves and those around us.
Our organisation organised a month of mindfulness activities at the NAB Village where they encourage staff along to meditation events at the start and end of the day. This way we are centred and focused before we begin work and ready to go home and face the family at the end of the day. The events are held at the NAB Village and open to all staff and our customers.
But what did Paul do?
Paul used Yammer to create a daily record of the events and his experiences of mindfulness activities. Each day, he logged the mindfulness activity and sought out people who had attended to capture their thoughts, experience and story around that meditation. I asked Paul why he had chosen to capture this in this manner and he said….
So let’s look at an example.
He also created an organisational fundraising event so that staff could donate to a worthy international cause.
Although not shown here, this generated some excited discussion around meditation techniques and apps that people were currently using on their own.
As the moderator of the discussion, he posted the reflection, he asked questions, he invited people to respond by directly adding them to the conversation and he answered questions from employees keen to learn more.
The only difference was that he was moderating an open discussion in the main thread of the ‘All Company’ stream meaning that it was open to everyone in our organisation and not enclosed within a private group. The benefit of this was that the thread was added to daily and seen every day to act as a prompter as well as market and promote the event internally to all staff.
He also tagged the post ‘Resilience‘ to make it easier to filter and search in the future.
Each consecutive day, Paul added a short post on a mindfulness activity and then invited those who were at the meditation events to offer their reflections and observations for the day.
This resulted in a ‘running commentary’ of daily events to capture what people thought; but also to encourage people to ‘microblog’ in this public forum and share their thoughts and experiences.
I haven’t provided the full thread of the conversations here but the images provide an example of how Yammer can be used Yammer as an structured and unstructured discussion centred around a topic or daily event where everyone could contribute immediately (with a gentle prod by the moderator every now and again), while it’s still fresh in their minds.
In effect, Paul has created a storyline of this event that can be recalled and reused in the future. He has used the ‘Storify‘ principles of capturing posts, discussions, links, photos in a logical, timeline based approach to build the event from start to finish.
To me, it shows the power of using enterprise social networks to share and capture the stories, share and build upon organisational knowledge.
In my experience and observations, learning teams have not incorporated the social networking platforms and tools into their programs.
They are missing out on a crucial aspect of social or peer learning within their programs however, at the same time, for those who do use them they are still disjointed or simply ‘tacked on’ at the back end of a program as an after thought. Many times even those design or facilitate the programs are not even on these tools themselves.
Jane Hart writes about this in Going Social? It’s Not About the Social Technology But New Social Skills and it’s evident in the workplace although what Paul is doing here out in the open is showing how he is using his social skills to encourage a shared experience. The tool is simply the enabler.
But the more I contribute and share on these platforms both within an enterprise or outside it, I’m left to wonder what comes first?
The networks or the learning – or are they one and the same