Last week I had an opportunity to work with Michelle Ockers who had travelled down from Sydney for work. We caught up at the co-working space at the NAB Village to go through some final editing to four of the modules of the Work, Connect and Learn Program.
The Work, Connect and Learn Program is a social learning guided program that enables participants to build a community of practice and broaden their internal networks through knowledge sharing, social networking behaviours and working out loud all using the enterprise tools and platforms within CCA. The intent is to enable people to be comfortable with using the tools – and their mobile and cloud options on devices to enable them to see applications through experimentation, practice and trial within their own work.
At work, we come across problems, we sit and reflect about them, we ask others for assistance, support or help. We find ways to solve them. In this program, I wanted the same process translated but rather than teach them “SharePoint 2013 101” or “How to SharePoint Document Libraries”, I had to create the program around various functions so that participants would need to use, try and experiment with the various functionality but for the purposes of solving a problem, broadening their network and learning with their peers in a safe online environment. I also figured that as engineers and maintenance people, they would like to tinker and give things a go to try out some things so I was expecting to learn a thing or two more too! (Bonus, if I’m learning too, it helps me).
What struck me most about my relationship with Michelle through this project is that we met online, through Twitter. I met her briefly in person for 30 minutes or so, at a National Australian Institute of Training Development (AITD) Conference and again through the analysis phase of the Work, Connect and Learn Program. The rest of the time, it’s been through various social media, Lync, SMS or email but it made me realise that the face-to-face meetings only amplified our working relationship – enabled us to immediately get to the heart of what needed to be done, summarise next steps and then spend time socialising.
Throughout my work with CCA, I’ve been on a learning journey too. I even mentioned to Michelle that she didn’t realise just “what fun I was having creating these blended learning modules, integrating the tools into the development of the program and anticipating the start of the program in February”. It feels like we’ve both been on a journey of discovery learning how we can use CCA tools, platforms and devices to help a maintenance and engineering community to use them to solve problems and issues with each other for their own organisation. I still feel we have just “scratched the surface” when it comes to these social tools but we’re making a start to show others on how to use them for their own work contexts.
I like to think that it’s like driving a car. You teach the mechanics and the road rules, you guide them while on the road, they practice in their own time and there’s an assessment (yes, we will have a module based around them teaching us how they’ve used social and mobile tools to solve a CCA team problem). Then, when you’re satisfied, you hand them over the keys for them to create their own routes, adventures and road maps – where, “employees see companies as vehicles to achieve their personal goals and dreams”. Some of them may choose to drive that car every day, others would choose to go adventure driving on dusty dirt tracks to see how the car would handle it while others would prefer to drive the car on Sundays- the only difference is that they all know how to drive a car and why then need it.