It’s been a ripper of a week. I was introduced to new ideas and discussions that got me excited so I thought I’d cover them off in one blog post although I could easily write a post about each interaction.
Skype with @twofacedHR Lady Vanessa Wiltshire
It seems awkward to write her Twitter handle (because she is anything but!) but I was privileged to Skype with Vanessa Wiltshire one early morning. She was a delight to speak to as you could see and feel her passion about the future of work and how she felt compelled to make a personal, positive change in her life but in doing so help others in her field. What struck me about Vanessa was her authentic, open and genuinely caring nature. Here was someone who was out to make a difference – and she is.
I follow her on Twitter but was unaware of the social community she inspired with HR professionals in Australia to create the HR Talent Community. Some of my own personal learning network had forwarded to me the recent BRW article, “How Two Faced Lady Built a Business From Nothing But Contacts” . Her story intrigued me because it resonated with me – as it did with many others but I had to know more.
After speaking with Vanessa and asking her questions about her vision of HR Talent Community, she crystallised and refocussed some thoughts I had about the intention of my own meetup group for learning professionals around Australia, Third Place.
If you work in the field of Human Resources and interested to learn more about this community refer to the HR Talent Community website.
The Emotional Contagion Facebook Exercise – Which Then Spurned More Interest Around Privacy and Data Security
Tuesday night saw my lounge room set up as a film studio. I was kindly invited to be part of a panel for a video podcast to talk about, “Facebook Tries to Manipulate Emotions for Science. Ethics, MIA?”
I’ll blog about this in detail at some later time when the video is published but I spent the last two weeks reading and watching articles, blog posts and videos about Facebook’s Emotional Contagion exercise. I had my own thoughts about this but figured I’ll ask my network on Twitter and on Facebook about what they thought.
I got more responses on Twitter but on the whole, my family and friends were overly not too worried about it all – the general reaction was “Meh” – not enough to warrant deleting their accounts. Me on the other hand, I started thinking about what COULD happen if my data was compromised. I started thinking of Big Brother. 1984. Conspiracy Theories. “Data Farms” (these two words together are so ominous).
(While we were holidaying in Waikiki some weeks ago, my husband read George Orwell’s 1984 and he would stop and read various sections out loud to me. “Doesn’t this sound like our government today?” “Isn’t this relevant to us today? “I can’t believe how much of this book is true about us today” – so much for light holiday reading but nevertheless it’s like all the jigsaw pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Tad scary).
So it set me off on a period of research, discovery and exploration of how I can be more proactive around the use and sharing of my data.
I stumbled upon Ross Dawson’s article, “Will the Respect Network Enable Us to Take Back Control of Our Lives?” about the new The Respect Network which piqued my curiosity and within minutes I signed on for my own personal cloud name, downloaded SocialSafe and linked my social accounts on SocialSafe as well as adding my frequented sites on Meeco.Me all while surfing within Google Chrome Emmett extension.
It’s enough to make you pull out your hair frankly – or get off the grid.
OzLearn Tweet Chat
I moderated this month’s OzLearn tweet chat on “The Value of Bench marking in Learning and Development”. My initial thoughts was that the topic would be hard going so I promoted it across my networks to invite more people to join us to make the conversation robust. I agreed to moderate the tweet chat because I had my own perceptions of bench marking (I didn’t agree with it) but thought that this would be a good way to break down some of my assumptions.
In a way, it did. It challenged my own thinking because I had a negative experience of bench marking practices internally. What were touted as bench marking opportunities in a couple of organisations I have worked for in the distant past were merely dressed up as junkets to travel overseas with no real learning shared or applied back into the workplace.
I changed the questions to include more questions in the one tweet and delayed the time I tweeted them out to get people talking.
We had over 440 tweets with cross conversations and dialogue that settled by the end of it into the unspoken realisation that we don’t benchmark learning practices – and sometimes, we didn’t even know what other companies and market sectors such as vocational education were doing in the space!
Watch out for the Storify link that will be tweeted out soon by @TanyaLau
For those in the learning function in Australia, consider submitting your responses to the “Towards Maturity Global Benchmark Briefing Australasia” survey.
You may have seen some test photos on Twitter this week as I was playing around with Google Hangouts running in and out of rooms in my house testing out the hangout functionality. One of the irritating things about Third Place is that I’d love to meet the people in person who come along to the various events. Of course, I can’t get to Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide or Brisbane often so I thought the next best thing would be an invitation to a Google Hangout so that interstate members can all meet each other online as well as learn more about this tool.
It will only be a private hangout initially as a pilot and it will go for an hour. There’ll be opportunities to introduce ourselves, share our “what’s our tipple?” (it will be on at 8pm so I’m sure they’ll be people with glasses of wine or hot chocolate) as well as playing around with the different apps. I hope it will be a fun way to meet everyone online.
(@Tanya Lau is also exploring the opportunity for co-working spaces in Sydney for Third Placers. Our Melbourne co-working events are laid back events where people can bring along their work, use the group to quickly solve any problems, pitch ideas to. People come along for the half day or drop in. If you know of any co-working spaces in Sydney, please drop a note to Tanya).
The New Culture of Learning by John Seeley Brown & Douglas Thomas
I downloaded this book onto the Kindle after hearing Nigel Paine’s From Scratch podcast review and read it in a few days. I could have highlighted every sentence of that book but it made me realise that this is the space I want to play in.
He mentions that the
“New culture of learning is based on three principles (1) The old ways of learning are unable to keep up with our rapidly changing world. (2) New media forms are making peer-to-peer learning easier and more natural. (3) Peer-to-peer learning is amplified by emerging technologies that shape the collective nature of participation with these new media”.
He uses the term ‘collective’ to imply a collection of people, skills and talent that produces a result greater than the sum of its parts – but that it is different from a communities which are passive. “In a collective, people belong to learn.”
Once again this book resonated with me about my intention and vision of Third Place and came up with the realisation that my Third Place is my third place. I don’t want to make it into my Second or my First Place as it will lose all interest for me.
Falling Off My Chair
Yesterday I got on www.seek.com.au. It’s an online job board that I scan every few weeks just to see the “lay of the land”. For the first time in my life, I saw an ad for a Social Learning Consultant and nearly fell off my chair.
It’s a call to arms.
Someone has asked the question. Someone is thinking about it.
I’d be interested in how this plays out in the learning and development field in Australia because not only will there be an engagement piece around encouraging employees to be independent learners – but it will be how to engage the actual L&D teams themselves!
Watch this space.
Well in between all the meeting people, I have been working on a couple of service offerings that I can start to promote and sell over the next few weeks. It all stemmed with the question, “what’s my niche?” and how I kept coming back to the answer, “I want to help people learn how to become independent learners for their own contexts”.
I’ve come up with some quick ideas around personal coaching at the local level but more detail will follow up soon.
Have a great week!