The opportunity to work here came about through a member of my network, Benjamin Elias (@collabital).
Although we hadn’t worked together directly at our previous employer, Ben and I knew of each other’s work and interests in social collaboration thanks to social media, in particular, Twitter and Yammer. He approached me to ask if I was interested in joining the Melbourne team and put into practice work with social and collaborative learning, working out loud and social media but apply these with organisations going through O365 rollouts as part of their digital transformation projects.
I jumped at the chance because I have often reflected that Learning and Development were missing opportunities to help their organisations build, use and support their employees with digital skills, knowledge sharing, network and community building. In fact, very few L&D teams were actually involved in any major digital transformation projects in their company.
In my experience, the value of social learning was relatively unacknowledged and unrepresented by some learning departments still keen on producing content on behalf of the organisation, controlling learning, or worse, arguing over how learning must be done. Some still think social learning is a fad.
So when the opportunity arose where I could APPLY my knowledge, skills and experience around social learning but with the suite of Microsoft tools (which all have collaboration and analytics behind them), the answer was staring at me in the face. I could learn and use the entire Microsoft ecosystem and then help business use the BEHAVIOURS AND MINDSETS in the spirit of collaboration and co-operation to solve their business problems using the systems and tools that they use every day – no learning management system, no plugins, no third party applications, no unsupported platforms that are implemented and then forgotten about…
This appealed to me because not only did I have to learn the entire Microsoft suite of products (and there are many!), it was up to me to think about them critically and creatively as to how they could be used in the workplace around business process. I was going back to my routes of being a “performance consultant”.
I like to see ourselves like the team here at the SharePoint Swoop (have you seen this 4-episode series on SharePoint? Please watch this and see how they’ve used the concept of a series to solve a business problem at Funko in a compelling way using workplace analysis, an understanding of the business process and then customising the solution around the software functions).
Working at Adopt and Embrace is also very different from how I have worked in the past. We work as a virtual and remote team and we are spread around Australia and even Los Angeles. Last week, I sent my VERY FIRST EMAIL and to date, have not received ANY email from colleagues as well all communicate via MS Teams and Yammer which has meant my inbox is down to zero with the strangest feeling knowing that I don’t need to open my Outlook anymore (but I still check it because habits are hard to break).
It’s still early days at Adopt and Embrace as I grapple with the sheer amount of information that I have to process but I’m not going to rush it nor put pressure on myself to do everything at once – everything from learning the various Microsoft products, grappling with working remotely and virtually all within the Microsoft ecosystem on a Surface Pro, learning about how we engage and work with clients, learning all about the clients business too (love this bit) and then being that trusted advisor and coach to them to enable them to get the best of their people through these tools.
Instead, I’m going to adopt and embrace every opportunity this brings me and happy to share it with you all too.
This blog post by Helen Blunden was written in Melbourne, Australia and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.