Learning Social

If you accept that almost all learning is the transfer of knowledge/skills from person to person (with practice, repetition, support and all that entails) then helping people to connect is the core of facilitating learning.

You don’t need to create “false” social learning experiences. You don't need a "social" LMS. Help people find a purpose to connect and maybe facilitate at the beginning. That might be through technology; it might be on post-it notes on a wall. The key is continuous practice of new behaviours - learning social. 

For example, helping a team collaborate more effectively is learning - more easily done with small, purpose-driven interventions. Helping people share issues is facilitating social learning - it's why people who Work Out Loud tend to progress faster in organizations.

If you can get to a point to take yourself out of the middle, you have been highly successful. Well done. 

That’s why most organizations are not learning organizations. They do not facilitate connection and collaboration. With middle managers as information gatekeepers and micromanaging leadership, learning cannot happen because connections between employees are not easily created and therefore don't return anywhere near the potential value they could. 

In fact, being human, we bypass the structure because we want to connect, we want to know (to get context), to learn, and we want to enjoy our work. 

We buy more and more technology to "solve" this problem. But having a "digital workplace" doesn't change any core issues. At heart (and I mean that), the problem is simple. Far simpler than most technology vendors would have us believe. 

Purpose-driven connections create engagement. Engagement drives collaboration. Collaboration drives innovation. The key is unlocking all this potential. It's all learning social.