Commander Hadfield is the archetypal Social Age hero: rugged but personable commander of the International Space Station, cult hero on Twitter and lead musician in the first ever terrestrial/orbital concert performance. Which, naturally, makes me want to build a rocket and give it a go myself. Let’s face it, rockets are cool, plus it’s been done before so it can’t be that hard. Clearly i will need some materials, maybe a book on ‘how to build a rocket‘ and perhaps access to some online resources (i’m sure there are a good number of other amateur rocketeers out there). Oh, and a set of blueprints. Plus perhaps access to some coaches and mentors, people who’ve done it before, to form a support community.
Sounds good? Well, it will be if the blueprints are right. Access to resources is one thing, being able to buy the right materials, having the community surrounding me to provide challenge and support, all of these things are important, but if the blueprints are out of date, i’m never going to get in the air or, worse, i’ll take off but end up somewhere wildly off course.
Blueprints are important: how do you draw them in your organisation? Who maps the learning pathways, who creates the syllabus and who makes sure they’re up to date? You see, the problem is that technology advances, knowledge grows, we make mistakes and learn from them, we discover new solutions to old problems, so whilst the world around us changes, sometimes we fail to adapt quickly enough: we fail to update the blueprints that everyone is working off, so we end up producing outdated solutions. We lose our agility, lose our edge.
A lot has changed in the last decade alone: mobile technology revolutionising how we access information, social technology transforming how communities emerge and how we work within and alongside them. Fundamental shifts in our relationship with learning. But how far have we updated the blueprints? Social learning is very under-utilised within most organisations. Mobile learning is in it’s infancy and often heading off course. Attitudes are changing, but we need to be updating our strategy, drawing up new blueprints for everyone to work off: this is more than just writing a social media policy or adopting a BYOD approach to mobile. It’s a fundamental need to address the trials, opportunities and challenges of the Social Age. How are you recruiting people, how are you meeting the needs of GenY, let alone X and the rest?
Are your Leadership, Coaching or Sales Training programmes still stuck in the classroom, and if so, when are you going to bring them into the real world? Abstract classroom learning is fine, but grounding it in the real world, in our everyday reality is better, using social learning methodologies and mobile performance support.
Time for a Spring clean? Time to build a new rocket?