Over the last week or so, i’ve been developing ideas around the Social Leader. I’ve been trying to adopt social learning approaches to this design exercise, exposing different parts of the ideas to different communities and individuals and making the most of the wisdom of the group. Some people i have specifically contacted for their expertise in particular areas, others for general feedback. Some communities bring a breadth of experience, others bring focus around one dimension. The trick of learning in the Social Age is to curate your presence and build your social capital in a broad range of communities, to benefit from this wisdom and contribute towards it.
I’ve tried to capture the interactions as the core idea is iterated, as shown above: original research and data from my professional practice informs the shape of ideas within the formal space of work. I then curate those developing ideas in three specific ways and get different input from each.
I often share news of what i’m doing with my general social learning and personal learning networks. This is the Facebook ‘news feed‘ approach, so that people are generally aware what space i’m working in this week. This tends to invite unsolicited comment, either support or the offering of ideas. Occasionally it takes me in a new direction. I also reach our and share with specialist communities: if it’s about mobile learning, i’ll check in with various forums or groups around that, different mailing lists. If it’s about music in learning i’ll share with different, but specific Twitter hashtags.
Finally, i tend to reach out to individuals with their own highly curated reputation in a particular space. Reputation, in the Social Age, is about our ability to connect, to facilitate, to develop meaning out of pure knowledge. People with a strong reputation may have answers or may have their own communities that they can reach out to in order to help me develop the next iteration. People with a high reputation are amplifiers that let you reach way beyond your own limited resources.
So input can be casual, based around shared interests or built upon reputation and amplification into entirely new communities.
It’s important to understand how we draw upon the wisdom of the community and how we can curate our own communities and relationships to maximise this. It’s part of what social leadership is about, but also a generic Social Age skill.