This post is part of a series of profiles on some of our favorite knowledge management, social business, and employee engagement experts.
Are you a full time blogger/author?
No, I am a full-time state government employee. I have a monthly column in Learning Solutions Magazine and frequently write for other trade publications. I have authored several books, including Social Media for Trainers, and written chapters for others.
What are some of your hobbies?
I am working on learning to sketchnote and have surprised myself with the idea that one can ‘learn’ to draw. I enjoy playing stringed instruments: Teaching guitar and banjo is how I found my way to the training business. I am presently learning to play the ukulele and finding it both easy and great fun. Most towns of any size have ukulele clubs that welcome beginners so I find that a great social learning experience.
What do you find interesting about the social media/social business space?
There are so many answers to this! I suppose I am most interested in the ways social tools can connect talent and expertise and ideas across businesses and work units and time zones and continents and interests.
What advice can you share about utilizing social media/social business in place of email?
Email is just a digital silo, and it’s where organizational knowledge goes to die. Of course, these are the very things that some people LOVE about email! I’m concerned that it often includes people who don’t need to be part of a conversation, excludes people who DO need to be part of a conversation, and if one of the principals leaves the organization, the account is deleted. And there’s no denying it’s a terrible time waster for many of us. These days my email inbox is just someone else’s to-do list. So some suggestions:
- Establish the best way to get in touch with you, and stick with that. I am much more quick to respond to a tweet or text –they will push to me– than to an email.
- Ask if it’s really private or of no use to anyone else. Conversations about processes, procedures, obstacles, barriers, tweaks to SOPS may very well be of interest to someone else and can inform future SOPs or project plans. We seem to get very confused over what should be private and what can be public or should be shared. And remember: email is not really “private”, either.
- There are better tools for reviewing/editing documents that don’t involve attaching and sending files hither and yon.
- There are better tools for sharing bookmarks and other materials, where they won’t be lost in an email string from 3 months ago.
- Get better at showing work rather than burying it in reports attached to and buried in emails. I’m doing a lot of work lately on the theme of narrating work, including a webinar for the Training Magazine Network on the 24th. Here’s a Pinterest board showing some ideas. It’s a shame that so much of what we do is hidden from public view, especially in an age where the idea of “knowledge management” is so popular. Take a different look at IM and microblogging tools, collaborative document tools, and self-publishing tools like blogs and video channels.
- I need to get clear that I’m not advocating that we blow up email. We use it badly, and we overuse it. It was never meant to be a “collaboration” tool. It has its place — just like other tools.
What are three of your favorite blogs (or social media accounts) and why?
Naming just 3 is going to get me in trouble! As far as “social stuff” goes I especially I enjoy Jane Hart’s Learning in the Social Workplace blog, Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog, and Euan Semple’s blog.