Marcia Conner & Tony Bingham’s book The New Social Learning is, quite simply, a must-read if you are in either responsible for learning in, or running, a business. In short, eloquent, and yet highly readable chapters, they cover both the natural ways we learn, and how the new technologies both support and enhance these capabilities. The focus is clearly on organizational success.
After a opening that sets the stage of how the world’s changing, Tony and Marcia go through a series of tools and opportunities in systematic ways: community, video, twitter, wikis, virtual worlds, and face to face events. For each, they provide vibrant examples, core concepts, recommendations, and ways to address criticism. The elements are all relevant and apt.
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that social learning is the key to competitiveness and survival. This powerful book helps make abundantly clear just what is on offer. Illustrated with anecdotes and quotes from the major players jn the space (usual disclaimer), the message could not be clearer. They’ve done the homework to illuminate the way the world is moving.
I wish they had talked more about mobile, as I think that’s a dimension to this area that is going to be a serious game-changer. It’s implicit in their work, particularly talking about face-to-face, but could use emphasis.
Overall, this is a great complement to Jane Bozarth’s Social Media for Trainers, and our Working Smarter Fieldbook. Together, they provide the big picture and the practical guidance organizations need to take the next step in organizational development. Buy it, read it, apply it, and proselytize it. Let’s make the world a smarter place.