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Social Learning

A brief overview of Social learning, and why it's so awesome

Nick Mackeson-Smith

on 24 August 2016

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Transcript of Social Learning

What is it?
What's the alternative?
Nick Mackeson-Smith
Learning & Development Leader, Deloitte New Zealand
Case study 3:
Client Relationship Development Programme
Case study 2:
Commercial Connectedness
Integrated social learning into more traditional learning methods
2 days
12 weeks
1 day
Didn't talk to each other
Didn't think that other perspectives would have an impact on their area
Didn't know the other colleague even
Created a safe environment for discussion
Freely shared their views / opinions / challenges / ideas
Understood how other perspectives would have an impact on their area AND their clients
Were self-sustaining after 2 facilitated sessions
Formed lasting relationships across the business
scores for participants
The “
authoritative voice

Involves experts telling employees what they need to know
"It's about our people learning
from one another
, through knowledge-sharing initiatives".
The authoritative voice
Presumes the need to indoctrinate on systems, processes, models
Theory doesn't always match up with the practical realities
Typically takes place in a
- not a dialogue
Typically based on past experience (best practice) - not
future needs
Doesn't always allow for group context or experience
Yeah, but that's not how it works in the real world
I hate training
Who made you the expert?
Unspoken frustration. Unsurfaced problems. Unsatisfied learners
OK.... I get it.

So how can I enable social learning?
Maslow's (bizarrely colourful) Hierarchy of Needs
I'm ME!
I'm comfortable
I feel safe
I'm part of a group
I'm known
* Room a nice temperature, fed, watered, etc.
* Confidentiality preserved
* All input valued / acknowledged
* All voices carry equal weight
* Other people are part of this too
* Other people are comfortable sharing
* We are stronger together
* People know that I'm part of this group
* It feels good to have my name out there
* I am who I am and I'm valued for that
* I know that my contribution supports the greater good
* It feels great to inspire others
Management buy-in
Take them on the journey early
Show them the research on non-linear learning
Ask groups to share success stories if they feel comfortable
Look carefully at $$$ expenditure
It's for everyone.... not just millennials
You're right - it's simply about making connections and sharing - we
do that
The use of social media does not solely constitute social learning!
Enabling further connections outside of a learning event should be actively encouraged, and social media CAN play a very important part in enabling this
Have patience
Don't buy a flashy tool if you don't really need one!
Pesky roadblocks
People don't have time
Leaders don't yet "get it"
It's night time and people are asleep and not learning
People expect magical results instantly
Users can input
what they feel is relevant
when they feel it's relevant
if they want/need to record it
L&D inputs

sessions we've initiated/facilitated
It is about
what people think about as a result of their interactions
how people feel as a result of their interactions
what people do as a result of their interactions
It's not about
how many bums on seats
how regularly the group meets
how long each interaction takes
Measuring success
Reward and recognition
Case Study 1
Career conversations
Goldfish bowl
One empty chair
Silence as thinking time

Make it visible
Allow champions to drive growth
Share exceptional success stories if the individuals are keen
BUT.... avoid the temptation to bribe people with food / drink. The opportunity to
share ideas
should be reason enough for people to want to attend
Create champions
Thank you
Share the love - add your voice
Continue the dialogue
Challenge the thinking of others
Make fun of my horrible colour blindness
Help each other. Learn from each other

Stuck at the red light of inaction
Being super smart is seen as paramount, so don't readily articulate concerns or gaps in knowledge
Super smart people with manager responsibility
Challenges are locked away and rarely get resolved
Self-sustaining groups
"Can I have a go?"
Multiple suggestions for action
Rich diversity of experiences and viewpoints
Deep levels of trust established
Global Investment Bank
Senior Vice Presidents
Specialised in specific markets/products
Covered the same client
First 2 days

Skills transfer
Knowledge acquisition
Practice in safety
Setting expectations for behaviour change

This is the 10% bit
The next 12 weeks

This is the 70% bit
Supported by a framework (they aren't on their own!)
Highly practical, real world work
Permission to learn through failure at times
Designed with inbuilt ambiguity
Requires collaboration to be successful
The last day

This is where the 20% bit starts
Reinforcement by leaders and subject matter experts
Results and success shared widely and celebrated
Initiates mutual mentoring relationships
Cements habits - behaviour change is complete!
Social learning
{Diminishes trust in L&D}
** Online journaling
For others to read, and question, and challenge, and learn from

** Personal learning workbook
Exactly that.. personal to the learner only.. often doesn't get challenged or encouraged... rarely seen by others
Full transcript