These are my live blogged notes from the Training 2015 Conference and Expohappening this week in Atlanta. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.
JD works in the higher-ed space, but is a corporate training guy. He supports the guys who work for Kaplan. JD was at Disney for awhile, AMC entertainment, and 5 years at Kaplan.
JD's slides for this session if you want to follow along...
In 45 minutes, he's going to tell us a five year story.
How Kaplan applied social and how that has changed the way work gets done.
From topical discussion to enhanced collaboration to structured sharing to community engagement.
So JD started at Kaplan...and then had to build e-learning. He's starting to look for the content and can't find a darn thing on the SharePoint site -- just loaded with docs and decks and stuff. That no one can find.
So he said, wouldn't it be amazing if we had Wikipedia for Kaplan? And wouldn't it be amazing if the guy in Phoenix could help the guy in Orlando, and the training department never had to be involved? People helping people across landscapes and time.
And so he started to say "I'm going to be a learning professional" and he started tweeting and going to conferences...
How am I going to make these people share, so that Phoenix/Orlando thing will happen? He was thinking, if you build it they will come. But they didn't.
He thought social was about the technology. Doesn't everyone just want to do this?
But they didn't...
So he started looking around and scrapped the need to start with a strategy. What's the landscape? How is the work being done at Kaplan? How do you know how to do things and who do you go talk to when you have a problem?
Instead of creating a grand strategy, how can I help you do what you're doing?
Sharing isn't new - people were already sharing, but in a way that wasn't advantageous. It was happening in email. And it was happening at home -- people were using platforms at home that were working for them, but once they got to work, they weren't there...
This whole social thing has nothing to do with technology. It's about mentality.
Someone may be constantly sharing things on LinkedIn, but at the workplace, they're not doing that behavior. How do we spread that value so they can do that behavior in the workplace?
Biggest barrier - information ownership. Ultimately, info is power. "If I tell you how I do this, I won't be sales person #1 anymore..."
In silo-based organizations, my department OWNS that.
Location is big. How often do people have to go to your LMS to do their job? Never. Don't ask people to add something to their life? How do we integrate this with the meaningful work people are doing.
No one gets hired to learn; everyone gets hired to DO A JOB.
So where do you start?
Let's find out what people are talking about and where. What's the information people need every day to do their work? So JD asked, how can I help them check their lists more effectively? Don't worry about this grander thing about sharing, but instead getting into the workflow.
With no toys and no budget. How do I enable sharing at scale without a technology platform? Cuz we didn't have the toys...
How can we do this and slip in under the IT radar?
What flexible technology is out there, cheap, and could serve a group of people. So he got a Wiki (Confluence). He asked a group what they needed -- he spent $500 and he loaded all of their SOPs...
Social = ability for people to engage and share. Confluence has a commenting box, which made it social.
But the lawyers were concerned about the comments. "The content was approved, but what if people say...?" The answer is, they're already talking and now we can see what they're talking about. And he's never had to escalate anything.
When people's names are tied to it there is accountability. They behave well. If someone has the wrong answer, the people come in with the right answer.
Installed Community Management as a function. They check that people are being nice and are around. So this helped get that buy-in.
Confluence is now at 72,000 pages three years later.
So now they started using Google Docs. Effectively killing the email attachment.
Introduced HipChat. Enables topical chat rooms. His team no longer emails each other. They have rooms for projects in HipChat.
Within Confluence, started Project Blogs. So you can document decisions made and the whys behind those decisions.
So how can you enable the conversations that are starting to happen and spread it? Teams were very location focused -- Orlando people got help from Orlando people; phoenix from phoenix.
As part of onboarding/new hire groups, he added a Confluence comment thread. He gave those 15 new hires a page. Anyone else could come in and say hello. Here people were talking about whatever. Kind of like a news feed. And the amazing thing, the new people who didn't have silo mentality kept coming back.
Started to leverage this sharing concept into formal trainings. Went after Leadership Training first. They were more accepting of the concept.
Trainers didn't like this, but now more than half of this type of training is now taught virtually.
Then took it to the next level. Started inviting people in to video booth based on what's the big thing in the org right now. Asked them each a question. Instead of making training on it, we got the people who were doing it well to share what they were doing. "How do you do your job?" -- not what they were doing.
People had a hard time sharing this in written form. Writing takes awhile and people get into perfection mode. When people try to write, it gets too formal.
So we went YouTube on them. People shared on camera. Specific and tactical. 90 seconds.
Learning and development is in a good place because of that shared services mentality. So JD can start a question thread. But how do we get out of the way now?
Started with forums that were very focused. Now they have more open forum -- "The Writer's Forum". People come in and have meaningful exchanges about better.
So more discussion forums where people take control.
People started to contribute.
Then they started Google Plus. It sat there for three years. Needed to tie the social bit to the work. And now it's really open.
Used five different platforms. There's no one size fits all. As long as you think about the behaviors and how sharing can solve the problems of your organization, then you find tools that will solve those problems.
Let people pick how they share...
This constantly evolves. We need to be nimble.
Can you measure social engagement? Can you connect back to business outcomes?
JD's favorite quote: "Before, only the veterans knew everything. Now, everyone has access to the same information. Everyone has a voice."
For training guys -- how do we shift from creator to connector. Connecting people to ideas and info and each other.
Look for small wins and celebrate them. To help shift the culture.
Dig in. This has taken five years to get to this point.
Know your stuff. Know what Twitter is and Pinterest. Even if you're not a social person and don't want to share, do you see how others could use this?