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The New Social Learning

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The New Social Learning

A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

ASTD Publications,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Social media guide for leaders interested in the future of training and organizational growth

Editorial Rating



In the afterword of this social media primer for the business set, authors Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain that they tried to walk a “fine line...between being alarmist and simply expressing excitement about the radical changes occurring” due to the array of social media tools available to businesses. The authors exude a quiet, knowing confidence that entices the reader. Here you will find instructive stories, ideas to reinvigorate a workforce from the ground up and talking points to address doubters’ concerns. The book simplifies some of the startup costs, both tangible and intangible, of implementing corporate change through social media, but it also details such initiatives undertaken by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and IBM. Bingham and Conner recommend their book to senior executives and managers because social media shouldn’t be separate from the inner workings of business itself. getAbstract particularly recommends it to human resources professionals and corporate learning specialists who might help provide social media on-ramps for their organizations.


How Social Media Leads to Social Learning and Organizational Change

To leverage social media as a learning tool in your organization, you have to overcome two initial assumptions: 1) that social media exists to connect with friends you haven’t seen since high school, and 2) that training and the distribution of new ideas only happens through conventional education programs. People need to learn in new ways; there’s too much information and it piles up quickly. Your employees learn best in ways that suit their learning styles, lifestyles and locations. Social media answers both the former need and the latter desire.

Social media’s use of the Internet offers the perfect engine for natural and timeless “social learning.” Whether people are in a classroom or a coffee shop, they learn from one another. Social media promotes new social learning, providing a platform for exchanges unhindered by time or geography. “Exchanges” is the crucial word here. Don’t think of social media as a way to “deliver” an educational end. Rather, it allows a broad mixing of ideas that helps you make decisions, build a team, solve problems and articulate your vision; social media teaches you ...

About the Authors

Tony Bingham is the president and CEO of the American Society for Training & Development. Marcia Conner is a partner at Altimeter Group, a fellow at the Darden School of Business and a columnist for Fast Company.

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