Social and Collaborative Learning – answering 2 questions from @isabeldeclercq of @kluweropleiding

In a recent blog post from @isabeldeclercq of @kluweropleiding her first 2 questions interested me:

  1. How do you overcome resistance to collaborative learning?
  2. What will be the role of managers in our future networked world?

This blog post delivers my answers…


Q1 ….before answering, please note that it is slightly strange to talk about “setting up collaborative learning” and “overcoming resistance to collaborative learning” in a literal way. Its always happening anyway, so I think what we really mean us “trying to get an organisation to put its learning efforts into non-formal training” instead of good-old classroom stuff.


The resistance I encountered last time I talked about the power of informal collaborative learning in an organisation was as a consultant in a contact-centre last year. I think the problem was about a power struggle between “me” the outsider with “crazy outsider ideas” and the learning department insiders who knew best about how things should be done. It was the same as any “red monkey” being introduced into an organisation…. = Resistance from the “settlers” who want to keep doing what they have always been doing and keeping their hands on the control button. I think the mistake I made was to not identify and bypass the resistant people and seek out a friendly ally or champion. @isabeldeclercq answers this question herself: Find a high-placed champion and get them walk the talk, showing the way, giving “tacit permission” to others to invest their own time in learning and connecting and sharing good stories….

… and as I saw on Twitter the other day: Don’t be afraid to fire those 3 useless employees that are slowing things down 🙂



Q2 As I’ve noted before, the role of the manager of the future is to connect the dots.


We heard the same thing from @fredericw at #VOVbeurs : The leaders of #Enterprise 2.0 will seek out and multiple strengths within the network.


@Gosse_C from KPMG told me that their managers (even at lower levels) are no longer considered as mentors who must share their savoir-faire in a top-down way, but as “knowledge coaches” who help their people to find out the best quality sources of information within the network.


My aim is to position myself as a connector, not a teacher or trainer…

…so thanks @isabeldeclercq for being a good network member with a quality source of info 🙂


Thanks for reading!


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Published by Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

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