Back to School

On June 16, 2011, in HRExaminer, More2Know, by John Sumser

Back to School - New Learning

In my other role, as the Principal Analyst at HRxAnalysts, I am in the middle of the development of an analysis of social media in the HR and Recruiting functions. We’re interviewing vendors and key players in the space to try to understand who’s doing what to whom.

Bill Kutik, the mother of all HR Technology, says that innovation reaches HR first through Recruiting. It makes sense. Recruiting is a competitive outwrd facing function that depends on maintaining a competitive advantage. So, there’s a lot of work being done in the recruiting sphere.

But, a picture of HR that begins and ends with recruiting is as useful as one that begins and ends with the Training Department (Learning and Development). We’re digging hard to discover new solutions in the rest of the Department.

To celebrate, I’m going back to school.

For starters, I’ve joined an amazing group of learning professionals in a short and intense class led by Howard Rheingold, one of the leading voices in virtual community, digital literacy and online learning. Called Mind Amplifiers, the course takes place in a virtual classroom with multimedia, blogging, forums, collaborative mind-mapping, group video conferencing and shared whiteboarding. The class itself is an education in collaborative learning.

The subject matter involves designing systems, tools and techniques to manage the onslaught of information. In the first class, I was surprised to get an object lesson in how useful collaboration can be as an information management tool. The class concluded with a group mindmapping exercise that seemed like magic. The mindmap took shape seemingly all on its own.

Many of these same tools are used by great sourcers to discover candidates; but that specific technique obscures their value as information consumption and dissemination devices. The class is amazing. It’s giving me exactly the perspective I need to see beyond my biases.

My classmates are 30 researchers and product developers in various aspects of the learning universe. 10% of the class is European and another 10% work for Microsoft. These are seasoned folks who have had lots of experience in futurism, design and online community.

I’ll keep you posted on my learnings. It’s a pretty amazing thing.

Next stop is a series of Statistics courses. I can hardly wait for that.



 
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