Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
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Infographic: Customer-Centered Learning

Infographic: Customer-Centered Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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How does social meet processes?

How does social meet processes? | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Communities of practice, intranets and team collaboration are not the only scenarios through which social media are percolating inside the enterprise.


More recently a number of pundits have suggested an additional and quite diverse opportunity for injecting peer-to-peer interactions inside work practices by marrying traditional business processes and collaboration. One year ago, Ray Wang and its Constellation Research Group summed up the key targets of this transformation mentioning areas such as Customer Service and Sales, HCM, Marketing and PR, Project Management through 43 use cases.


Social and processes come together following different levels of maturity to introduce a number of benefts:


>> Exception handling as an efficiency lever:


According to Forrester, 50% circa of employees consider existing processes too rigid to facilitate adoption and effectively allowing them to reach process goals. Rigid, a-priori designed processes break down in front of an increasing uncertainty, volatility, competition and power consumers get thanks to social media. That’s where being reactive quickly, constantly learning, anticipating issues when they present and improvising becomes important as processes.


>>Social in the flow:


Switching between tens of not integrated enterprise applications and adding load to existing responsibilities is not something employees are looking for. Deploying social media in the flow of current work practices is thus a clear adoption pattern project and community manager shouldn’t forget.


>>Improving knowledge work.


According to McKinsey 20% to 50% of knowledge work is inefficient or totally wasted while knowledge workers are the quickest growing and most expensive part of our workforce. An opportunity of making them more productive is at hand. The value locked in internal collaboration is two times bigger than in customer facing engagement.


>>Building the agile enterprise:


Empowering rank and file by pushing decisional power lower in the hierarchy at the very point where issues arise it’s the possibility for the organization to become more agile and reactive to change. Adding collaboration on top or inside processes gives employees the right to accomodate customer’s requests, to fix inefficiencies, to circulate and aggregate all the knowledge available while minimizing barriers to change management.

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The 4 main Elements of Enterprise 2.0

The 4 main Elements of Enterprise 2.0 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Enterprise 2.0 enables many opportunities for companies and organizations. Relevant information can be quickly and globally distributed to all employees. Information, knowledge and networking take place on a single platform which all employees have access to. Employees, partners and customers can work together; start networking and exchange ideas within and outside the company. Modern structures are highly motivating for employees; it can boost creativity and innovation and transform the whole enterprise into a more agile one.


In order to unleash the potential of Enterprise 2.0 for companies and organizations, a brief look at the four main elements of Enterprise 2.0 is worth: Communication, information, networking and collaboration.




Communication is essential for success. If employees generate ideas, thoughts and opinions, companies can gain moods and opinions very fast. Enterprise 2.0 services with comment functions require an open communication culture. The so called “social pressure” sets the necessary framework for an internal corporate network. Applications for file sharing, and personal profiles with contact details enriches the corporate communication options





More information thanks to networks. The intuitive design of Enterprise 2.0 services enables different networks in any company and organization. These networks are made for different departments, groups or teams. Networks are also evolving for coworking spaces or seminar groups in schools, colleges and universities. Thus, it´s automatically controlled who gets which information. By #topics such information can be automatically clustered to an ever growing knowledge base.




Based on the principles of social networks, Enterprise 2.0 provides the ability to maintain personal profiles, individual networks and operate smaller networks for special or temporary topics or team work. The social web is made for employees who share expertise, information and opinions with colleagues – as well as with customers and partners in external networks. Employees and their know-how can be searched and found in an innovative way like traditional hierarchical structures would not do so.




Through proactive collaboration in the Enterprise 2.0, collaboration with maximum freedom across departments, locations and companies is possible. Internal corporate networks and an expert search engage people to work together, share knowledge and experiences. Basis for planning and implementing appropriate tools and processes is the question, whether a company or organization wants to remain competitive in the future.

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Cisco Transforms Social Media Monitoring with New Listening Center

Cisco Transforms Social Media Monitoring with New Listening Center | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Cisco is changing the way people connect and collaborate with social media. They recently launched their new Social Media Listening Center which enables employees, customers, partners and visitors to...


Cisco is changing the way people connect and collaborate with social media. They recently launched their new Social Media Listening Center which enables employees, customers, partners and visitors to view real-time Cisco conversations from the social web. It’s even packed with an interactive experience featuring six touch screens.  We interviewed Charlie Treadwell, Social & Digital Marketing Manager at Cisco, to learn more about the new Social Media Listening Center


Give us the logistical low down on the listening center. Who sees it?   The primary 6 screens we are visualizing help us identify first thing in the morning what conversation topics are trending and what the overall sentiment is. We identify any spikes in negative mentions we need to investigate, influencers mentioning Cisco, or has our response time slipped for our event management. We are even installing a 2-screen kiosk in front of our CEO and CMO’s offices. Typically configured to monitor brand mentions, trending topics, or influencer mentions, but this can be configured to focus on a vertical or business unit launching a new product or a new brand campaign we’re launching.


Social listening has allowed us to get closer to our customers. We believe the foundation of a strong social media strategy starts with listening. You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak. Our strategy began with the creation of a playbook. This has been critical to establishing how we monitor, respond, and triage conversations as they happen across our organization. Cisco has taken an ABC and 1-2-3 approach to listening. First we identify what the “action based conversations” are (ABCs for short). For example, is it a question, support issue, crisis or maybe just a positive mention? Cisco gets about 5 to 7 thousand mentions a day and roughly 3% of those are actionable. We then prioritize them with 1-2-3 to determine if we need a response in 24-hours, 72-hours or just when we can get to it. The conversations are then routed to the appropriate team to take action.


With over 70 Facebook pages, and 100 Twitter accounts, the listening center helps route customer conversations, both direct and passive mentions to the appropriate product teams and functions at Cisco. To maintain a positive ROI in social, it’s critical to only engage the necessary teams and individuals best suited to handle a conversion. From a customer’s perspective, they now expect Cisco to be listening, and it is our mission to ensure their voice is heard, and when appropriate, engaged by the best person to help them. In addition, we are able to amplify and update our customers with information around their care-abouts

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12 features of supporting social collaboration in the workplace

12 features of supporting social collaboration in the workplace | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

I am often asked how to support social collaboration in the workplace. As I showed in my recent blog post, there are some big differences between learning in an e-business and learning in a social/collaborative business.


So it is not just about adding new social approaches or social media into the training “blend”, supporting social collaboration is underpinned not only by new technologies but by a new mindset. In other words, it means ..


1 – moving from a focus on organising and managing training (which includes e-learning and blended learning) FOR others, to helping individuals and teams address their OWN performance problems.


2 – recognising that most learning already happens in the workplace – informally and socially – as people connect and work with one another – as well as outside the organisation in their professional networks. It means encouraging everyone to take responsibility for their own continuous learning and professional development.


3 – helping people work and learn effectively in this networked era (and within a social business), by developing their own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) skills. PKM is “a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world & work more effectively”, and is therefore a fundamental skill in social and collaborative learning, as Harold Jarche explains in PKM is our part of the social learning contract.


4 – identifying the underlying root cause of a learning or performance problem by working with the teams involved in order to identify the best solution that will work for them – not just by organising what is in effect a “social training” solution for them.


5 – measuring success in terms of performance outcomes – not in testing against learning objectives, or in course completions or “bums on seats” in classrooms.


6 – realising that even when there is a need for more structured approaches to collaborative learning, it is not just telling people to learn socially, but encouraging them to have a more active part in either facilitating or supporting the process and sharing their knowledge and experiences.


7 – recognising that even when there is a need for new content, this doesn’t have to be provided top-down, in sophisticated formats, but may better be achieved by helping teams create their own content and share it with one another. It also doesn’t need to be moderated or managed by L&D, but in fact should by moderated by the group members themselves.


8 – providing support to groups to build and sustain their OWN communities of practices – rather than doing it for them, forcing them to participate in them and trying to monitor and tracking their activity.


9 – helping teams to work collaboratively, sharing knowledge and narrating their work – by modelling the new collaboration and community skills. So it’s not just training teams how to use the social tools, but helping them to use them in the context of carrying out their work.


10 – fostering connections across the organisation to build collective intelligence – which might start in onboarding/induction but will be an ongoing process.


11 – understanding that the technology that powers collaborative learning in the social workplace needs to be one that enables conversations, knowledge sharing and collaboration (not manages learning) and in fact needs to be the VERY SAME that is used to power the work in the organisation – not a separate learning management system or platform that tracks “learning” activity in a few courses, or traps knowledge in a separate system from where work takes place.


12 – appreciating that the role of L&D is therefore much more about managing an enterprise community than managing a learning management system, and involves a whole range or activities (including those described above).

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Enterprise Social

The latest hot item for the enterprise is software designed to enhance organizational performance by improving communication, collaboration, and workflow efficiency.




The latest hot item for the enterprise is software (Enterprise Social) designed to enhance organizational performance by improving communication, collaboration, and workflow efficiency. Knowledge exchange is also part of the equation (sort of..) but the major emphasis is upon the workflow.  




What about knowledge flow and collective intelligence?  These are also huge performance multipliers.  Unfortunately, many enterprise social platforms miss supporting the organizational performance potential of knowledge creation and flow.  This is really evident when it comes to the capture and integration of formal training and informal learning / social learning.  Check out the infographic.


Are you listening Yammer - Is a more holistic system on the way?





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Evernote Business Released as a Collaboration & Communication Tool

Evernote Business Released as a Collaboration & Communication Tool | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

A Fully Collaborative Tool


The company whose collection of products aim to "help the world remember everything" — otherwise known as Evernote — has announced the launch of Evernote Business, a collaboration and communication tool for small and medium sized businesses.  With the full version of Evernote Business, users sync and view work documents through a variety of platforms, such as Mac, iPhone and iPads, Web, Windows and Android Devices. Files that can be uploaded include spreadsheets, presentations, notes and design mock ups. In addition, administrators can monitor company progress and individual employees through the admin console.


The Features of Evernote Business


There are three key features of the Evernote Business product.


> Business Notebooks: A business notebook is a collection of documents or information that the entire company can see. They can be shared individually or published on the company’s Business Library.


> Personal Notebooks: As their title suggests, Personal Notebooks is a private version of the Business Notebooks. If a user has a pre-existing Evernote account or creates one, then they can use this feature.


> Business Library: This is where information is transported from the Business Notebooks feature. While all current employees have access to this feature and can publish information from their Business Notebook, Administrators manage the library's content.


It's About What You Know


With this in mind, there are two components that Evernote uses to improve collaboration and communication and make this product useful to small and medium sized business — Knowledge Collection and Knowledge Discovery. With Knowledge Discovery, Evernote wants to make sure that their customers have enough space to store files.


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The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks

The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

We’ve watched so many ideas move from the consumer world to the workplace in the past several years. Search, iPhones, apps, and social networks have all become standard in the enterprise. The consumerization of IT has had a major impact on the the working world and there’s no reason to believe it is over. So where does it go next?




Here’s one likely direction…social ‘scrapbooks’ are already an established way to discover and display a consumer’s interests in digital format. Users can find others who share their passions and can give and take content that builds out each others’ boards.  This ‘pinboard’ model has proven immensely popular in a short time and now 10′s of millions of consumers are users. Pinterest is a well-known example, but there are others like PinchIt that take a geographic approach to digital scrapbooks. This is a rapid growth area that will be interesting to see develop.


And it makes sense. There’s something very satisfying about being ‘represented’ by the things we are passionate about. Go to any tech company, or any company for that matter, and notice the creativity applied just to the cubicle as people strive to personalize even their own workspace. Using a digital scrapbook is a logical next step.


Talking to PinchIt cofounder Aneel Ranadive, he says, “In the consumer space, we’ve created a product that provides for social scrapbooking. It allows people to discover and collect things they’re interested in. We see that the same rules apply to the enterprise where employees discover and capture relevant details about their company, their customers and their work through an interface that’s very easy to pick up. This is a content collaboration tool that is fun to use and helps people to be more productive than traditional platforms.”


It’s a different thing


When asked if this idea competes with other social media tools, Ranadive points out that, “Enterprise social networking tools are great for ongoing communication. We offer content collaboration and discovery via the scrapbook. It’s a different thing.” In the same way that Pinchit organizes consumers around cities, their product allows organizations to align around geographies or functions. Where it gets especially interesting is the gamification that PinchIt uses that allows the users with the most influence to be branded as a “tastemaker”. The same concept applies to the working world but with other terms to describe the most influential workers., like “dealmaker”.

And it doesn’t stop with the pinboard. By using search, workers can find other employees that share the same interest, whether that be a technology, work function, customer, product or project.

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Social collaboration improves team efficiency by 20%

Social collaboration improves team efficiency by 20% | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Social collaboration is becoming increasingly important within organisations. This infographic shows how collaborative software can improve team efficiency.
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Why Community Matters

Why Community Matters | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
What makes enterprise social networks and communities relevant and valued today? It’s useful to look back slightly on a significant market dynamic that occurred in the last two decades of the 20th century.




At the start the 21st century the economy shifted towards a service-oriented and knowledge-based economy which predominantly rests with added value: returns beyond the costs of capital, through innovative work in strategic management, product and market development and by creating deeper and expanded relationships with customers, business partners, employees or ecosystems of contingent workers.


In this kind of economy, it’s the talent and knowledge of people, and the results of their productive interactions that create value - the ability to solve complex problems or invent new solutions, and engage with customers in more authentic and compelling ways.


In the ensuing first decade of the 21st century the proliferation of Web 2.0 technologies has fostered the emergence of a category of company that McKinsey called ‘the networked enterprise' reflecting the connectedness externally with customers as well as internally with employees.


A 2010 McKinsey report, The Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its Payday, showed quantitatively that networked companies showed significant margin share gains, higher operating margins and advanced their market leadership position.The companies that are fully networked, on the inside and the outside are the real winners.




Communties possess a unique set of dynamics that in turn yield value. The quality of participation is catalyzed by a clear sense of purpose for the community, with the dynamics of transparency, persistence, the sense of both independence of contribution as well as collective engagement all reinforcing a positive flow of participation.


In this era of networked engagement, there are emerging models to assess and understand how value is achieved through community dynamics and participation mobilized to a purpose.


Depending on the nature of a community the value can be various forms such as the immediate value from the interactions and activities or the potential value of various forms of knowledge capital (i.e., sharing personal assets [human capital], developing relationships [social capital, gaining access to resources [tangible capital], collective intangible assets i.e., the prestige of the community or profession [reputational capital] or the transformed ability to learn [learning capital])


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Enterprise Social Networking is More Than Facebook Behind a Firewall

Enterprise Social Networking is More Than Facebook Behind a Firewall | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Enterprise social networks (ESNs) are on the rise as they can deliver an immediate solution for aligning stakeholders around activity streams with the familiarity of Twitter or Facebook. These internal social networks are not only validating and useful to power users, but also friendly and easy to participate in for those who are new to the platform. While the promise of ESNs is significant to the future of how employees interact, learn, and ultimately work, challenges exist around adoption and overall measurement. And, like social media in general, businesses often underestimate or altogether miss the true potential of social networks and the role they play in bringing people together to do something incredible…over and over.


Most companies approach enterprise social networks as a technology deployment and fail to understand that the new relationships created by enterprise social networks are the source for value creation. Yesteryear, internal technology departments could force software on business units, but in today’s consumerized world, business units can adopt enterprise software, often without IT ever knowing.


As a result, a new approach is required that focuses on four key ways that relationships create value through enterprise social networks:

1) Encourage sharing.
2) Capture knowledge.
3) Enable action.
4) Empower employees.

These four points serve as beacons for guiding the development of a more meaningful engagement strategy within and across work groups to set the stage for a social business.


If we bring a “Facebook-like” (get it?) mentality into our ESN strategy, we may fall short of enabling a truly social enterprise. 



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Spigit Offers ICON as Free Service to Expand Crowdsourcing

Spigit Offers ICON as Free Service to Expand Crowdsourcing | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Spigit has launched ICON as a free service to promote the use of mass crowdsourcing with the purpose of innovation and growth. It combines best practices and knowledge gained from delivering Spigit’s solutions to the market. It lets employees connect with their entire organization by posing questions and challenges and getting immediate feedback from coworkers.


ICON presents a serious of questions or challenges. You can decide which ones to take on. Contrary to typical voting mechanisms every idea in ICON gets equal assessment as coworkers and employees engage in a pair-wise comparison game of selecting this one or that one. The solutions the crowd finds valuable then bubble to the top of the leaderboard. There is room for comments and the forced choice method allows for more precise comparisons. Once you decide between one pair, a new one comes up to further refine your perspective. Over time you get a rank order of answers for an individual and for a group. 


There is also a gamification aspect as users can earn points and top leaderboard status by posting challenges, voting, commenting and “gifting.” The screen also shows the top answers, the top experts (people most active), and the question activity. The latter is an activity stream for a question so you can track what is happening. The system is dynamic and is constantly being updated based on new input. As an idea moves to the top, an alert is sent to the activity stream. You can also see who is voting and when this occurs.

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