A Working Smarter Conversation

Join the five of us for an online conversation

Ask a question; win a book. Then register to join us online on 30 March 2011

We will discuss whatever interests you in the realm of Working Smarter.

Do you have burning questions about social learning, web 2.0, or working smarter? Want to find out how other organizations are grappling with the culture, politics, and governance of implementing informal learning?

Ask us a question or suggest a topic. The more controversial the better.

We will give free copies of the Working Smarter Fieldbook to six people who leave a comment below.


Four very interesting folks to follow, in my opinion 😉



16 Responses to “A Working Smarter Conversation”

  1. Charles Jennings

    Marc – can you expand on what you mean by “after implementing and executing a ‘working smarter’ policy as I’m doing that right now?”.

    What do your ‘working smarter’ policy and practices look like? How have they changed the way your people work?

  2. Jennifer Mitchell

    Hi. I’m currently introducing new technology practices, and social media, to a broad range of post-secondary educators in one institution, many of whom have little or no experience in using technology in their lives, or their classrooms. Our aim with the project, which is in phase two (scaling up from a pilot) is to build a collective constructivist-based body of knowledge, to minimize redesigning the wheel in every discipline area. Much of the resistance appears to come from perceptions about the time demands of technology training- and the actual use of the technology then requiring time spent on curriculum redesign- and that these are an undesired burden.

    I’m already sold on the idea of ‘working smarter’ and building in the change of working structure and approaches to work flows; it makes sense on myriad levels.

    My question is about lessening resistance, and building cooperation among a group who already find their workloads demanding, and have historical memories of change being top driven, and support during those changes to be inadequate. This project has from the start been a collective effort, but, as it progresses, inactivity among individuals, and concurrent change in broader conditions which affect our futures (economic and efficiency pressures, mostly) are looming over the project’s momentum. How can the project drivers be ‘less’ driven – apply less pressure on an already pressured group- and still be effective advocates for the positive outcomes? I have some ideas, but am always looking for more.

  3. Harold Jarche

    Thanks for your question Jennifer. It should make a good topic of conversation. Maintaining a community is like gardening and needs continual attention. There is a constant dynamic tension in communities over control versus member empowerment.

  4. Chris B

    I’d love to enter this conversation with you as I’m constantly trying to ask around to see what people are doing to get ahead instead of just continually producing.

    As Covey points out, it’s important to work on the goose, not just trying to get out the golden egg.


  5. Chris B

    My Question: Working smarter is often a common phrase with those who are trying to push the envelope of efficiency, but even if we are working as smart as possible how can we know we’re working on the right things?

    I’ve known many who think they are working smarter but in the end they are still feeding a man a fish instead of teaching him how to fish OR EVEN asking “what systems are preventing the man from finding and catching his own fish?”

  6. Ann P McMahon

    I’d like to build on the questions about introducing technology practices and social media in education in K through 12 as well as higher ed. Are there differences in the ways you help educators discover how to work smarter as researchers in a university vs. as teachers in a university? How about as K-12 teachers using social media and technology personally and teaching with them vs. as K-12 teachers teaching students about how to work with social media and technology? I’m wondering about nuances of informal learning as personal practice vs. informal learning as pedagogical practice.

    • Harold Jarche

      Excellent question, Ann. When the lines between work & learning become blurred as the workplace gets more complex, it’s difficult to separate pedagogy & practice.

  7. Erika Robertson

    As my team attempts to support the enterprise-wide deployment of our internal social enterprise platform from a collaboration standpoint, we are finding that our global salesforce is not finding the VALUE in collaboration (we only use ‘social learning’ term within our L&D org). They could indeed ‘work smarter’, but inevitably we go back to the restrictive time of a salesperson in the field. They’ll use the platform to find just-in-time content but aren’t stepping up to discussions, microblogging, etc. Would love to hear more about enterprise-level adoption struggles and solutions.

    And btw, I love that picture. I keep waiting to see the Beatles crossing the other direction 🙂

  8. Peter West

    What do you consider to be the key individual, team, organizational, and network prerequisites for working smarter? [and what are their interdependencies? and which ones tend to offer the most resistance? (and how best do you move from resistance to receptivity)?]

    PS – Kudos to the fab five for their passionate pursuit of learning, knowledge, and action.


  9. Jason Allen

    My organization already has a strong informal learning culture – people are used to learning from one another within their ‘silos’ – and generally aren’t afraid to pick up the phone/email. How can I use technology to facilitate ‘inter-silo’ learning and communication – in a heavily unionized, top down type of organization, that is still using a phone PBX from the late 90’s (techno-phobic).
    We have identified the breaking down of silos as a key strategy for future success, but everytime somone mentions “social media” use internally – everyone says “It’s a bargaining year, we can’t take the risk that someone will say/do something that will jeaprodize our position.”

    • Harold Jarche

      I hope that most questions were either answered or resources & links were provided to help find the information or connect with others. The conversation is not over …


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