Some scrapbook thinking on social learning

Last week I was sitting in my backyard garden, enjoying the spring sun. I suddenly felt the inspiration of combining two models that i lately have been using a lot with the framework from my social learning study with Robin Yap.

I was taking notes in a scrapbook and i drawed the two models such as the figure below. The one on the left is model that I’ve come to use a couple of weeks ago that addresses differences in organizations on strategic, tactic and operational level. This is a sort of upstanding pyramid with on the top the value that you want to create, in the middle there are the solutions that you have found to create this value and on the bottom the products that you need for this. The one on the right is a totally different one, it displays the 4 phases from the appreciative inquiry process, a model for facilitating change in organizations. Normally these phases are drawn in a circle, but I’ve now put them in an upside pyramid that tells you that during discovery and dream you can be very broad in your discussion, there is a broad horizon. But the further you come to your destiny, you have to make choices in what you do in order to stay focused in the pursuit of your dreams. Displaying the models like this, i could see that the different levels have some connections in them as well. What you do in the discovery and dream phase is that your values and try to work toward a shared vision of all individual values. In the design phase you create the (boundaries) of the solutions and with the products you are your destiny.

How does this interrelate with the social learning model?

Value (discover & dream):

  • Improve and innovate business
  • creating a culture for learning, with trust as a dominant factor
  • Building the organizations social capital in order to become knowledge productive

Solutions (design):

  • learning in general, networked learning.
  • more specific: building communities of practice
    • profile – connect – share

Products (destiny):

  • community/ social web technology
  • (community) activities
  • tools such as elgg – twitter – blogs – forums – discussions

I’m aware that combining these in such a strict matter is a rather blunt exercise, but it helped me in defining what comes first in the chain. Using the two models helps to see things in a broader perspective and not to get to the tools right away. Ask yourself the value question first. Why are we doing this, what do we think is valuable in our work? What is my passion? How can we relate all this to the goals of the organization as a whole.

26 Responses to “Some scrapbook thinking on social learning”


  1. 1 Heidi Forbes Öste

    Interesting approach to viewing these models. I look forward to seeing where you take this, Joost. This might explain the challenge that organizations have (and failure that often results) when both integrating social tools and implementing organizational change consecutively. Without having a well thought out concrete strategy that fits with both, it is a recipe for disaster.

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