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Let’s Play – Social Networks for Learning and Knowledge Management

School and collegiate education today has changed a whole deal.  It has seen a sea change from the pure chalk & talk method to ‘Role Play’, to ‘SMART classrooms’ to ‘Outbound & Experiential Learning.

Calvin & Hobbes - BRIDGEi2i blog

But well, has the Indian corporate sector changed its method and delivery of organization wide Knowledge Management programs?   I would think No; we have been largely conservative on this front. Some of us do have sophisticated intranet networks with a stunning UI, neatly stacked and labelled folders with the ability for employees to upload files, equipped with permission controls and an efficient keyword search tool. Certain other organisations have a process around training – from training calendars to portals on which you could nominate yourself for an intensive training program – more often than not only to tick-off that training goal on the goal sheet.

Dilbert Cartoon Strip - BRIDGEi2i Blog

What we tend to miss out in these straight jacketed processes are:  First, the overemphasis of a formal learning system.  Instead set people out on a challenge, encourage employees to develop insights, urge them think about the process in a creative manner as against the standard flow charts and fish bone diagrams.

For instance, wouldn’t learning and forming an opinion on the financial meltdown be more exciting through a board game challenge rather than a glossy power-point presentation?  If you are looking to educate your employees on the clients they service or about a process, a pop- quiz shared on a closed-user group social media platform could help.

BRIDGEi2i's Internal Google Plus community
Source: Screen shot of the Internal Google Plus Community at BRIDGEi2i . This platform was used to educate employees on Credit Card Fraud Process.


Dilbert cartoon strip 1 - BRIDGEi2i blog

Second, the inability to capture knowledge that one has acquired on the job – it could be a most efficient way to execute a code or finer business nuances that is learnt during client discussions and prior research on the project.  We need to make learning more engaging – provide the right triggers for a discussion that would help a group learn.  Sometimes, a lot of the insights that one picks up on the job, doesn’t necessarily need the luxury of an exclusive knowledge sharing session – a quick post on an internal social media platform or a twitter chat could do the magic.  Moreover, sharing on a social media platform like Google Plus or Facebook offers employees the flexibility to post their 2 cents while juggling between work and meetings. So, the next time you are racking your head to debug a code do try the private social media route.

Third, the absence of a system that recognizes an employee’s efforts.  Most organisations see a buzz around Knowledge Management platforms in the initial few weeks post launch. There are mailers and reminders that follow that urge employees to use the platform.  There is hectic activity initially around documenting the project, one-sliders and one-pagers that would capture the essence of the project and slowly all of this activity starts tapering down. The rigmarole of documenting – uploading – sharing starts to seem pointless with no views, downloads, applauds or discussions around it. The information uploaded starts to get outdated, only to contribute to the realm of online waste.

Dilbert cartoon strip 2 - BRIDGEi2i blog

On the other hand,  you upload a photograph of your recent holiday on Facebook and the number of ‘Likes’ and comments on that post is a matter of few minutes. Recipe for an instant high indeed! This in fact instigates you to post another one.

If private social network at your place of work is the secret mantra to inspire sharing of business knowledge, keeping it fresh and hot from the Press and if it gives that added boost to that ego, so be it!

BRIDGEi2i leverages the Google Plus platform as a means for continuous and collaborative learning.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.