Using Social Tools to Support Professional Development

I was lucky enough to speak at the recent Training Journal Winter Conference on using Social Media in Learning, it was a great event. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the presentations from each of the speakers and chatting with fellow attendees on a subject that is very close to my heart.

My slot focused on how using social tools have support by own career progression and professional development and it was interesting reflecting on the last 6 years since I joined L&D and how social tools have played a part.

From a personal perspective social tools have allowed me to connect with other like-minded professionals and thought leaders and to access a huge amount of information that I would not have known existed otherwise. I believe my development has been fast tracked through using these tools and building relationships as part of my personal learning network. It hasn't been about the tools it's been about the people that I've connected with through the tools. Technology is merely the enabler.

From a career perspective social tools have provided opportunities for me to be brave and try new things, they have allowed me to challenge tradition and to bring networks and social tools in to the workplace that evolve the methods of communication and the way information can flow through an organisation. Social tools aren't a fad or a time waster they bring genuine and tangible business benefits that can be harnessed and directed by both L&D and HR. In fact I believe that L&D and HR MUST understand the value that social can bring to an organisation and the impact it can have on (to name a few) leadership, communication, engagement, recruitment, learning, performance management and CULTURE.

The world has changed, sounds a cliche but it has. The ways and means in which people can share, connect and access information has evolved, why won't this change the way in which we work?

It will.....the rate of this change in your business is likely down to you, so it is time to start thinking in new ways about professional development and what is (and who is) available to support this development. The need to understand the business benefits and the value that these tools can provide is no longer an option it is a necessity. Saying I'm not in to technology or I don't have time or that it is something that kids do is not a valid reason, it's an excuse.

This is why I'm excited about the DPG Community as it can really support people on this journey and demonstrate the value of using social tools and networks. Next year we will be focusing on running some webinars on using social tools to support your professional development so watch this space.

Here is my presentation that I used, it's a bit different but tells a great story - what's going to happen next? Who knows that's the exciting thing:

Using Social Tools to Support Professional Development

If you have any questions about the conference or any of the things I mention in this blog then I'd love to hear them.

Some questions for you to ponder over if I may....

What social tools are you currently using to support your professional development?

What does your online identity say about you?

Who is having the conversations around social in your organisation?

What the barriers you see personally or professionally to using social tools?

Be great to hear from you

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