The elearning network are running a survey on organisations' use of social networking / web 2.0 initiatives, on behalf of the CIPD.
I think this is a great initative and I look forward to hearing about the results of the survey at the CIPD's HR Software Show in June.
However, I do think they've missed a trick by approaching this from the viewpoint of the initiatives and the technology. After all, we all know that the technology behind e-learning doesn't matter; it's how this is used as part of a blended solution to achieve certain learning and business outcomes that counts.
So what are we really trying to do with social networking and web 2.0? I think if we could answer this, we'd be in a much better place to predict the impact of the technology.
Here's my perspective: it's about connecting. Connecting with other people both inside and outside of the organisation to increase human and particularly social capital (capability, engagement and useful relationships).
Another thing we all know is that the point of performance in most organisations is no longer the individual, it's the team. So human capital is no longer the only thing that counts. It's the combined social capital from people working together that's increasingly going to make a difference to organisational success.
And if social networking can influence this, well, then, I think it's got a future...
However, I don't believe many corporates have got this message yet. I think the value of connecting is well understood by independents like me, and by a lot of individual employees too. But I don't think many business leaders, or HR people, are thinking like this yet.
I could be wrong of course.
So I've also written a survey to find out. Please, please, please, take this now!*
It will mean a lot to me, and I think your insight together with everyone else's will add a lot of really helpful clarity to this important area.It is a slightly longer survey than the elearning network's and I apologise for that, but it's only 16 questions, so it should only take you 5 minutes to complete.
I'll publish the results in my blogs in a few months time, but if you include your email address in the survey, I'll send you the results.
And look out for some interesting posts on web 2.0 coming up too.
* The survey is designed for practitioners, but I'd still encourage others to complete it as long as you answer from the context of one particular organisation that you know.