Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2012 - (Page 45)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE ALL EXPERIENCES ARE BETTER WHEN THEY’RE SHARED THE SOCIAL NETWORK “I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. … I find it extremely comforting that we’re so close.” — Six Degrees of Separation O nce upon a time, the training industry was full of talk about decentralization, silos and other metaphorical terms that essentially kept people apart. You can find those conversational topics being discussed today, but in diminishing amounts. Instead, the conversation has fairly suddenly and pretty dramatically shifted to include words like networking, collaboration, partnership, community and globalization. And, of course, social. Social learning, social media, social networking. Isn’t it amazing, if slightly paradoxical, how the training world is getting bigger in scope but smaller in focus? We’re looking, in other words, to bring teams together in new ways, but those small pools of talent can be pulled from a veritable ocean of options. The woman in Washington links to the man in Milan, the CLO in Canada connects to the designer in Delhi, the trainer in Tampa finds inspiration from an author in Asia. This global view of training has been the underlying theme in this issue of Training Industry Quarterly, and I hope you’ve found some nugget of value from an unexpected source somewhere in these pages. With all due respect to the ostrich, it’s becoming more and more clear that the only way to get ahead is to get in line. Heads stuck in metaphorical sand by definition won’t move, and it seems obvious getting ahead means at least in part moving in the same direction as the rest of society. This is not a bad thing. All experiences are better when they’re shared, and fostering a community of like-minded, driven individuals is definitely a business benefit. What’s amazing now is how easy it is. Let me show you what I’m talking about. Earlier in these pages you read the debut of a new columnist for Training Industry Quarterly, Dr. Gary Woodill. As far as I can tell, I’ve never been within 300 miles of Dr. Gary Woodill, but on another level he feels like an old friend. We’ve worked on the same projects at the same time, we’ve shared an employer, I produced a webinar he delivered and I’ve edited articles he wrote in an office I haven’t seen in a region of Canada I’ve never visited. He’s practically a stranger, right? Sure, as long as you don’t ask Caroline Avey, Brian Chapman, Lance Dublin, Clark Quinn or any of the other 20 or so people who grace both our LinkedIn lists. Of the 23 connections we share in common, I’ve only met a handful in person, but I’ve worked closely with all of them. We’d be ships that passed in the night, if we didn’t stop to collaborate now and then. Another Six Degrees of Separation line: “I am a collage of unaccounted for brush strokes. I am all random.” In truth, it’s not random and the brush strokes are accounted for, but sometimes hard to see. You’ve no doubt heard the whole six degrees theory before, how we’re all connected at some level to one another. Popularly, the actor Kevin Bacon has oddly become the focal point of the game for many people. He’s not exactly an actor who’s associated with the training world, but let me show you how easily it can work. • Step 1 – me • Step 2 – I was friends in college with Glee creator Ryan Murphy. • Step 3 – Murphy directed Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. • Step 4 – Roberts co-starred with Kevin Bacon in Flatliners. There you go … in four steps I’m next to Kevin Bacon. So in five steps, at most, so are you. I could also have gotten us there using names inside and outside of training, including Elliott Masie, Roger Ebert, President Obama, Marshall Goldsmith, Barbara Streisand, Ken Blanchard and Sean Penn. The purpose here isn’t to drop names, but to hammer home this brush stroke: The resource you need is never far from your fingertips, even if it seems remote. That same philosophy should power your adoption, your usage of social media for business and training purposes. Sites like LinkedIn make an art form out of tying the threads together, but don’t forget the power of your network and your network’s networks. No matter what you need, you might be closer to an answer than you know. It can all start here: Check out my LinkedIn profile and let’s get connected. Tim Sosbe is editorial director of Training Industry Quarterly and general manager of webinars. Email Tim. 45 Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2012 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2012

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2012
From Where I Sit: The Age of Personal Learning
Table of Contents
Ad Index
The Discipline of Instructive Coversation
Real' Learning: The Role of Context
Context, Connectivity and Community
Don't Be Afraid of Feelings in the Workplace
Peer-to-Peer: The Future of Learning
User-Generated Content
It's All About the Social. Or is it?
Informal Learning: The Dawn of a Profitable New Era
Harvesting Creativity through Social Media
Connect, Learn, Share, Innovate: How to Begin Your Social Media Journey
Casebook: Marriott: Accommodating IT Training
How Long Does it Take to Get Fully Productive?
Tweet Suite
Company News
Closing Arguments: The Social Network

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2012