Social Learning: A Panel Discussion at HR Technology Conference


September 29, 2010

I feel like I came “home” today.  I’m currently sitting in the Social Learning session at the HR Technology Conference.  Led by moderator Jeanne Meister (Partner, Future Workplace), this panel is discussing how they each use social media tools both in their professional and personal lives.  Panelists include:

  • Robert Campbell (VP & CLO, Cerner Corporation)
  • Don McLaughlin, (CLO, Cisco)
  • Laurence Smith (VP, Global L&D, LG Electronics)
  • Susan Steele (National TD Director, Deloitte)

Social media literacy is going to be the future that companies will need to embrace.  There are currently very few organizations that offer social media training of any kind.  So, the question becomes how do we sell the idea of social learning to our CEO’s? Laurence Smith said he would not sell social learning per se, he would sell the business solution to a need that keeps the CEO up at night.  Telling the CEO how you are going to be able to bring something to market more quickly or reducing time from discovery to adoption (per Campbell) you will be able to set the stage for why it makes sense to use social media tools before you go in and sell the idea of using social media tools.

By embracing the idea of having a world of available resources to support your business model, you will find that you don’t necessarily have to retool your organization for social learning.  You just have to be open to embrace it.  Susan Steele shared that Deloitte is finding success embracing social tools to connect their employees globally, especially in light of the fact that approximately 20% of their employees are in India.  It’s not just about having the latest technology, it’s about having a strategy on how and why to use it.  They are using their own internal networking site called “D Street” which allows them to provide networking capabilities, they have invested in webcams, hi-def tele-suites, and many other innovative approaches to encourage adoption.  It’s the power of personal testimonials that drive the adoption at Deloitte.

I find it interesting and very positive that the panel’s focus is not on the tools themselves, but on the reasons to use them.  It’s all about communicating in an effective way with more people.  It’s about being able to create and grow a relationship with a colleague half way across the world.  As more organizations begin using virtual teams, it will be the way to design solutions more quickly.

I’m encouraged to hear more and more organizations being highlighted for using tools such as microblogging, video, wikis, and other mainstream social tools.  Kudos to the HR Technology Conference for bringing in executives who are LIVING in this new world. The future is TODAY.  Make sure you and your organization are not falling behind.


  • Hi Trish, I’d agree business results are going to resonate better than the activity or particularly the technology of learning. But I’d suggest there’s an even bigger benefit which is emphasising the value of social – of a more social, connected way of doing business. Ie as an outcome rather than an activity. I know many businesses shy away from this term, but I sincerely believe this limits their results.

    Saying you’re going to bring a product to market more quickly might get employees using something like DStreet more actively – specifically for this task. But it’ll take a better understanding of social to really change more holistic behaviours in the broader term.

  • Trish,

    One thing I’m not quite picking up on from your post– how exactly was the panel defining “social learning”? Was this a discussion about how employees learn using social media tools, or was it a discussion about how companies are (or aren’t) training their employees on the use of social media tools?

  • Great post, Trish, thank you.

    Jennifer, this panel didn’t actually define social learning (personally, my only quibble with the otherwise wonderful session), but were talking about the latter: why and how employees learn using social media tools.

    I posted how I define it during the session, finding it a little funny that Trish was posting this while she was in there too.

Comments are closed.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 17.20.39

About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


Play Video


Play Video

Related posts

3 Reasons To Reveal Your Vulnerabilities

As I sat onstage at UNLEASH World 2022 in Paris last week, I had an epiphany. I need to be […]

Read More

Delivering Experiences that Serve Employees First- SuccessConnect

I want you to think about something. What are the moments that matter to you at work? I’m certain a […]

Read More

Partner with me


Get in touch today to find out more about how I can help your organization leverage HR and HCM technology to attract, onboard, retain and manage top talent.