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  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:00 am on December 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , learning   

    E-Skills: Competencies and Learning in the 21st Century 

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Note from the Editor: A few days ago we talked about the necessary qualities for a transformative leader in the 21st century in this article by Virginio Gallardo. Today, we would like to study in depth the subject of necessary skills every professional of our time needs to have with this article published by Ignasi Alcalde in his blog, of which he has given us today in order to open the debate here.

    The society of networks that we are immersed in determines a new global space in which businesses that want to be competitive in this new context and explore the potential of the digital revolution in a global society, interconnected and interdependent, must strategically use ICT (information and communication technologies) and train their staff, from the base of employees to top executives, in digital skills.

    In line with this reflection, I read recently in the e-Skills Manifesto by Don Tapscott, author of the famous book Wikinomics, that writes about manifesto as the importance that e-skills has and the digital competencies to propel competition, productivity and innovation, thus facilitating professionalism and the ability to employ.  E-skills or digital competencies are keys not only for coping in a global digital environment, but also they facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies the directors and employees of the business must have in order to modernize a permanent and effective learning process.

    Training in these new e-skills facilitate a rise in a new area within knowledge management, called PKM (Personal Knowledge Management). Depending on Wikipedia, the personal knowledge management is a collection of processes that one person uses to gather, classify, store, find, recuperate and share knowledge in his/her daily activities and the way in which these activities are done, facilitate work processes.

    This view promotes the notion that workers in the information society and knowledge each time have to be responsible of their own growth and learning and responsible for knowledge management with a focus from bottom to top. In other words, don’t wait for the hierarchy to dictate training. (More …)

  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on July 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , learning,   

    Social learning driving business competitiveness 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has give us permission to post this article from his blog where he talks about how Enterprise Social Networks are creating the scenario necessary for learning of the future: social, practical, natural and daily.

    The increase in complexity of the business environment and the evolution of knowledge mean that professional learning is gaining important. However learning of the future will be different to what we know at the moment, it will be social learning. A way of learning that is more related with daily work. We will learn without being conscious of the fact that we are learning. New social technologies, enterprise social networks, will build this new environment.

    Learning 2.0.

    Social learning is a “natural” learning without effort, focused on resolving problems and enhancing our professional competency. It is a learning that happens through conversations, examples or observation. Social networks mean that these conversations are fast and omnipresent (dimensions of space and time don’t matter).

    Social learning is an organizational learning that accelerates organizational development or cultural change and has major transforming power.

    The executive as community manager

    Accelerating personal learning to achieve productivity is not a simple task. It requires organizations being willing to create these new work systems. It requires giving importance to collective intelligence, collaboration and sharing.

    (More …)

  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , learning, , , , , ,   

    The future of training will be social in communities 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has let us post this article from his blog where he talks about what the new social learning environments in communities will be like. At Zyncro we are prepared for this revolution, what about you?

    We create much knowledge with a high expiration and this forces companies and professionals to reinvent knowledge management, training and business development processes.

    There are things from the past that we should bury in the past forever, because they block new ways of seeing the future. This is especially true in all things associated with what we know of education and training.

    We must learn to live with new concepts like personal learning environments, “gamification”, socialization of learning… although for many these terms are strange and unknown.

    However from all these new ways of learning, I suggest you reflect on the role of Communities, new organizational structures that are not mostly created with educational purposes, but that are the major source of learning in our professional future.

    Social learning, in communities

    In the company, learning in classrooms, memoristic, conceptual, separated from the reality, cognitive, disciplined learning… is disappearing. However, the classroom continues as the basis of business training. We must make the effort to forget this way of undersating education in companies, as the future has little to do with this reality.

    The new ways of learning will be often informal, outside the classroom, without programs, “serendipity”, ubiquitous (in any time and space), cooperative (social, in groups via conversations), participative or inclusive, where we are not just recipients, but also creators of content and ideas (prosumidors).

    Learning will be integrated in our company’s behavior and values as an on-going and collective phenomenon that will affect all us professionals constantly. For this reason, from the company we must ask and help our professionals to create their own personal social learning environments, which in some cases will be closely connected with the company, but on other occasions will be connected with external professionals or systems and educational institutions. The professionals that survive in the future will be socialnetworkers, experts in developing themselves in networks.

    Of all these new phenomena, the most revolutionary way of learning is that you learn with others in collaborative work environments: communities. Usually in technological environments where you connect, share, analyze, question, apply, share, analyze…

    The communities designed for learning are the so-called communities of practice. They are the most well-known: groups created with the purpose of developing a specialized knowledge, sharing learning based on the reflection on practical experiences. This type of community will be created in all companies and in all business environments (commercial, production, management, etc.)

    Many workers will be present in external communities of practice. Faced with the complexity and specificity of the knowledge of many of their workers, they will be trained with external resources, resulting in socially intelligent workers. And this will be done with external academic institutions and platforms, many on the Internet or in external informal groups. Many employees will create their own social learning space on which their professional success will depend.

    However, intelligent organizations will create, above all, another type of community. Communities that are not just used to share internal knowledge, but to resolve business problems, with the knowledge of employees being used to do this. Intelligent organizations will ensure their employees are connected in the network with other professionals, especially within the company.

    More efficient social environments for learning are not environments created to learn

    The most relevent learning theory for the digital era is connectivism, which according to George Siemens establishes that learning starts from the diversity that emerges from connecting people (nodes) and the quality of their connections, where decision-making is itself a learning process.

    The new ways of learning give increasing importance to action and real or simulated decision-making within the network learning process. The communities designed to improve processes, to reduce costs, to increase sales, to analyze new products, will be the communities where the professionals learn the most.

    The learning that will extend in the future will not separate learning and work, it will not separate theoretical learning and real decision-making, it will not separate between communities to learn and those used for decision-making. Communities where the most will be learned, those that will be most used in the future are the communities whose goals are associated with business: communities for improvement, innovation, creation, systemized…

    The goal of these communities is not to develop applied knowledge; the goal is change, the transformation or achievement of goals. They will be created to innovate, although they will be the greatest source of learning for new workers in the digital era.

    These communities will have many characteristics of the communities of practice, but proactivity and distributed leadership and the creation process of ideas to implementation (the so-called idea trip) will be the new bases of success. These communities will be the most mutable and flexible organizational structures, in which there will be roles and decision-making that require the management of complex knowledge thanks to the participation of diverse specialists.

    No, we won’t separate work from learning again. And this will make us think that perhaps there are memories from our childhood that we should not bury in the past forever and that we should remember school and how we learnt there… in the school yard. We will learn like we learnt when we were kids, experimenting, sharing and creating collaboratively, making mistakes and correcting ourselves, to achieve goals.

    Virginio Gallardo is Director of Humannova, a HR consultancy specialized in helping lead innovation in companies and manage the organizational transformation. He is author of the book “Liderazgo transformacional” and coordinator of “Liderazgo e Innovación 2.0”. This post was originally published on “Supervivencia Directiva“, where you can follow his thoughts.

  • Mila Nikolova 9:00 am on July 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , learning   

    Zyncro interviews Christian Kuhna: Enterprise Social Networks are true learning platforms 

    Estimated reading time + video: 4 minutes

    Today we’ve got an interview for you that we conducted with Christian Kuhna from Adidas when we participated in the event Advanced Intranet and Portals 2012 in Amsterdam. Christian works in the Human Resources department at Adidas where he is responsible of Future Learning, which includes developing a social intranet and the “Adidas Group University”.

    Christian shared his vision on Enterprise Social Networks with us, in which we highlight that businesses need to strongly commit to their implementation, involving all generations of the organization in the process, so that no one is left out of the company’s social evolution. In fact, at Adidas they think that Enterprise Social Networks need to become a true learning platform for the entire organization: building on collaboration, knowledge management, providing everyone with access to whatever they need at the right time and at the right place across any device. We’ll let Christian tell you more in his own words:

    Thanks for talking with us, Christian! It was a pleasure to hear your vision of social learning through an Enterprise Social Network 😉


  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on July 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , learning, ,   

    The dilemmas of learning 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Creating new ideas, implementing and updating information systems, controlling technological applications, designing environments and processes are just some of the day-to-day challenges that businesses face.

    All of these challenges have a common denominator, knowledge, which should be integrated in the organization as a source for creating value and competitiveness, helping to differentiate from the rest.

    A fundamental aspect for increasing this knowledge is organizational learning and talent management. In a fluid society such as that of today, adapting to continuous change is essential, and this is where the organization and its employees must stay in touch with reality. Avoiding egocentrism in the organization is a requirement for lasting over time, although sometimes this is no guarantee of success.

    In short, looking around and learning from competitors and collaborators is extremely important and allows the survival of organizations thanks to improvements in their competitiveness.

    These are just some of the consequences of organizational learning in businesses:

    • Learning not only to drive quality, but also as a requirement to create and increase it.
    • Innovation requires a high capacity for effective learning. It also depends on the organizational knowledge base. The more solid this base is, the easier it is to internalize change.
    • Above all, both innovation and learning are processes associated with the individual. This reinforces the idea that improvements in the organization occur with the best people for each situation, strengthening the importance of resident organizational talent.
    • Surroundings influence learning, changes occurring in the markets must be contemplated, not as threats, but as opportunities to learn and improve.
    • Knowledge and learning management should allow the organization to react faster to change, anticipating itself in its culture. Therefore, the importance of a suitable working climate stands out, as do monitoring systems that allow the automation of changes produced.
    • Learning technology influences the way of distributing knowledge and allows new forms of thinking, and of how to process the work, to be developed, with the objective of facilitating employees with it for the generation of new ideas.

    Intelligent organizations sacrifice part of today’s performance to achieve a better performance tomorrow.

    A suitable management of efficient learning will have positive repercussions in the organization, favoring flexibility and openness when faced with change and unexpected events that may occur, because ‘change is the only constant‘. To do this human resources policies should favor both internal and external collaboration that benefits the management of talent together with continuous learning.

    Rafael García works as a consultant for Índize and has his own blog which Zyncro recommends: La Factoría Humana.


  • Alejandro Formanchuk 10:01 am on March 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: areas of value, , cultural area, essential area, , intelligence area, , learning, learning area, , motivational area, operational area, , strategic area,   

    The 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: This article was published in full on the blog Todo Significa. Its author, Alejandro Formanchuk, is chairman of the Argentine Internal Communication Association, CEO at Formanchuk & Asoc., specialist in Corporate Communication and lecturer at the University of Buenos Aires. He has been kind enough to let us publish a summarized version on ZyncroBlog. Thanks, Alejandro!

    We strongly recommend you follow his blog Todo Significa. There, you’ll find the best strategies and tools for internal communication.

    The 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication


    Many people ask what does internal communication do? They’re quite right to be curious.

    In this piece, I’ll discuss “The Model of the 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication”. I’ll give the key areas where internal communication can and should intervene in bringing value to an organization.

    Each area is interconnected, making up a system and tracing a spiral path (not circular) where the picture is changed with each turn of the spiral.


    The 7 Areas of Value:

    1. Essential: That the organization exists

    An organization is born from a conversation, it is the result of a “conversational commitment”. Everything starts with dialog, with a founding word that sets the wheel into motion.

    Once the project is configured, communication comes into play again to get it going. An “organization” is two or more people who become linked to achieve their objectives; they coordinate their activities, time, resources and responsibilities.

    If we look at the etymological root of the word, we’ll discover that the word “communication” means “make common”. For that reason, I believe it is a key resource, because, whether it’s a family, a multinational enterprise or a nation, they must generate meeting points to achieve their goals.

    We could even say that communication is more than a “resource”, it’s the “being” of the organization, its fuel, its vital blood; if there is no communication, the organized activity ceases to exist

    2. Operational: That people know how to do their work

    The next step is for people to go into action to achieve the objectives set. Time to work. Internal communication plays a key role in this stage so that everyone knows what they have to do, why they are there and what is expected of them. The basics, the must-know stuff, the essentials.

    This means communicating:

    • Who they are working for: What is the organization, how is it made up, what place it holds in the company, in the market, etc.
    • Where they are working: What is their place within the structure, who they answer to, what are the links and relationships.
    • What are the rules of work: schedules, procedures, codes, places, spaces, regulations, etc.
    • What they have to do today: Information on their position, their work and their activities.
    • What they have to do tomorrow: Everything that affects them, like changes in procedures, schedules, tasks or responsibilities.

    3. Strategic: That they know why they must do it

    When we implement internal communication actions within a strategic plan, we do it with the aim that all members of the organization know why they do what they do.

    A good example of this can be found in the story of three men who were laying bricks. When all three are asked about their work, the first man replies that he is laying one brick on top of another. The second says, building a wall”, and the third building a church for the people”.

    The different answers are due to those different strategic communications” that each man received from the organization. We can assume that the last man will be the one who will give his all to the job because:

    • He feels focused: He knows where he is going to. He knows the path, the goals, the vision and mission of the organization.
    • He feels committed: He knows what his personal goals are and how his effort will help achieve the global goal.
    • He feels respected: He is no longer a simple bricklayer.
    • He feels valued: Someone explained to him the importance of his work and told him the final goal.
    • He feels motivated: He works for a greater and more important cause.
    • He feels integrated: He forms part of a team and hows what the impact of his task is on the rest.
    • He feels content: Knowing the goal of the task helps to lower conflict and bad feeling created by uncertainty, among other things. People who don’t receive strategic communication can end up considering that many things they do are useless or the organization gets them to do them out of whim, malice or stupidity.

    3. Cultural: That they know how they must do it

    Let’s some add flavor to the previous story, I believe the last man will give his best if as well as knowing the objective, he shares it.

    This encourages us to reflect on the importance of aligning the values and objectives of the organization with those of its members (and viceversa), so that the people participate on a deeper level in their task, experience the significance of their actions and feel proud about the way they “do things”.

    Because, when it comes down to it, organizations all over the world have similar objectives. What differentiates each organization is their way of achieving those goals.

    For that reason, a person can join a company with much enthusiasm, but a week later, flee terrified by what they saw, discovered, by the MO, by the way in which things are done and achieved.

    Managing the “cultural area” means communicating:

    • How things are done in the organization
    • What the culture, values, rules, codes, principles and ethics are.
    • What is allowedand what is not.
    • What is above all.

    Apart from stating it (the easiest part), it must be demonstrated with facts. Communicating values is one of the most difficult aspects to manage because it must be 100% true, demonstrable and applicable.

    There’s no room for error. In an organization, the objectives, tasks and responsibilities can change, but the values and culture are not flexible, they are not circumstantial.

    The organization is established with principles (although they are not written down nor are people fully aware of them at the time) and it must take responsibility for its choices and the consequences. If the organization is set up with good values and they are correctly communicated, integration, unity, strength and attraction can be achieved.

    5. Motivational: That they want to do it

    People know how to do their work, they know why they must do it, they know how to do… now theyre only missing the most important part: they must want to do it!

    Motivating others is a challenge. It requires crafted, personalized and painstaking work because each person has individual interests. When you work the “motivational area”, try to generate positive communications so that people:

    • Feel proud to form part of the company.
    • See prospects of growth and opportunity.
    • Feel that the company is fair and that everyone gets what they deserve.
    • Feel understood, valued and listened to.
    • Feel treated like an individual, not simply a “human resource”.
    • Have a positive attitude that promotes a good working environment and interpersonal relationships

    6. Learning: That they know how they are doing

    While the person performs the task, you should open a “learning area”, a communication space in which feedback is given on how they are doing in their job, and if necessary, making adjustments, changing something or telling them to continue as is. The key is that each member knows how they can improve what they are doing.

    The learning space must be simultaneous to the task. What’s the point of giving someone feedback every 12 months? It’s crazy. It’s not going to help anyone.

    Then, the communicators, we need to ensure that the organization:

    • Opens spaces for dialog.
    • Clearly defines what it expects of each individual.
    • Pays attention to people and their performance.
    • Finds objective actions for evaluation.
    • Acts with fairness.
    • Transmits the idea that adjustments are normal and positive.
    • Chooses the right people to give feedback.
    • Assumes feedback as part of its culture and not a mere tool.
    • Brings feedback constantly and not just at the end of year or when some external regulation requires it.

    7. Intelligence: That they suggest how to do it better

    Finally we reach this area, which I call “intelligence” because it involves opening a space for dialog where people can bring their ideas and suggestions on how to improve the organization.

    The impact of this area is enormous for the organization because:

    • It enables it to grow, learn and improve.
    • It gives the possibility of getting ahead on changes or challenges.
    • It motivates people, because we all like to be treated like intelligent people and feel that they listen to us, value our contribution, reward our ideas and let us to carry those initiatives out.
    • It encourages human capital.

    This participative space can also give rise to the start of the process, in the “operational” phase. There people can make proposals and define jointly the action plan. But it is also useful when it opens onto the end of the journey, once the job is done, once they have experience. It’s the famous bottom-up feedback.

    Spiral conclusions

    My intention with this post is to show that internal communication finds, wins, keeps and extends more genuine spaces within organizations. Organizations shouldn’t use internal communication to exaggerate their promises or reject its immense power of action and transformation.

    Faced with the question at the start on the usefulness of internal communication, I conclude by saying that it is tool that lets the organization to exist and the people:

    • Know their work
    • Know why they do it
    • Know how to do it
    • Want to do it
    • Know how they did it
    • Propose how they can make it better


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