The Role of the Collaboration Advisor

In my previous post, Emerging new roles for learning and performance professionals, I identified some of the new roles appearing in the workplace. Today I want to look at the role of the Collaboration Advisor.

As more and more organisations invest in social collaboration platforms (and it’s estimated that 75 percent of enterprise-level organizations will do so in 2013), it will here where collaborative working and collaborative learning will co-exist, as workers use these platforms to continuously share their knowledge and experiences with their team, and other co-workers.

For many organizations as well as the workers within them, this is going to be a fundamental new approach to working (and learning), so they are likely to need a lot of support as they adopt these new collaboration practices. So who will help them? Many organisations are already employing (external) (business) collaboration advisors to support them as they implement these new collaboration platforms and working approaches. But there is an opportunity for learning professionals to get involved and help out in this new area of work, if they so desire. However, this type of work requires a very mindset and skillset from the traditional training role.  In other words, the role of a collaboration advisor …

  • is not about organizing and managing training for people (creating and delivery content for example) – but helping teams and groups to self-organize the approaches that will work for them
  • is not about training people to use the social tools – but rather helping them to use them in the context of carrying out their work, and in doing so to work collaboratively and share their knowledge with one another, e.g. by narrating their work
  • is not about training people to be social – but modelling the new collaboration and community skills that will be required
  • is not about tracking “learning” activity  - but helping teams and groups monitor their own productivity and performance improvements

Harold Jarche and I have been helping a number of organizations with these new collaboration practices, and in the New Year we are offering three online workshops at the Social Learning Centre that provide some guidance and support with some of the new activities and skills that are involved. You can find out more here.

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