Sunday, February 4, 2007

"Making the invisible visible" - Old idea, new skin - social networking

Why are many of us in businesses surprised that social networking is so popular?

I recall a presentation made by Bill Russell from Raytheon last November 2006 at Elliott Masie's Learning Conference. His presentation on Social Networking Analysis (SNA) created a vortex and black hole in my mind and heart. It quickly occurred to me at that time that performance in organizations could really benefit if we could find a way to "make the invisible visible."

We know the power of networking and how our networks impact our ability to deliver results. Studies have shown that those with a highly developed network of relationships can get better access to ideas, help, resources, and support from their network. This is the power of the "invisible."

Now, there is really nothing new to Social Networking as a corporate tool (see Rob Cross). It's all about understanding how people and groups behave in organizations. Perhaps the difference is that the technology of Web 2.0 (or predecessor tools) has made it possible to make the "invisible visible."

A good example on how to make "invisible visible" is how this web site shows a network of people. This is not an e-Learning or training site, but the illustration applies. Visit the site Our Chart. Thanks to Angela Dawn from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for sharing this link.

For further references, please Rob Cross web site.

Ray Jimenez, PhD