Tribal learning also enables you to increase your learning agility (the ability to learn at a rate that meet or exceeds the speed of change) which is incredibly important to your/your organization’s viability. If you remember from my last post, I offered the following definition of tribe – “A unit of sociopolitical organization consisting of a number of families, clans, or other groups who share a common ancestry and culture and among whom leadership is typically neither formalized nor permanent“.
This is exactly what you gain from developing your own learning tribe via linkedin, twitter, Facebook, and any of the other social communication tools available today. This technology has offered all of us the following:
- Access to people (& their knowledge) from all over the world. The kicker is perspective. I have found some of the most fascinating answers to my questions have come from those outside of the U.S. who have a vastly different point of view and frame of reference. When it comes to learning, you have to be ready and open to POV’s that challenge your assumptions if you want to grow.
- Speed! Where else can you ask a question or share a thought and have multiple answers/responses from all over the world in less than 24 hours?
- Egalitarianism. Normally, we ask people for insights that we know and are comfortable with. Your tribe can consist of people from various functional areas who may have knowledge to share but you would never have thought to ask.
- Network strength. If you are familiar with network theory, diversity=strength and that is exactly what your tribe will do for you. There are people in my tribe I routinely reach out to just because I know they will provide me with a POV I could never get locally.
- Shared burden/support. In a tribe, you are never alone…enough said.
So now what do you do? For starters, you are no longer building a network…your building a tribe. A tribe is much more personal and primal. If you revisit the definition of tribe, you see it is about a shared culture and that can be aligned our learning. When you are building a learning tribe, you would invite or initiate people in who share the desire to ask questions, share knowledge, & actively engage/challenge others to do the same.
Once you have your 2010 planning completed, make sure you develop goals/strategy/tactics/resources for your learning tribe that will increase your ability to make this year one to remember.