Are you still using your landline or mobile phone to connect with friends, here and abroad? And in the process incur huge telephone bills? “Telephones are so last century,” says Tony Bingham, president of the Association for Talent Development (ATD).
There many other ways to connect and interact with friends, family, customers, suppliers, business partners: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. blogs, Google search and many others. If you are still using e-mail, you better get yourself a smart phone and get connected instantly.
Tony, in his opening remarks at the recently concluded ATD International Conference & Exposition (ICE) held in Orlando, Florida, has this to say about the emerging dominance of mobile and social technology for business and personal use.
“Does your CEO use Twitter? Or send messages with WhatsApp or WeChat? Probably not.
“Except for the leaders of tech companies, CEOs around the world are not known for being active on social media. Most don’t share on Twitter or have a Facebook page. You won’t find them reaching out with Tencent’s Weibo. But that’s changing.
“And there’s a very good reason why that should matter to you as much as it does to CEOs: Using social tools to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will help organizations be more adaptive, agile and innovative.
“That was the conclusion of an IBM survey of almost 2,000 CEOs and public sector leaders around the world. The report, called “Leading through Connections,” emphasizes the need for organizations to be social and mobile.
“Last week Verizon announced it would buy AOL for $4.4 billion. In a memo to employees, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, wrote, “Let’s mobilize.” That says a lot about the value and importance of mobile.
The wake-up call about mobile and social technology isn’t just for CEOs. If you don’t embrace social and mobile technology in your work as talent developers, you will miss out on the most significant trend in business today.
“If you don’t believe this, think about the disruptive changes that social and mobile technologies have made in these industries: travel, retail, entertainment, publishing and higher education–to name just a few.
“This week, are you relying on the hotel concierge to find restaurants for you, or are you using a smartphone app to find them yourself? Did you use a travel agent to book your flight or did you do it yourself online? These days, mobile tools let you control every aspect of travel, from planning, to booking, to sharing photos.
“By giving travelers control of transactions through their mobile apps, companies are turning the customer experience upside down. That’s the kind of rapid impact mobile technology can have when it disrupts long-standing ways of doing business and substitutes something customers wanted all along but no one was giving them.
“To be more innovative, and help your organizations be more innovative, you need to be comfortable using social and mobile technologies to help all employees engage, connect and learn. If you haven’t started on this journey yet, don’t panic.
“The biggest users of mobile and social technologies right now are people in their 20s and early 30s–the Millennials or Gen Y. Just five years from now, nearly half of all workers in the US will be Millennials. By 2025, they will make up 75 percent of the global workforce, according to Deloitte.
“Millennials work, play and learn—and most of all, interact—with their mobile and social tools. They’ve grown up with them. They already use them at work to communicate and collaborate, and they expect their bosses and co-workers to do the same.
“Instead they tweet and text, blog and search, and make and send videos, from anywhere, any time. It’s the way they live. They are the connected generation.
“You’ll be lucky to have them in your workforce when you work on a social learning program because they already get what social and mobile are all about—and they’re good at it.
“Marcia Conner and I just finished updating our book, ‘The New Social Learning,’ which we originally written in 2010 to help managers and leaders understand the power of social media in the context of learning. In the five years since the book was first published, the use of social and mobile tools has increased tremendously.
“According to a Cisco white paper, there will be 2 billion smartphone users and 1.4 billion tablet users in the world by 2018. By the end of this year, there will be twice as many networked devices as there are people on earth.
“And we felt then—as we do today—that there was a bigger story to tell, and that’s the impact of social media on learning. It allows us to leverage our collective intelligence in ways that were never before possible to solve the simplest to the most complex problems.
“Everyone’s lives, both personally and professionally, continue to get more complex. And the ability to learn from and to share our knowledge with others—using mobile and social technologies—offers a key approach to addressing that complexity.
“I encourage each of you to commit to learn as much as you can about these technologies—you’re in the right place here at the conference. And please apply those technologies and principles so that people in your organizations can be both learners and teachers.
“In doing so, you will be a catalyst for collaboration, and you’ll be exceptionally valuable to your organizations. It’s up to you—to commit and to take action.”
Are you still doing emails and using the telephone to connect? Where have you been?
Feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.