Nancy White has posted a very nice “white paper” (pun intended!) on what she is calling “triangulating learning.” Essentially she gives a clear picture of how to reach outside of your organizational boundaries to put social connections to work to increase creativity, collect inspiration and ground-truth ideas:
Triangulating learning through external support from individuals, communities and networks can provide significant, low or no cost support to innovators and learners within institutions. This triangulation requires networking skills and a willingness to learn in public – even possibly loose part of all credit for one’s work. The rewards, however, are increased learning, practical experience and ultimately the ability to change not just one’s self, but one’s organization.
Those of us freelancers that have blogged for a long time are certainly familiar with this idea, but Nancy provides some very practical notes about getting started especially for people who work within organizational constraints.