Collaborate with us April – May, 2016 in exploring innovations in enterprise social networks

About MSLOC 430 and the connection hub

MSLOC 430 is a graduate course in the Master’s Program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. The formal course runs in 10-week sections twice every year. The current session runs from March 29 until May 31. The first session ran from January through early March.

This site is a connecting hub where we share our work and resources as we explore how enterprise social networks change work and learning.

You can join us.

Topics we explore

How does enterprise social networking change an organization?

We explore and reflect on research and case studies that look at enterprise social networks (ESNs) and:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational culture
  • Organizational change
  • Innovation
  • Learning and development
  • Personal learning networks
  • Individual digital literacy, presence or identity

How might we create new models to change work practice or learning in organizations?

When we look for new ideas that leverage enterprise social networking technology to truly transform the way we work and learn, we see two things:

  • Innovations addressing how we work or solve work-related problems coming from business and management practitioners – like working out loud, idea jams, crowdsourcing, and open design.
  • Innovations addressing how we learn coming from education or organizational learning practitioners – like MOOCs, connected courses, virtual communities of practice and communities of inquiry.

Our goal is to think about these two streams of innovations as one. To explore the potential innovation that comes from combining ideas in new ways. For example:

  • How might innovations coming out of open, networked courses – not just MOOCs – change the way we think about leadership development in organizations?
  • How might crowdsourcing be used as part of an open course? Or open design (think Open IDEO)? Or working-out-loud?
  • What might virtual communities-of-inquiry teach us about approaches to continuous learning in professional settings?

Activities: How you can join us

You can join in activities to explore, create or innovate.


Explore sounds a bit better than lurking. So, choose your preferred term. Either way, it’s ok to just scan updates and resources and maybe share a post or two with your network.

You can scan all the latest updates from contributing bloggers via our home page.

You can scan through different streams – MSLOC student bloggers, open participants or our Diigo social bookmarking group – via the Streams menu item.

Or scan through our Inspirations – content that we find helps us think differently about the topics we’re interested in exploring.


During the next few weeks, you’ll see student blog posts and shared resources exploring some of the topics noted above.

You may create and share your own blog posts to add to the conversations. (See Connect your blog). Here’s how that works:

  • You create and write on space you own and manage but utilize syndication technology to update
  • When you write a new post that you categorize or tag as being for msloc430, a summary of that post will appear here on
  • When someone clicks on a headline from your work on they are taken to your site to read and comment. Connected courses like this are distributed by design, yet offer a way for all participants to follow threads and build new network relationships.

You may also create by sharing resources or ideas via Twitter (#msloc430) or by adding to our Diigo Group, MSLOC 430 Resources.

Some ideas for blog posts and sharing resources

Between March and late May, consider blogging or sharing resources about any of the following topics. Students in the Northwestern course will be doing the same.

Leadership: What does it mean to “lead” in a more connected enterprise? Or be a change agent in a connected enterprise?

Organizational culture: How does organizational culture influence enterprise social networking? Or the reverse: How do enterprise social networks influence organizational culture?

Organizational change: How do enterprise social networks influence the way organizations design and execute strategic change?

Innovation: How do enterprise social networks influence organizational innovation or idea management?

Learning and development: How do enterprise social networks change the way we think about learning and development? Leadership development? Talent management?

Personal learning networks: Do personal learning networks pave the way for individuals in organizations to become more self-directed learners?

Individual digital literacy, presence or identity: How do we think about our “work identity” as a participant in an organizational enterprise social network? What digital literacy skills are key in that context?

New models of networked work or learning: Where do we find inspirations – examples of individuals or organizations working to develop new ways of using networks, communities, crowdsourcing, open design, open or connected courses, etc.? What are some moonshot ideas that we might find interesting to explore?


In late May (the final weeks of our Northwestern course), students will share innovations that emerge from their efforts thinking about case studies from organizations and how those organizations may benefit from application of networked work or networked learning concepts.

See Innovations for more detail.

We’ll share some of the student ideas for innovations. You can join us by:

  • Sharing your thoughts about those innovations after we post them.
  • Using the ideas to experiment in your own organization (we’d like to hear how it goes).
  • Submitting some of your own ideas (more on that in the near future).
Collaborate with us April – May, 2016 in exploring innovations in enterprise social networks
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