Friday, February 12, 2010

Training Departments as pioneers of Gov2.0

From my experience in the Training department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the last two years, I learned that Training Departments could become agents of change regarding Gov2.0 revolution. They can literally push the organizations towards the adoption of the Web 2.0 tools, even without the high-level desicion on such policies. This adoption will have its limits. However, the input of the Training Departments can comletely change the dynamic of the pace of Gov 2.0 within the Government.

So, why the Training Department can bring about this change? First, the role of training in modern organizations, government or private sector, is widely acknowledged. In today's world of beta state, of on-going transformation and renewal, training also became beta-state. The technologies change, so does the working environment, and if we want to be up to all these challenges - we should train, all the time.

Our first step was to open a new course "Digital Diplomacy in the age of Social Media". The course was open to all the employees of the Ministry, kind of enriching training program. Because social networks and blogs are very popular toplics these days, the registration for the course was much over the expectations. We've opened the course with more than 30 people - twice the number we planned originally.

It was important to make the course as interesting and impressive as possible (you can see the program of the course here: http://digitaldiplomacy.blogspot.com/2009/11/digital-diplomacy-program-of-course.html). Another goal of the program was to highlight the potential of Web 2.0 for diplomatic work. And last, not least, we wanted to encourage discussion among the participants about the best ways for adoption the web 2.0 in the ministry.

Did it work? The course ended on January 26. On February 1 we already started another program - for the Media Department of the Ministry. On February 25 we'll organize the social media workshop for the Center of International Cooperation of the Ministry. We are scheduling the same program for the European Department. And many other employees asked to put their names on the waiting list for the next program.

In addition to the training programs, we also suggested our involvement in different recruitment projects. For example, we helped the Legal Department of the Ministry to recruit candidates through the social networks. Our purpose was to show how web 2.0 can be a useful tool in different areas of Ministry's work. You can read about this experience in a previous post.
We also proposed our program as a model for Training Departments in other ministries.

However, this dynamic has its limits. Our training program focuses on two topics: why Gov2.0 is so important and how we can use tools of social media. With all due respect to "How", it's also important to teach and train about the "what". Defining the "whats" of any organization belongs to the hegh-level management. Therefore, in order to successfully and fully adopt Gov 2.0 in any organization, there must be an executive decision. But this decision is more plausible after some of the high-ranking officials participated in the training programs...

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