The New Social Learning

The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media 

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner
Paperback: 240 pages – On Goodreads
Publisher: ASTD & Berrett-Koehler; September 2010
Paperback from – Kindle from

The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

Chapter Summaries
Download a sample of the book (Forward, Introduction, and Chapter one)

Most business books on social media have focused exclusively on using it as a marketing tool. Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another—social media enables this to happen unrestricted by physical location and in all kinds of extraordinarily creative ways. The New Social Learning is the most authoritative guide available to leveraging these powerful new technologies.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner explain why social media is the ideal solution to some of the most pressing educational challenges organizations face today, such as a widely dispersed workforce and striking differences in learning styles, particularly across genera-tions. They definitively answer common objections to using social media as a training tool and show how to win over even the most resistant employees. Then, using examples from a wide range of organizations—including Deloitte & Touche, IBM, TELUS, and even the CIA—Bingham and Conner help readers sort through the dizzying array of technological options available and decide when and how to use each one to achieve key strategic goals.

Social media technologies—everything from 140-character “microsharing” messages to media-rich online communities to complete virtual environments and more—enable people to connect, collaborate, and innovate on levels never before dreamed of. They make learning dramatically more dynamic, stimulating, enjoyable, and effective. This book helps organizations create a contemporary learning strategy that is as timely as it is transformative.

Tony Bingham is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. ASTD is focused on helping members lead talent management, build their business skills, understand the impact of social media on informal learning, close skills gaps, and connect their work to the strategic priorities of business.

Marcia Conner advises some of the world’s largest companies reinventing themselves and their workforce for the future. She aligns social strategies with corporate culture to speed innovation, inform decision-making, and invigorate an organization’s value chain. She is a member of Telefónica’s Disruptive Council, contributor to Fast Company, and fellow of the Darden School of Business.  Follow her @marciamarcia and at


“Campfires and coffee machines have always embodied a secret sauce for informal learning and cultural richness, and social media has magnified that potential exponentially. Bingham and Conner have written a smart, useful guide for understanding both the possibilities and the pitfalls of this new and increasingly significant part of our world. Distinct from all the pop-culture commentary about the likes of Twitter and Facebook, this is a refreshingly sophisticated and studied analysis of what’s really valuable in this arena and how to make the best use of it. A great handbook for our times.”

David Allen
Author, Getting Things Done and Making It All Work

“Enterprises around the world are recognizing that the way we work in a globally integrated business world is changing. This book is wonderfully written with practical advice on how to create a culture that can thrive in this environment by taking a people-centric approach to how we collaborate to get things done. While the internet and social tools can augment an individual’s abilities, the stronger focus in this book is on how networks of individuals can redefine the way people learn and work together to foster a more flexible, collaborative and participative environment. We are already seeing organizations that are embracing these changes outpace their competition.”

Kristen Lauria
Vice President, Marketing & Channels
Lotus & Websphere Portal

“Finally, here is a book that extends the use of social media to the complex world of training and development. Bingham and Conner leverage their combined knowledge of organizations large and small to provide concrete strategies that will help your employees learn with greater speed and ease.”

Alexandra Levit
Author, New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career