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Facebook ‘Likes’ Learning
Inspired by the company’s mission to help users tell their stories, Facebook’s Stuart Crabb is building a learning culture that emphasizes each employee’s strengths.
Facebook has made quite an impact since its inception in February of 2004. Millions of people use the site every day to connect with friends, share information and promote goods and services. The social network has spawned imitators around the globe, generated several highly publicized lawsuits, turned privacy into a question mark and been credited with helping to start a revolution.
It has been an interesting time for a company less than eight years old. Even as the 2010 movie “The Social Network” dissected the company’s leadership and origins, Facebook’s ups and downs made for a critically acclaimed Hollywood box office hit.
In the movie, Jesse Eisenberg played a fictional version of CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a smart college kid who took an idea and turned it into a phenomenon. The veracity of Eisenberg’s portrayal aside, few can deny Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg took advantage of his strengths, an idea that resonates throughout Facebook’s learning organization.
“People are likely to do their very best when they have an opportunity to play to their strengths,” said Stuart Crabb, Facebook’s head of learning. “There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the lightbulbs go off in managers, teams and individuals when they get the opportunity to sit down and think and talk about their strengths and how they play out at work. It’s an incredibly important filter through which managers, HR functions and CEOs should be thinking about performance improvement.”
Crabb, who joined Facebook some two and a half years ago from The Marcus Buckingham Co., said the learning industry has been tethered to some fairly sizable beliefs about what it takes to make organizations and individuals successful, beliefs that are increasingly less relevant to organizations like Facebook. Generational shifts are changing how the workforce perceives ideas such as recognition, feedback, development and opportunity. This prompted Crabb to reframe development to align better with employee demands and expectations, and strengths-based learning plays a central role.
For example, Crabb said traditional learning uses competency as a gateway to determine an employee’s ability and performance potential. “It’s actually a fairly flawed assumption because a focus on competency-based thinking excludes the emotional component that’s present in every task and activity: How does this work make me feel? What’s really important is recognizing that meaningful work — and engagement — is likely to come when managers find a way to tilt the job and the opportunities in the organizations to the strengths of the individual.”
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
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