Introduction To the SociaLens Digital Fluency Framework

The right balance of digital fluencies is an important but often overlooked factor of an organization’s success, along with the more traditional factors of proper technology selection, strategy, and organizational structures. To help organizations make sense of this, we developed the SociaLens Digital Fluencies Framework.
For this blog post, we have included simple definitions for each of the six fluencies to get you acclimated. As this series of blog posts progresses, we will reveal the more specific definitions..

SociaLens digital fluency framework

Tactical Fluencies

(these enable a person to get things done at the individual level)

Information fluency—The ability to gather information, to ensure that information is credible and relevant enough to then act upon it and to share it with other people.

Interaction fluency—The ability to critically choose and be confident in one’s representation of identity (or identities), and the related ability to engage effectively with groups of people.

Innovation fluency—The ability to critically reflect on past and present situations, to creatively imagine future scenarios, and the ability to make those creative scenarios a reality.


Strategic Fluencies

(these give a person the ability to enable or constrain other people to get things done at the group level)

Inspiration fluency—The ability to serve as or provide motivation for others, based on the ability to understand and recognize what stimulates people to act.

Involvement fluency—The ability to help other people be aware and make sense of their situation, and to match other people’s strengths with that situation in a way that empowers them to accomplish their objectives.

Imagination fluency—The ability to look ahead at what a group might face or might do, and the ability to get that group to move toward that future.
Before you go, here are a few important tips for thinking about this framework:
Fluency Has More Than One Level. Fluency is a level of skill and comfort. It helps to think of it in two general levels. In most cases, a person must achieve the first level in order to reach the second:
  • Literacy—the ability to know how and what to do, like knowing how to post a message online.
  • Fluency—the ability to know when and why, like knowing when it is appropriate to post a particular message, given the context.
No Fluency Is An Island. No fluency can be usefully considered in isolation from the others in a person or in a group. For example, a leader who exhibits questionable inspiration fluency by assuming that all her employees are motivated by money may be squashing those employees’ desire to improve their innovation fluency by experimenting with low-cost, personally-rewarding digital projects.
Fluencies are a Result of Nature and Nurture. A person’s fluency is a result of both who they are, as well as what they’ve experienced and what they’ve learned. This means that fluencies can be developed, but that different people will develop those fluencies differently.
Digital Fluencies Aren’t All About Digital. It is important to note that none of these fluencies are completely unique to the digital age. People have always needed a form of information fluency, for example. But the rapid digitally-related changes in the world have changed how some of these fluencies look, and the mix that is appropriate for different situations.
In the next series of posts, we will share a little more about the history leading up to this framework, and will look at some case studies through this lens to see what it reveals.  Until then, please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below.

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