In the second of our interviews with Working Out Loud practitioners we speak with another co-founder of International Working Out Loud week, Austen Hunter. Austen was responsible for the suggestion of devoting a week to working out loud. His idea shared in the Yammer Customer Network drew others and helped create the first International Working Out Loud week in June 2014.
Austen shares some fantastic examples of how working out loud has led to new opportunities for him and fostered new valuable relationships.
- What do you recommend for someone considering starting a practice of working out loud?
Little and often. Whichever media you choose, I find that it’s both easier to contribute and easier to digest brief, headline snippets. People can always ask for more detail and the great thing about that is the opportunity it presents to start a conversation and build a relationship.The other thing I would say is: be bold. This is about improving the way we work and doing something new. If it feels a little bit uncomfortable, you’re on the right track 🙂
How do I maximise the benefits or minimise the risks of working out loud?Try a range of different media. On a day-to-day basis I use internal media like Yammer and our Intranet to share what I’m doing. Externally, I use Twitter, G+ and the occasional blog. Last #WOLweek, I experimented with Vine to offer a glimpse into others’ work. I also used some super sized post-it notes to share my work on the office wall. Of course, you could just speak to people!I don’t worry too much about the risks, largely because I don’t think that working out loud is particularly risky. Just don’t do anything daft like publishing commercially sensitive information externally.
Tell us a story of when working out loud surprised youDuring the last #WOLweek, I worked out loud on a re-structure in my area. It precipitated an enlightening online coaching session with Luis Suarez. I was surprised because that discussion really did transform my thinking on the subject. It simply would not have happened if I hadn’t worked out loud …AND had the luck to be coached by Luis, who is such a force of nature!
How does working out loud support your work?It’s my duty to let people know what’s going on. One of the most recurrent complaints we hear through staff surveys, year after year, is that colleagues don’t always know what’s going on and they would like to get better information. The other thing we hear is that colleagues often feel disconnected from other parts of the organisation. By working out loud I aim to do my little bit to help improve that situation. Also, I receive a lot more help than I would otherwise, from others to get my work done, which is fantastic. Most importantly, working out loud has helped me to create and develop new relationships with people I would otherwise not have have met.
Who inspires you to practice working out loud?My colleagues inspire me to work out loud because they express very clearly through staff surveys and in conversation that they want to know more.
To learn more about Austen Hunter follow him on twitter at twitter.com/AustenHunter Don’t forget to join him in International Working Out Loud Week from 17-24 November.