#wolweek & Green Dots – Working Out Loud in Action


Be a Green Dot

Matthew Partovi (@matthewpartovi) recently posted a very simple approach to change management focusing on thinking about those people who are supporters (Green Dots), neutral, (Orange dots) and opponents of change (Red Dots). This approach is at the heart of how we are working on spreading the practice of working out loud through International Working Out Loud week. We are looking to encourage the green dots to share their experience and get a few yellow dots to join in from their example

Working Out Loud on International Working Out Loud Week

International Working Out Loud week is a lean and virtual movement.  The founders have never met, never had a phone call and all our interactions have been out loud in communities of one kind or another.  We are starting this movement because we are green dots.

The dot is a nice representation of our organisation structure. There is only individual efforts. There is no coordination. There is no plan. Every decision is an experiment. Nobody is full time on this project. Most of the time nobody is working on this project. We are just sharing the work of others.

We rely on the green dots to do what they think is best to foster the movement of people working out loud.  We encourage all good suggestions. We work hard to share the great stories that people share and encourage thought leaders to tell their stories.  We put effort behind great ideas.  We ignore ideas, if we disagree and let the community decide what is working. We haven’t even discussed whether this post is a good idea. We don’t have management because we don’t have people.

The only investment in #wolweek so far is the purchase of the domain which came out of a founder’s pocket.  There is no email marketing list, no membership fee, no marketing campaign, no expenses and no revenue because this is a movement and not a business. Besides if we need to find or engage our green dots we know where to look.  They will be online using one of the hashtags. That’s what green dots do. They work out loud to encourage others. If we want to communicate with the movement, we share a message and see if they like it enough to share it further.  We don’t have any power, only influence.

Day-to-day we wonder if the idea of inspiring a movement of people to work out loud together is going to collapse. It may well. However, so far we have found energy, openness and enthusiasm are far more contagious than we ever expected. Green dots have taken these ideas much further than we thought possible.  That gives everyone energy to invest more time in spreading the message.

Working Out Loud is Social

The success International Working Out Loud has had to date is not because of the founders, a marketing campaign or magic. What success we have had in telling our story and engaging others is entirely due to the green dots. These are the generous people who got on board and shared the story with their networks. They made this movement. We are lucky to have very influential and generous supporters to tell the story of working out loud.  Their efforts have helped build the energy and enthusiasm as they take our story to new people who decide to give working out loud a try.

Then again that is how working out loud works. Working out loud is inherently social. It needs networks and it engages networks.  At its heart it is visible. The practice spreads as others see the benefit. Working out loud creates new green dots who work out loud.

The experiment of International Working Out Loud week has barely begun. All we can ask you to do is be the green dot you want to be. That’s what deserves to be celebrated.

Green dots are awesome. Be a Green Dot. We can’t wait to cheer your success.

International Working Out Loud week is 17-24 November 2014. Get involved.

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