This International Working Out Loud Week we will be sharing a reflection on a different element of working out loud each day.  We will be using John Stepper’s latest iteration of the five elements of Working Out Loud as a guide to those reflections.

We start with Purpose. Purposefulness in working out loud helps unify all the other elements of working out loud: the mindfulness of networks, the visible sharing, the generosity and the growth mindset.


We work for a purpose. We work to have some impact on others. We work to make ourselves and our world a better place. That purpose should be at the heart of our working out loud too.

Working out loud should be directed to some end.  Working out loud cannot be a random broadcast of activity. We share our work visibly and narrate our work so that others can benefit, whether through a greater understanding of our work, through opportunities to collaborate or have input or through learning about the process we take when we work. Our purpose inspires us to use whatever practices will help us have greater effect.

Purpose should shape the networks and communities with whom we share our work. Our purpose reflects a desire to use our skills, networks and capabilities to help others.  With whom we work out loud should be shaped by these same people.  We should work out loud to benefit from and benefit those best placed to engage with our purpose.

Generosity is inherent in purpose. Purpose leads outside the building of our work, outside our own narrow concerns and encourages us to reflect on how our work can give to the world.  This generous mindset helps us assuage the common self-centred fears of sharing our work as it happens – fear of loss, fear of embarrassment and fear of unfairness.

Purpose also sustains us in our growth mindset.  There are obstacles in any work. There are many obstacles in adopting a practice of working out loud. There is also no one right universal way of working out loud that will suit every person, situation and purpose. We embrace all the practices and approaches that have been created to foster purposeful sharing of work because any practice may be of benefit to someone. There are many schools of working out loud.  People may be inspired by the ideas and practices of Bryce Williams, John Stepper, Jane Bozarth, Harold Jarche, Sahana Chattopadhyay, Helen Blunden, Dennis Pearce, Jonathan Anthony, Catherine Shinners, Ayelet Baron, Lesley Crook, Isabel De Clercq, Bert Vries,  Simon Terry and many more. Focusing on how we can learn together, how we can help each other to achieve more and how we can move beyond the setbacks is important to taking our work and this new practice to the world.

Purpose is the reason at the heart of our work, our life and our careers. As we seek to use working out loud ‘for a better life and career’ we must be guided by purpose in our practice.

International Working Out Loud Week runs from 6-12 June 2016.

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