Welcome to International Working Out Loud week which will run from 7-13 November 2016. The Theme of this Wolweek is “Working and Sharing Purposefully”.
Each day this week this blog will share a discussion of the 7 Days of Working Out Loud post. Thoughout the week and in the coming weeks we will also be sharing blogposts, interviews, and other content to help practitioners of working out loud to lean and to spread the movement.
Day 1: Share Purpose
Working out loud is about sharing your work as it progresses so that others can learn and can help.
Our purpose is why we work out loud. Your purpose is something you want to achieve for others. You work out loud because you want to invite those people into your work, to help you achieve your purpose and to shape how you achieve your work.
Purpose isn’t about working to do something to other people. You are working to do it with other people. Together you will co-create a better world, a better life and a better future. Working out loud is a way to start a conversation about what that looks like and how it should be brought about.
The strongest connections to others and the strongest communities are formed around a shared purpose. Putting your purpose out in the world is a foundation for growing and deepening your networks.
Use Purpose to Find Who
Purpose should guide with whom you share your work. Share your work with people who are relevant to, benefiting from or who can help achieve your purpose.
You don’t need to share your work with the whole world. You should share your work with those who share your purpose. You may not know exactly where those people are but you will find that openness, generosity and the right communities will help those people find you. Put your purpose out in places where you are most likely to find the networks, information, help and learning that you need to progress your work.
Who you share your work with could be one other person or it could be the whole world. The communities and networks around your purpose shape which is the best fit for you.
Use Purpose to Shape How
Do you connect with people one on one to share your work? Do you put your work on display in your work place using a visual management board, whiteboard, post-it or a poster? Do you use technology?
The answer to these questions should be shaped by your unique purpose and the best way to engage the communities around your purpose. If people are spread far and wide and you are more uncertain as to who should be engaged, you will likely need to cast a wider net using technology. If your purpose is personal to you or others and your community is small, more direct and personal forms of engagement will be more effective. Let your purpose be your guide into what form of working out loud makes most sense for your work.
The outcome that you are trying to achieve for others also shapes what information you should share. What do you need to know or what help do you need to better fulfil your outcome? Shape what you share to invite the contributions that you need to be successful. This is why sharing work in progress is better than sharing finished outcomes. Your stakeholders can’t learn as much or help as much on finished work.
Measure Success by Purpose
When you are clear on why you are doing your work, you can be clear on how working out loud can help you. Measure the success of working out loud not by activity but by what it does to help you and others to learn and engage in the work. Measure success by how much closer working out loud gets you to your goals. You might work out loud for a week and only receive a single reply. The question is “Does that reply advance your purpose?”
You won’t achieve your purpose. You won’t achieve success unless you start your work. So start your working out loud today.
Change Agents Worldwide is the Principal Partner of International Working Out Loud Week. Change Agents Worldwide helps organisations and individuals leverage the potential of working out loud to create more purposeful and effective work.