Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Working Out Loud


Happy New Year!

Just over two years ago +Bryce Williams described a new type of behavior at work that is enabled by social collaboration tools. On his blog he posited that "Working Out Loud" = Observable Work + Narrating Your Work.
Image: http://johnstepper.com/2012/05/26/working-out-loud-your-personal-content-strategy/

Social media platforms enable "many to many" communications in a way that was not previously possible. And while there is great value in sharing content with your network of connections after it has been created, there is even more value to be gained by collaborating to create content in first place. Whether it be by capturing comments from a close colleague or serendipitous feedback from an acquaintance, leveraging the knowledge, skills and experience of the network to create value comes by creating together.

But the opportunity to exploit the leverage available to us is dependent upon our willingness to change the way in which we work, to expose our work to our colleagues and to invite others to contribute.

I have been experimenting with Working Out Loud as I perform my duties as an adviser to my client and as a leader on my project and in our consulting organization. To get started, I have made a few adjustments in the way in which I work, including:
  • Establishing open groups on our internal social business collaboration platform for the team that I lead on my client project as well as other work related teams to which I belong,
  • Inviting my direct team members, as well as extended team members, to join the groups,
  • Posting a number of reference materials to seed the groups with material,
  • Customizing the group spaces using available widgets to provide a continuous flow of fresh links to relevant internal and external content via tags and keyword searches,
  • Updating my status on the platform routinely to reflect topics that I am working on,
  • Publishing drafts of documents under development, with a statement of intent and structure, and inviting colleagues to comment and update as needed,
  • Referring to content on the group page during meetings using an overhead projector and a web-meeting / teleconference,
  • Actively sending a link to content on the group page in lieu of sending copies of content as an attachment to an email,
  • Actively engaging in discussions and responding to requests for help,
  • Publishing a blog, both internally and externally, related to my area of interest - enterprise collaboration,
  • Religiously tagging my content to improve its search relevance.
I am pleased with the results so far. In particular, recently a few of my colleagues have started Working Out Loud as well.

Have you tried to do things differently, to Work Out Loud? Please let me know what you think or what your experiences have been so far.

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