Work Out Loud Week — Day 4: Share

In any sort of digital workplace, much of the value will depend on many forms of sharing: openness, transparency, better use of data, better use of knowledge, learning from peers, effective collaboration, greater autonomy, and agile work practices to name a few.

Every day I see teams trying to share goals, assign tasks and send updates through email. Most of these projects could benefit from bringing in unexpected expertise or a fresh perspective. What normally takes 6 months could take as little as a few days/weeks IF the right people get involved. And this is where sharing comes into play.

Working openly and collaboratively also is a switch that does not involve a physical piece of equipment, so the shift is more conceptual than visual but it’s important to realize this, because, increasingly, work isn’t confined to internal teams within an office’s four walls. Work groups are more diverse than ever. Elisa Steele wrote ‘Collaboration must cross borders while respecting boundaries; it must be open yet secure and, most of all, it must be contextual and easy to use.’ and I couldn’t agree more.

Trust me, I know you have a lot to share. It might not seem like it, but something as simple as sharing your to-do list, or a team calendar, or notes form a meeting can help you start to integrate the principles of working out loud into your work day. I’m not looking to add work for you, by simply sharing you are inviting others in and adding purpose to your network.

Mike Fraietta talks a lot about the Control Scale and how the flavors of sharing vary depending on the situation. Find a place that fits the need and lift your work and your challenges up where people can find them. Reach out to Mike if you want the full Control Scale bit — it’s good, I promise.

By sharing your challenges, issues, successes, or even just daily musings, your contributions will begin to create value for others immediately. I’ve found that the the openness and generosity of sharing your work will draw others in to help and to learn from your work. — It gets them to know me better, as a colleague and as a person and brings a certain authenticity and accountability to the table that was never there before.

I think I could write a whole other post on the vulnerability aspect of working out loud. Especially with the ‘power of the like’ today, the exposure can feel threatening — however, it is also what makes your work authentically yours and more valuable to others.

In this new way of work, collaboration and sharing isn’t an afterthought, working out loud is a key practice to get work visible and accessible for the entire organization and community. So share away — start simple.