Gone are the days when companies expected their employees to spend all their time closeted in the office, feverishly working on whatever project deadline was next. Instead, today is the time when innovation and creativity trumps working from morning to night with nothing to show for it.
Working a world where social media has made connecting with others one of the easiest tasks around, companies are now looking at exploring these new world networking opportunities to share their work processes as well. A great new technique – pithily called Working Out Loud – looks to make work more effective than ever through a process of sharing and enhancing knowledge.
John Stepper, an author who is currently penning down a book of the same name, explains the concept very lucidly. According to him, it is an idea in which people performing a particular work aim to narrate and share its details with others in such a way so as to enable constructive feedback while at the same time building a network that will help in further development of the idea. Take for instance the example of a new project that has been started by a firm. At the end of the first day, the team leader writes down the work that was done and how it would lead to accomplishment of the final goal, and then follows the same process regularly.
As Stepper explains, the first advantage of this is it makes one person’s work visible to all others in the team or the firm. The use of blogs, social media sites among others can easily ensure the message is received by all without any extra effort. This then lead to a series of related events, most important of which is feedback which can be used to improve upon the existing ideas. This publishing also engages other members of the team to better understand the process as well as encourage them to contribute more, as this process inevitably calls for help from others while at the same time helping them.
This also means that over a period of time, Stepper explains, people build a large network of people with coordinating skill sets, allowing building of new partnerships and forging of new creative ideas. People who use this Working Out Loud technique have found that by making their work visible to others, they have not only improved on it but have also experienced an enhanced feeling of accomplishment.
A greater interaction with others also opens up new opportunities in a way that remaining cut off from the world can never lead to. In fact, Stepper in his book encourages people to make the most of social media and internet facilities available to us today. This, he believes, can be used effectively to make work more fulfilling and purposeful. As the idea has developed, it has found wide application even outside corporate environment, where people from all walks of life are looking at applying the technique to their particular situation.
All set to release the paperback version and eBook in September, Stepper believes its publishing will help a lot of people build more successful and happier careers and lives. All proceeds from the book will go to donorschoose.org to further educational causes around the globe. I am excited to get my copy in September and recommend you to have a close look at this work.
Photo credit: Enterprise 2.0 Conference