Aimee Young caught up with John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud to find out how a few simple steps can support us to create a culture of collaboration in a changing workplace.
John Stepper in conversation with visitors to Learning Technologies 2017. Credit: Towards Maturity
Organisations are always looking to become more agile or innovative and in L&D we are all focused on supporting employees to be more engaged. It’s a behaviour and mind-set change that is often overlooked in most change-management programmes. You can change technology and environment, but how do you help people to experience new ways of working which lead to new behaviours, habits and mind-sets?
So, what is #WOL exactly? Working out loud provides a framework to cultivate communities of practice and creates space to work through our own goals and challenges through peer support and reflection. “As people across an organization Work Out Loud, work becomes more effective and fulfilling, and the culture becomes more open and collaborative,” says John. You are encouraged to share, connect, contribute, celebrate, support and plan next steps. So, how does it work in practice? How do we use these principles in an organisational wide context?
We begin with three main questions:
What am I trying to accomplish?
Identify what it is you’re working towards, an individual goal that means something to you. This could be a personal ambition in your life or career or delivering a great outcome on a project. This part of the process reflects our need to self direct and focus on something that has tangible meaning to us.
Who is related to my goal?
Identify people around you, both physically and by embracing modern methods of communication; who can help us contribute to and achieve our goal? Reach out via Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, or blogging. Create a video and post it on the internal company social network, or reach out externally to a wider network of people.
How can I contribute to people to deepen our relationship?
Identifying who can help us could start with following someone on Twitter, but we can turn the trivial into purposeful by connecting directly with them. Interact by liking, connecting, sharing, calling, emailing, meeting up in person.
Working out loud is simple, human, and structured. It’s a way in which we can move from interaction to collaboration, and help achieve goals. In the spirit of #wol, our eXchange participants have some great top tips for us to get started:
- Take small steps – remember you don’t need to ask for permission!
- Get social
- Begin with your onboarding process – build engagement from the start
About the exchange programme:
The LT Exchange is a free opportunity to have round table discussions with some of the world’s most influential learning sector thought-leaders – and is available to all L&D practitioners visiting the Learning Technologies exhibition.
A collaboration between Learning Technologies and Towards Maturity, the Exchanges programme was launched in 2011 with the aim to share effective practice, thought leadership and stimulate innovation in L&D.
This year, the Learning Technologies Exchanges was co-hosted with Training Journal and tackled the practical issues facing today’s L&D leaders: supporting change, leveraging networks, mobile learning, micro learning and how to get ahead with technology in 2017.