Simon Terry

Home » Working out loud » What I learned from Global Day 1 of #wolweek

What I learned from Global Day 1 of #wolweek

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Lessons are already coming in from International Working Out Loud Week (#wolweek) even though it has only just begun.

While it is the end of Tuesday in Australia, Monday was a holiday and most of the world is only now starting day 2 of #wolweek. Here’s what I have experienced so far:

  • Just do it: #wolweek began as a conversation with Jonathan Anthony and Austen Hunter. Somewhere along the way the idea of a week working out loud had a date assigned and became International Working Out Loud Week. The idea clearly resonates with over 200 tweets alone on day 1. If your idea is good enough put it to test in the market without further ado. We could have spent a year planning the event and got less traction.

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  • Sharing magnifies: The conversation that started #wolweek was public. We discussed our plans everywhere we could. Ideas and encouragement helped us continue. People jumped in to push the momentum up on this because they believed a week celebrating working out loud was worthwhile. As there is no organisation behind International Working Out Loud week and there has yet to be a meeting, enthusiasm and participation driven by sharing sustains the activity.
  • Networks explode: I wondered if #wolweek would be a phenomenon of a few chatty people at first. However when we saw major influencers (Thanks Helen Bevan, Gloria Lombardi, Helen Blunden, Rachel Miller, Jane Hart, Miguel Zlot and many more) and brands with big reach ( Thanks Change Agents Worldwide, NHS, Yammer and more) join the conversation it was clear that the sharing of #wolweek would be magnified by networks. Networks explode the potential of sharing. As Jonathan Anthony likes to say, we discovered the BOOM! moment.
  • You are the person: Bryce Williams first described working out loud. There are many other advocates who are probably better placed have spent more time promoting working out loud than the instigators of #wolweek (for example John Stepper, Jane Bozarth, Harold Jarche, Luis Suarez, Austin Kleon, etc to name only a few). If we had worried about support, their engagement or permissions, it would not have happened. Many of the above have jumped in enthusiastically as supporters of #wolweek.  

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  • Change takes time: I have learned to enjoy the fruits of working out loud in networks, but I have always biased this working out loud to networks that have a common purpose and people I know even, if it may be part of  much larger community. It is still uncomfortable for me to use twitter or another totally public forum for this sharing. #wolweek has already shown me the benefits of being a little more open and a little less final in my sharing in this public forum. I can start to see what Luis Suarez and others have gained from moving beyond email into open conversations.
  • Less noise:  I expected to see a lot of noise (apologies if I am inflicting some, but then adjust your filters). I have been searching for posts with the tags #wol, #wolweek and #wolyo. I expected to find at least some noise. Perhaps it is my purpose in learning about #wolweek, but I have found almost all the posts fascinating, a great insight into other’s work. I am not alone.

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Four more days to go globally.  Let’s see what magic all this sharing can bring.


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