#wolweek Day 3: Generosity and Curiosity

International Working Put Loud Week is from 17-24 November 2014.

Generosity and curiosity are values at the heart of working out loud. These are human values we need to foster in the future of work. In times of rapid change and complex social relationships we need generosity and curiosity to build relationships, to prosper and to learn.

I woke this morning to an incredibly generous post by Jonathan Anthony, a reminder of the simple power of the generous acts of acknowledging, recognising and encouraging others. As you can tell from his blog, Jonathan is a curious man who took the chance in our meeting to ask lots of questions, to share lots of ideas and experiences and to deepen an already rich relationship.

Taking a lesson from Jonathan, I endeavoured today to be curious as to the purposes and concerns of the colleagues and stakeholders in my current project. The outcomes were powerful. By asking simple questions I identified issues that concern them that are disrupting our effectiveness as a team. Ask and be surprised what you learn.

Last night I attended a Melbourne Chamber Orchestra board meeting where we discussed philanthropy, an important topic when arts organisations are ever more dependent on private sources of funding. Two things were recommended in that presentation: stand for something and use networks. I tweeted this was great life advice too.

An important conclusion from the philanthropy discussion was that to receive support an organisation must be both generous and curious first. The organisation must show curiousity for the purposes and concerns of its community, it must build strong relationships and a reputation for effectively meeting needs. The organisation receives by giving generously to the community through the organisation’s purpose and to the philanthropists through fulfilling theirs.

Working out loud must leverage generosity and curiousity. These values move people to purpose and away from rampant self-promotion. They move working out loud from me to us. These values are the way working out loud builds trust in work relationships.

Show real interest in another. Go out of your way to help. Seek to understand their concerns and purposes deeply. Invest the time. Give first of yourself.

Enjoy the surprises and the many returns.

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