#wolweek Day 4: Weak Network links and serendipitous surprises

International Working Out Loud Week is 17-24 November

#wolweek continues to be an amazing learning experience. I am fascinated to see what others choose to share and to learn more about there work. Many of the greatest learnings have been as a result of the #wolweek tag and @wolweek account creating new links to distant people in my network.

Last night I facilitated a #wolcircle using John Stepper’s guide to the process of purposefully working out loud for 12 weeks. The discussion was dominated by revelations of little moments of serendipity. All the people in the circle had experienced positive surprises aligned to their goals. Discussing why, we came to the view that the serendipity was the outcome of:
– being more active and more visible
– being purposeful and generous in our intent; and
– exploring weak links and enabling distant people to better see our work and purposes.

We were all so thrilled with the progress of the #wolcircle process. After 4 weeks we all want to recreate the experience with others. Thanks to John Stepper for the process and Michelle Ockers for the coordination to make it happen. Thanks also to my new #wolcircle collaborators who have moved from weak to strong links in a few weeks: Annie Humphries, Vannessa North and Matt Guyan.

A colleague and I worked out loud today on some big sheets of paper around our workspace. This process of exposing our work enabled a breakthrough. I better understood one of the challenges of our project as it was mapped visually by the colleague doing that work.

I had only heard this work described in technical terms. Honestly, I had not focused on what contributions I could make to a colleague’s technical expertise. Seeing and discussing the work, I realised I had an idea from my prior experience to contribute to a solution. Jointly, we developed an innovative way forward using our expertise combined. Moving from talking about our capability building work to seeing and understanding the work better enabled me to realise the link to prior experience.

They say luck is when opportunity meets readiness. The value of working out loud is it fosters both requirements for luck.

Work out loud. It improves your luck.

For more on serendipity and working out loud, see Harold Jarche on working out loud.

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