Simon Terry

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#wolweek Day 5: Networks and Contributions

International working out loud week is from 17-24 November

As I stand before a barbecue writing the final post of the week, I am tired. I am tired but exhilarated. Working out loud week has exceeded all expectation. Why? Contributions and networks.

#wolweek succeeds or fails based on the contributions others make. The week is a mere catalyst.  Your action is what matters. The idea of working out loud spreads when people work out loud sharing their contributions in their networks. Others see and get involved. There is no platform to run. There is no centre. There is an idea spreading through networks through the contribution of others.

Working out loud challenges you to understand what contribution your work can make to others. #wol is a way to give to your networks and allow them to give to you too. 

Last night flying home from Sydney I experienced one of those little contributions. I met a former colleague. He told me a few things but most of all he mentioned he missed my leadership contribution. That one little remark helped make a tiring day satisfying.

Today I had a coffee with someone exploring ideas of how they could make a bigger contribution beyond their current role. Naturally, we discussed the how and why of #wolweek. The same themes kept coming to the fore in that chat: just start; be purposeful; enable people to give to others & build networks.

At the heart of that advice was one idea. Success is not about being good or making the right choices. Success is about experimenting to learn faster and learn more. When you see success in that light you see the value of making a contribution in networks. Deep relationships in networks create options. Options have value. Serendipity happens.

#wolweek is a movement to promote working out loud. However, in so doing, it also shines a light on those who are sharing and giving to others. Making a contribution to these people through #wolweek thanks them for their leadership, their efforts and their many gifts. There are so many people to thank this #wolweek. Anyone who has shared the hashtag or discussed the idea deserves my thanks for their contribution to spreading the movement in their networks.

All I can ask is that you consider what contribution you might like to make.  Look at their contributions, share them in your networks and keep spreading the idea of working out loud.

#wolweek may be coming to an end but working out loud is just beginning. Now it is up to your contributions and your networks.

A very partial list of thanks to finish: thanks to Austen Hunter and Jonathan Anthony, the two most enthusiastic co-founders ever. Thanks to Matt Partovi and Stephen Danelutti for bringing the #weworkunbound network along on the journey. Thanks to Bryce Williams for the definition of working out loud and great post this week on the xOL idea. Thanks to John Stepper for generously giving of his heart, knowledge and experience. Thanks to Jane Bozarth for backing us all the way. Thanks to #ESNChat and The Community Roundtable. Thanks to Change Agents Worldwide for being everywhere, networked and always willing to give. Thanks to the thought leaders who lent us their insight, expertise and audiences. Thanks to the leaders in organisations who shared working out loud with their teams. Thanks to the vendors, partners and consultants who took working out loud to the clients. Thanks to the sceptics who kept us honest with challenges and the better informed who corrected the errors. Thanks most of all to you. Without you, this blog is a mere fleeting squawk, because of you it has a chance to make a contribution.


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