Simon Terry

Home » Collaboration » Working Out Loud: It’s not who you know. It’s who you don’t.

Working Out Loud: It’s not who you know. It’s who you don’t.

Working out loud is a way to discover new network connections and new capabilities in your existing network. The value of working out loud is in who and what you don’t know.

Collaboration is straightforward if you know someone and know that they have the ability to help. You have to get over the inconvenience of asking for help. You might have to negotiate a little to win their support. Either way, it is a straight line from need to outcome.

When you don’t know who can help, finding a partner for collaborative work or learning is less simple. Searching for help is time-consuming frustrating and daunting. The power of working out loud is it enables you to break the traditional networking mantra:

“It’s who you know”.

Working out loud opens up a wider network of partners for collaborative work and learning because it changes the dynamic from “who you know” to “what the network knows about you”.  Working out loud leverages the value of what you don’t know:

“It’s not who you know. It’s who you don’t know and what they know about you.”

Sharing work in progress with a relevant community is a step towards discovering new people who can help your work or learn together with you.  When your goals, status, and current efforts are narrated openly for others to follow, word gets around.  Intermediaries can start to make connections between you and those who can help. Your close network ties will find the weak ties who can add value to your work for you.

The unique value of working out loud as a way to engage your network is that for both you and your network it opens opportunities to create new connections based on new understanding of your work.  Don’t be discouraged that you don’t know those in the know.  Work out loud and let them find you instead.

International Working Out Loud week is from 5-11 June 2017.  See wolweek.com for more details.


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