working out loud in perpetual beta

So it’s international working out loud week [AKA Narrating Our Work] and this year people are encouraged to follow a seven-day structure.

  1. Share a purpose
  2. Make a connection
  3. Make a contribution
  4. Share your progress
  5. Share a need
  6. Celebrate, Help
  7. Plan next steps

These seven components can help make work teams more effective as they collaborate to achieve some purpose. Narrating Our Work requires purpose, or it’s not work. Collaboration means taking action. In order to learn, people need to share. They need to make connections, between ideas as well as people.

But Narrating Our Work needs people who are actively engaged in learning. If not, the work space can become an echo chamber. Experimentation with alternatives is how we learn to do new things. This is what #wolweek encourages. Doing this outside the work team means it can be more playful and creative. This is why we all need to find communities of practice beyond our work teams.

We also need to be aware of what is happening outside our spheres of influence. We need to be curious and find others who are not like us. This means we have to give without expectation of direct benefit. This is cooperation. Our social networks can provide this diversity and increase the potential for serendipitous discoveries. “Chance favors the connected mind”, says Stephen B. Johnson.


Working out loud connects self-directed learning with organizational knowledge management. It is the bridge between doing work and learning from work. Within the PKMastery framework, working out loud is the ability to discern when, and with whom, to share our knowledge.

The triple operating system puts all of this together so that structures and practices are in place to be aware of new knowledge, test alternatives to develop competitive knowledge, and ensure that lessons learned at work are shared. This is working in perpetual beta. Working out loud is an essential component.

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