International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.
Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com
On #WOLWeek Day 1 I blogged about my current WOL Circle goal:
“to clearly explain the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.”
Today’s #WOLWeek challenge is to “take the time to make a contribution to another person who is connected to your purpose.” The day is drawing to a close. While I have made contributions to others today, I have not made one specifically to someone connected to my purpose. So today’s post is a reflection on my contributions during the eight weeks of my current WOL Circle as I worked towards this goal.
My Contributions During Current WOL Circle
My purpose is fairly specific in it’s Australian focus, and I did not start with well-developed relationships with relevant people. Most people have an online presence of some kind so I started searching for people I had met at Knowledge Management Australia conference to see if I could find an online social media account, a blog, or other online content they’d published.
When I found people on LinkedIn I sent them a personalised invitation reminding them of our prior contact, and identifying our area of common interest. If I found them on Twitter I followed them and sent a short tweet with a similar message. Following someone on social media and making a short introduction gives the simple, unobtrusive gift of acknowledgement. Where I was able to find content they had published online I looked at it and, if I found it valuable, I liked it, commented on it, or shared it online with a brief statement about the content. The intent of these small contributions is to move the relationship forward just a little, to make them aware of me, and extend a light invitation to engage without imposing an obligation.
One person did start a dialogue with me via email, and I was able to make further contributions by commenting on their work and asking questions about it. I asked if they were aware of Australian case studies or research relevant to my goal. They recommended a global study that contained some Australian data, and suggested I join the AusKm forum and post my question there. I’m going to leave this thread of the story there for now as it leads into #WOLWeek Day 5: Share A Need.
On reflection, during my current WOL Circle I’ve not moved beyond simple contributions. This has impeded my progress toward my goal. I’ve been very busy recently with significant changes, including resigning from a job to commence working independently, moving house, and time off work during school holidays. I’ve struggled to maintain a habit of keeping an eye on what relevant people are sharing online, reading longer content that they have published or referred to me, and identifying contributions I could be making. Nonetheless, I have made progress – which I shall summarise in tomorrow’s WOLWeek post.