Why We Haven't Been Working Out Loud

Working Out Loud = Observable Work + Narrating Your Work

There's a lot of rubbish written about working out loud.

Working out loud is hard. 

  • It means sharing what you are doing in the bad times not just the good.
  • It means asking for help when you need it.
  • It means saying when you don't feel very motivated or productive.
  • It means sharing failure.
  • It means demonstrating the value to colleagues who just don't get it.

When we began Bromford Lab we were pretty good at it. Sharing regular updates, live Trello and using Google docs and video to share our growing pains.

However, as we've gotten older - and moved more to the centre of the organisation - we've neglected this.

Some of this is for very good reason. We've been working on a project called Bromford 2.0 , and it would be reckless to share things publicly before we inform colleagues of what it means for them.

And some of this is down to our pure lack of discipline.

At Bromford Lab we are big fans of meaningful working out loud.

At organisational level we like the work of Buffer whose approach to transparency is one of their navigating principles.

At an individual level we love Neil Tamplin and his approach to a weekly Braindump which shares his progress alongside other useful resources.

What they both have in common is they are methodical about sharing - and they mix the good and bad news. 

So - we are updating our approach to working out loud going forward.

  • We'll be rebooting our Trello board. Archiving our past work and beginning with a new cycle.
  • We'll be posting Lab updates three times a week, even if they are short 100 word pieces.
  • We'll return to sessions like Lightning Talks, Lab TV and experiment with new ways of involving our network.
  • We'll be much braver in sharing what's not worked - and the reasons why

And personally I'm going to start a new working out loud experiment on Medium. I'll link it here when it's up and running. 

We can underestimate the challenges to working out loud. The gravitational pull internally is to communicate internally.

So - a new start. Let us know if you like what you see (or if you don't).

Paul Taylor 17th July 2017