Many of you may be aware that I’m a fan of the work of Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer). It was only recently at the Pivot Summit in Geelong that I had been made aware of his work and I signed up to follow his Facebook page.
Robert Scoble used to work at Rackspace as their futurist. Much of his work involved travelling around the world meeting with start ups, entrepreneurs, engineers and researchers who were creating new technology products and innovations and he interviewed them live through Facebook Live. Let me say that my breakfasts some days were quite educational. It felt that I travelled in an autonomous car with Mercedes while I was eating my Weetbix and shopping in a new tech retail store in San Francisco. His real time interviews were informative, educational and many times, if I can use that overused word…awesome because it felt like I was watching and experiencing new technology and gadgets first hand – before everyone else.
Recently he announced that he was leaving Rackspace to join Upload VR, a new media site focussed on his interests in augmented and virtual reality and this got me thinking about people who share their work and learning in an open and genuine manner.
Robert is someone who actively works out loud. This means he shares his work through his interviews, meetings, demonstrations, conference attendances all in real time – and people are only too happy to oblige and talk about their products. He also has an employer who actively supported him.
So what does working and learning out loud mean for the average person working for an organisation?
You may not wield your camera around and take interviews of people but as an employee of your organisation and someone who has their own interests, skills, experiences and subject matter expertise, you too can start to share what you’re working on and what you’re learning to others. This sharing can occur through blogs, posts, videos through your enterprise social network or the public social networks.
And you never know where this will lead you.
Of course, I’m not talking about sharing private, sensitive, confidential information, nor things that don’t add value or simply add to the noise.
Instead, share how you solved a particular problem that has been bugging you or share an interesting observation that you have made because it keeps happening to you or team members repeatedly. Ask open questions and invite dialogue so that over time, you’ll start to focus and share on the topics that intrigue you – your passions.
There’s no doubt about it. Our workplaces are changing and the traditional hierarchical structures are slowly crumbling away. Employers are realising that their people have talents, expertise and passions that remain unexplored and untapped. By working out loud and sharing your work and learning, you are telling the world of your passions and you are giving them a glimpse into your world, how you work, who you know, the process of how you do things, the structure of your thinking. You’ll also start to build over time, a group of people who are your supporters, fans, followers – call them what you will and they will be the people who will share with you more ideas, connections and introduce you to other networks.
Working and learning out loud reveals where your talents and passions truly lie. It means that you’ll start to build your personal network of people around you from all around the world who also connect you to potential opportunities, other people and ideas. Your own ‘portable network’ that will help you in your working life that may consist of many different jobs across different industries.
Working out loud could also mean that you may see that what you’re doing in your current role doesn’t seem to fit with what you prefer to be doing and this role may be in another part of your organisation or, there may not be a role and your organisation is open to creating one for you specifically.
Alternatively, you may realise that the company you work for today was not the one you joined and it’s time to explore other opportunities.
Working and learning out loud leads to new beginnings and opportunities as it did with Robert. We saw how excited and passionate he was when he covered the stories of augmented and virtual reality and how open he was to bring everyone in on his journey. Through his excitement, it made us excited and then made us think about ways how this new technology will affect and impact our world, education, entertainment and media in a few years. Through his work, we were thinking and applying what we saw for our own contexts and making sense of it.
He was taking us on is personal learning journey that landed him a new job doing what he loves.
Through his learning and sharing, he was able to find a role that was more aligned to his values, passions and interests and he had the full support of an employer who understood this too.
So what are you waiting for?
Let go of the fear and put something out there because over time, you’ll never know to where it may lead.
If you’re interested in learning more about new technologies then I highly recommend following his Facebook Live page or alternatively, his regular newsletter called Life and Tech with Robert Scoble which wraps up all his stories and videos.