Originally published April 20, 2015

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Here are 8 reasons for working out loud rather than privately, through email messages, or in closed meetings

1. Multiple people may need to know what is going on, to read updates, and to reply

  • You don’t know who all of them are
  • You can receive replies from all relevant people
  • You can see all people who replied, unlike forwarded email

2. Provide transparency in thinking, decisions, and processes

  • Receive inputs and feedback from anyone willing to contribute
  • Vet ideas in public by allowing others to weigh in, which helps achieve consensus
  • Lead by example to encourage others to also work out loud

3. Enable and exploit serendipity

  • Meet up with people wherever you are, who otherwise won’t know you are going to be there
  • Exchange and support ideas with other people attending the same events, and allow those unable to attend to also benefit
  • Gain new colleagues by participating in recurring online chats

4. Allow others to benefit from seeing discussions

  • Receive advice from unexpected sources based on relevant experience
  • Receive pointers to useful information
  • Help others to learn and develop

5. Keep a record of discussions

  • Maintain a single thread with all replies in the same place
  • Make it open to all who have an interest
  • Easily refer back to the discussion and provide a public link

6. Build your personal brand

  • Maintain a journal of your thinking for a permanent record
  • Reuse your thoughts for blog posts and book chapters
  • Enhance your reputation as a thought leader

7. Avoid fragmentation into different email threads and different sets of people

  • No need to forward
  • Avoid having different people on different threads
  • Prevent out-of-sync replies

8. Move from old ways of working to new and better ones

  • Model the open way of working
  • Demonstrate trust
  • Flatten out the hierarchy


  1. John StepperResourcesTwitter threadSIKM Presentation
  2. Luis Suarez
  3. Brad Palmer
  4. Bryce Williams
  5. Harold Jarche
  6. Matt Partovi
  7. Howie Cohen5-part blog series
  8. Bruno Winck
  9. Ian ThorpeIncrease the volume
  10. Simon Terry
  11. Rachel Happe
  12. Dennis PearceLinkedIn ArticleKMWorldMidwest KM Symposium
  13. Filip Callewaert — Xtreme WOL
  14. Jane Bozarth
  15. Rachel Miller
  16. Ian Jones — Working Out Loud in Shell
  17. Catherine ShinnersDynamics of WOLFireside ChatOpening the Curtains
  18. LinkedIn Topic
  19. SlideShare
  20. Working Out Loud Facebook Group


  1. Working Out Loud: For a better career and life by John Stepper
  2. Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-to’s of Working Out Loud by Jane Bozarth
  3. Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

What are some other reasons for working out loud?

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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