During International Working Out Loud week recently, I was scanning my work world considering how I leverage its techniques:
- garnering inputs from a wide array of experts,
- across a myriad of topics,
- synthesized through an interconnected network of interested parties
Of course, we all have technological tools and techniques to support this. However, while sitting at the dining table in front of my laptop, a glance about my home caused me to pick up something old fangled. A newspaper.
I work in the maritime energy world, as a communicator. My skillsets are such that I don’t necessarily need to know anything about the industry to add value to the company. Previously I worked for several years in consumer electronics…
I can parse my skills through the strategic needs of any business, in theory. The newspaper I picked up is an industry paper, trade press. It covers topics of insurance, law, commercial, macro economics, finance, accounting, engineering, design, social interactions and parties, charity, mergers and acquisitions, geo-politics, legislation…
Almost none of these topics are in my daily purvey. I don’t need to know that a Chinese shipyard has a new recycling idea; or that a Wall St. billionaire has set up a new $750 fund looking for consolidation opportunities in bulkers.
However, magic that happens when you can add one and one and get an outcome of three. Interconnectedness is a huge driver, serendipity prevails, always.
So, by reading a newspaper, about related but highly varied topics, I am able to holistically feel the industry, and how I can support my organizational needs. It takes 30 minutes a week to scan through from page 1 to 80.
Working out loud is a similar thing: a few minutes every day of sharing and discussing with no specific outcome in mind, allowing emergent outcomes to develop. Soon enough, without apparent explanation, BREAKTHROUGH!
We can call it luck, or genius. I now see it as just work.
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