International Working Out Loud Week #WOLweek was inopportune this time around: it happened to straddle a trip home to visit family and a couple of days of intense office visits in the UK around which was only travel. Throw in a little unexpected jetlag and my days were full, my energy spent.
However, there was no lack of out loud work. Visiting colleagues in other locations is the surest way to begin discussions about what is (not), and what should be. Differences of culture and distances between bring with them differences of opinion and gaps in understanding.
To bridge the gaps, to reduce the distance, people need to talk, to commune. I often quote John Pilger:
“…the first step is to engender an approach, enable the measurement of distances and walking toward. It is show the possible and potential.”
Talking face to face, often over a beer, is the best way to grapple with global differences and misunderstanding. I have my own take on why things are how they are, and the confidence to share them. I always encourage others to go after their needs in relation to how I can support and participate in them.
The outcome is always dynamic works of (and in) progress. We engender new understanding, we make promises to try new approaches. I learned more about the drivers and needs of global teams. I have new perspective. I will try new things in my work.
Some of it might even work.
Working out loud is the willingness to share and to try and to keep things in (perpetual?) beta. Challenge one’s own orthodoxy, inculcate and encourage a tension in the work with others. Make bold promises that things can improve, and also that they might fail: show vulnerability whilst also being full of hope.
I think I leave behind a sense of potential from my visit – that there can be a brighter tomorrow. Possibly also frustration – that every project always has to be so grey zone in its undertaking and outcome.
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