This could be big. Nine months ago, I wrote about the beginning of the Working Out Loud movement. A month after that I wrote about how we could collectively accelerate things. Back then, though, you could count the number of Working Out Loud circles (the peer support groups) on two hands.
Since then, the peer support groups have been spreading, and the book will be available on Amazon in a few days. Circles are now in multiple firms and in 7 countries: US, UK, Australia, India, Spain, Netherlands, and Germany. By the end of the summer, there will be over 100 Working Out Loud circles at my firm alone.
Now is when things get interesting.
It was Simon Terry’s idea to aim for 1,000 circles this year. Simon is one of the founders of WOLweek, which happens twice a year. This year it will be held June 15-21 and again in November. He’s also heading Change Agents Worldwide, a terrific network that includes expert consultants and corporate practitioners, many of whom embrace working out loud as part of their practice.
Here’s a quote from Simon’s post:
"It is time to dream big. We want to create a 1000 circles so that over 5000 people can fulfill some important personal goal with the support of a circle of peers. The circle process is free and publicly available. These circles share the practices of working out loud in a purposeful way. They also give people an opportunity to reflect on what matters to them, what relationships they need to foster and how to give generously to others.
So our plan is to create 1000 working out loud circles between the International Working Out Loud Week next week from 15-21 June to one we will hold in November this year."
The circles give people support, structure, and shared accountability that make it much easier for them to practice working out loud and make it a habit.
How you can make a difference
We’re spreading circles because it helps people feel better about their every day while giving them access to more possibilities. If you want to help do that, there are a number of ways you can contribute.
If you work in an organization, you can host a career talk or networking clinic as a way to help your colleagues form circles. I’ll speak at 10 firms for free. If you like, I’ll speak at your firm and will help you make your event a success.
If you’re a consultant, you can offer to help you client with a career event as a way to improve engagement and upgrade digital skills, and this could be a simple first step toward more significant work.
If you work with an ESN (enterprise social network) vendor, you can deliver this talk for a customer and show them how using your product can be good for both the individual and the firm.
If you just want to do something on your own, form a circle with a few friends or host a book club meeting.
Take one simple step
You can take a simple step today: sign up.
There’s a Google spreadsheet where you can include your name and pledge the number of circles you can form. Mara Tolja in New Zealand signed up to form 50 circles. When you register your name and pledge, you’ll be part of an instant global network of people trying to make work better. We’ll help you with the rest.
One circle at a time, we’ll help people feel better about work while giving them access to more opportunities.