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Working out loud is natural for gig mindsetters

This is an extract from an article I wrote in 2017 about the Marshall Space Flight Center, (part of NASA): Working out loud from the top – half a century ago.

I’m working on a chapter in my book about the gig mindset inside organizations, and it led me to reflect on working out loud.

Where did “working out loud” come from?

Working out loud has become the common term for what started nearly 10 years ago with Dave Winer in Narrate your work (2009), followed by Managing the visibility of knowledge work by Jim McGee in 2010. The same year, Brian Tullis and Joe Crumpler presented “In the flow: patterns of observable work” at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in the States.

The term “working out loud” was coined by Bryce Williams the same year. He merged the notions of “narrating your work” and “observable work”. This makes sense.

Without observation, narrating serves no purpose. Without narrating, there is nothing to observe.

Recent and major contributions have been made with Show Your Work by Dr. Jane Bozarth  (2014) and John Stepper, Working out Loud, 2015.  Both are well worth reading and spending some time thinking about how working out loud could bring value to your people and organization.

One of the important gig mindset behaviors I studied in the 2018 survey is the following: Behavior 3. “I am comfortable with opening up early, working out loud, and taking feedback from outside the project team into account as the project advances.” You can see the other behaviors here: Gig vs. Traditional Mindset.


I discover this case from Show Your Work by Dr. Jane Bozarth  (2014) and then communicated directly with space historian Dr. Roger Launius who wrote a description and analysis that is well worth reading.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]