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Showing up, sharing your work and collaborating out loud

Helen Sanderson reflects on her experience of Working Out Loud and shares the learnings from the 6 week course she developed, supporting others to give it a go.

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I recently posted my 95th video to LinkedIn. I started to post weekly video updates in September 2017 when I made the decision to become the first Registered Manager in Wellbeing Teams. I have been practising Working Out Loud and these two-minute videos have been central to this; of showing my work and sharing what I am learning as I made the huge change from consultant to provider.

We are now seen as one of the four rebel organisations transforming health and care, but back in 2017, it was at the edge of what I thought was possible.

Wellbeing Teams are the first self-managing organisation to be registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. My films share the inside story from registration to inspection, the challenges of recruiting and supporting self-managed teams and expanding into three new areas.

We are now seen as one of the four rebel organisations transforming health and care, but back in 2017, it was at the edge of what I thought was possible. Self-management in social care was new and home care was a very challenging place to start. I wanted to share what I was trying and learning as it happened, rather than at the end with a report.

I’m a part of the Q Community Reimagining Health and Care Special Interest Group, and through this, Matthew Mezey asked me to share my 8 Working Out Loud practices through a webinar, which are now available for anyone to view and share the learnings.

I was delighted to be joined by experienced Working Out Loud practitioner Simon Fogg, who generously agreed to support me in running a six-week programme to support people to try the 8 practices for themselves.

Seventy people, from across health and care expressed interest and joined our Slack group. They included a palliative care consultant, senior nurses, a midwife, people from voluntary groups, head of operations for a large charity, social workers, and people from HR. The programme was delivered through six one-hour online sessions on the streaming platform, Zoom. Everyone was part of a Slack group where we kept in touch, each had a buddy and were part of a small learning group. Short content was delivered on Zoom, and people reflected on this in small break-out groups. People then made a weekly public commitment on Slack about how they intended to act on what they had learned to develop their practice of sharing their work or collaborating out loud.

Working Out Loud Webinar

The six sessions are available for anyone to watch – visit the website to access all the videos and see first hand how the course progressed over the weeks.

Key lessons

At the end of the short programme, people shared what they had taken from it. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  1. Use micro targets to change behaviour; the commitment to doing something each week, sharing that publicly, and having a buddy supports accountability.
  2. Some participants developed greater confidence and competence in using social media, particularly Twitter. The programme led to new bloggers.
  3. Seeing the potential of Zoom and using the Breakout Rooms function during virtual meetings. One person commented that the weekly break out groups “reached this really quick level of depth and intimacy and authenticity”.
  4. The value of the resources generously shared by participants throughout the programme.
  5. A different way to learn together, that did not require meeting in person yet was still energising and led to change. One person said, “I think it’s quite surprising how energised I feel afterwards, actually, about wanting to go and do stuff.”
  6. The importance of connecting with people, or as one participant put it; ‘meeting brilliant people and making connections.’ The learning groups on Slack, buddies and break out groups on Zoom intentionally mixed people from health and care, and supporting each other around a personal focus was powerful learning.

I had hoped that people would feel more confident and better connected, but the tech and habits takeaways were a surprise.

The programme changed my perspective on Working Out Loud. I shared our first film on LinkedIn and this prompted the developer of the method, John Stepper, to get in touch and ask us not to use the term ‘Working Out Loud’ as he has the copyright of this term. Reflecting on this, and in our work on the programme helped me to realise that there are two connected elements to what I have previously called Working Out Loud. One is to ‘show my work’ (see the leaders in this area Jane Bozarth and Austin Kleon) and this is what I have been doing with my weekly films. The other is seeking people to connect with, who share my focus area, or to use the term from Claire Haigh ‘collaborate out loud’.

Check out the recordings from each of the sessions from the 6 week course and give it a try!

Have you practiced Working Out Loud? Let us know your thoughts and how it impacted your work process.


  1. Hi Helen,

    it was a great programme to take part in, both to connect with some brilliant people and to gain confidence in collaborating/exploring aloud. Thanks for sharing this blog too.

    I’ve found blogging and sketchnoting useful ways to process and synthesise what we’ve been exploring. Fun too.

    It can be pretty liberating too to know that things don’t have to be perfect before sharing with the world!


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