The case for working and learning in the open

I’m about to make the case for learning in the open — for sharing your organization’s or your team’s thinking on your org’s blog and social media. What are you currently working on and why, what have you learned and why, what issues or questions are driving your thinking and why?

You see the pattern: What’s going on and why? Together, these things help others learn both what you’re doing and what’s motivating you to do these things.

Sharing your work openly helps others figure out how to interface with you**

  1. Collaborators and partners: It can be very helpful for partners, for potential collaborators, for potential to know what’s going on and the reasoning behind it. This allows others figure out if and how to work with you, and how to do so effectively. It cuts down on transactional costs as well as opportunity costs.
  2. Internally: It’s also helpful internally, to share across the organization. Staff, management, other departments all gain increased situational and contextual awareness of what’s going on and why you’re doing what you’re doing. This allows more easy coordination, reduces friction and can help identify new opportunities.

Additionally, transparency and documentation help in evaluating what’s worked and what hasn’t if you ever look back — and it offers a track record to point to, which can help build trust over time with both current and future executives.

So consider opening up your org’s communications platforms — blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletter, even internal platforms — to include this kind of sharing. It has internal benefits galore, and a lot of potential upside externally. It might save a lot of work as resources are allocated to these formats, which tend to be more easily written up than more formalized, editorial formats.

Maybe most importantly, though, working and learning in the open creates a culture of mutual sharing and learning. And who wouldn’t benefit from that?