Working Out Loud Interviews – Scott Ward

Scott Ward is Founder & CEO of Digital Infusions, specialists in digital strategy and transformation – social is the cornerstone of this activity. Scott’s business helps organisations after they rollout a social network, get a burst of excitement and activity but have no idea what to do with it next. Digital Infusions shows them how they can use social to target the specific objectives of the organisation and evolve capabilities such as innovation and collaboration.

What benefits do you see from your practices of working out loud?

The number one thing is the unlocking of synchronicity.  Quite often people are able to contribute to the activities we are performing but if they are not aware of what those activities are, then they can’t offer support. Working Out Loud opens this possibility.

The second thing is it builds a bedrock of familiarity and connectivity that may not be relevant today but often translates into either offline discussions or future online exchanges.

What challenges do you have to manage in working out loud?

Its the typical resistance thing: People can get resentful or cynical of the activity because they don’t see the point or view it as form of self-indulgent hedonism… so asking people to suspend judgement for a couple of weeks to give it a go can be tricky… it requires an ability to build trust and to make it safe and relevant.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve worked out loud on?

Personally it was starting my own business; It was new and didn’t really know how to go about it at the beginning – turns out that starting a business is a little like raising a child; it takes a village.

With my clients, one of my favourites working out loud around the creation of their corporate strategy. The thread went viral across the organisation and we ended up crowdsourcing their corporate strategy across 50 countries.

One of the most surprising I’ve seen was: “Scones with jam and cream: Jam first or cream first?”… you wouldn’t think something like this would take off but it turns out to be a very passionate topic.

Any other advice for someone starting out or encouraging people to take up working out loud?

Set a time for it and promote it through the organisation. Some of the companies I’ve worked with have created an “hour of power” at specific times twice a week to get the habit going…  Then I’d literally pick up the phone during those times and use back channels to ask people to post their update – sometimes people can be afraid to go first so it’s good to make it visible and safe.

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