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Working Out Loud (WOL) is revolutionising the workplace, moving us away from silo thinking towards connected sharing and learning. Discover how WOL not only changes productivity but also your corporate culture. Dive into the world of WOL and find out why it is not just some passing fad.

How I stumbled on Working Out Loud

While checking out the adesso eCampus, I happened to come across a course called ‘Working Out Loud (WOL)’, which immediately piqued my interest. Wanting to learn more, I also ordered the accompanying book by John Stepper. I was so won over by the WOL approach, both by taking the course and by reading the book, that I would like to recommend it to you. WOL will revolutionise the way we work and collaborate in the future.

A revolution in how we work

In a world where the flow of information and networking are becoming increasingly important, a concept is emerging that is revolutionising the way we work and learn. It is called Working Out Loud. But what is it? Why is it becoming so popular? And how can it change the culture at companies and in organisations?

What is the story behind WOL?

The WOL method is a way of working in which people make their work and learning processes visible and transparent to others. It is not just about sharing information, it is also about building relationships, continuously learning and promoting an open corporate culture. John Stepper, who is regarded as the person behind the idea, defines WOL as ‘a method of cultivating good relationships with people who can help us achieve a goal’.

Why the WOL method is important

Today’s working world is marked by constant change, the digital transformation and vast amounts of information. In such an environment, working in isolated silos can be inefficient and even bad for you. WOL offers a solution here by promoting a culture of sharing and learning. Through the open exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas, teams and organisations can become more agile, creative and innovative.

The five WOL principles at a glance

The WOL method is based on five core principles:

  • 1. Making your work visible: By making your work visible, you can receive feedback, network with others and find solutions together. You make yourself and your work visible to others and present yourself as an expert in your field of activity and field of interest.
  • 2. Building a social network: WOL is not just about exchanging information. It is also about building and maintaining relationships. This involves individual relationships as well as relationships as part of small and large communities.
  • 3. Leading with generosity: Showing generosity leads to a culture in which people are willing to share their knowledge and skills without any ulterior motives.
  • 4. Showing appreciation: Recognising and appreciating the contributions of others promotes a positive working atmosphere and strengthens the community. An environment based in respect ultimately has a positive effect on the end results and on everyone’s health.
  • 5. Embracing continuous learning: The world is changing all the time. By constantly learning and sharing knowledge, we stay up to date and can continue to grow and develop. Continuous learning also makes us happier, more dedicated and more relaxed at work over the long term.

WOL in practice: WOL circles

WOL circles are a popular method for putting WOL into practice. These are small groups of six to eight people who meet regularly over a period of about 12 weeks. At these meetings, they discuss the WOL principles, share their experiences and work together to achieve their goals. They support each other, give each other feedback and learn from each other. This approach not only helps to internalise the WOL principles, but also promotes teamwork and a sense of community.

WOL circles work well virtually and in person. The colleagues in my circle were scattered throughout the country, which would have made it difficult to meet in person. However, this did not stand in the way of us achieving our goals. Well-prepared work materials and the weekly meetings quickly turned a motley crew into a community who still keeps in touch to this day.

Advantages of the WOL method
  • Faster pace of innovation: By sharing ideas and knowledge, it is possible to increase the pace of innovation. Groups of experts are established that become a magnet for knowledge both inside and outside the company, enabling it to build market-relevant expertise within the firm.
  • Promotes an open culture: WOL can help to break down silo thinking in companies and promote an open, collaborative culture, where there are no inhibitions about asking more experienced colleagues for support.
  • Increases staff loyalty: When employees feel recognised and valued, they will be happier and more dedicated, making makes them more productive and healthier.
  • Embraces continuous learning: Constantly sharing and imparting knowledge creates a learning culture that benefits everyone. This also teaches people to be aware and think outside the box, which has a positive effect on their professional and personal development.


Working Out Loud is more than just a fad. It is a movement that can permanently change the way we work, learn and interact. In a world where networking, collaboration and learning play a central role, WOL offers the tools to work successfully and satisfactorily. It is time for us to start working ‘out loud’, building a social network and growing together.

Would you like to find out more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then take a look at our previous blog posts.

Picture Manfred Specht

Author Manfred Specht

Manfred Specht is Senior Software Engineer at adesso.

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