About Me

My aim is to help people experience a better career and life – and to help companies create a more open, collaborative culture – by spreading the practice of Working Out Loud.

Working out loud is an open, generous, connected approach to your goals. When you work out loud, you build relationships with a network of people who can help you. You gain access to more knowledge and more possibilities. You increase your chances of finding meaning and fulfillment.

To help people learn to approach work and life this way, I’ve written Working Out Loud. To put the ideas into practice, Working Out Loud circles (small peer support groups) are now forming in companies and countries around the world.

At workingoutloud.com, you can find resources and stories, and subscribe to weekly posts I write every Wednesday. (I use my personal blog to write about a broader range of themes that are important to me and might be interesting to you too.)

Thank you for your interest. If you would like to know more, please contact me at john.stepper@workingoutloud.com.

  • llocklee

    Hey John … I met some knowledge management folks from Deutsch Bank last year who were presenting on all the good things Deutsch Bank were doing with Jive. We have decently spun out a startup http://www.swoopanalytics.com from our consulting company http://www.optimice.com.au to build an online social network analytics dashboard that draws its data from platforms like Jive. I fits very well with the WOL principles. In discussion we were told we would have real difficulty getting approvals through the work councils. We have experienced similar responses in our consulting with the German divisions of some our our global clients.

    I’d be interested in how you might be addressing these issues at Deutsch Bank?

    • Hello. The short answer is…it’s a hard problem. A key principle is that people have control over their data. So if they use Jive, for example, they would need to explicitly give approval for you to use that data for some other purpose.

      Compounding matters, that purpose can’t be to use the data for measuring performance, which is typically exactly what you want to use social analytics for (“Who are the influencers? Who are the experts?”)

      That’s one of the reasons why we don’t use ramification elements. The points and badges are clear performance measures (at least to the bodies who govern such things).

      Your best bet would be to use the analytics on anonymized data. For example, it would be interesting to correlate employee engagement in the yearly survey with use of the enterprise social network. You might be able to do that without violating the two principles above.

      • llocklee

        Thanks John for your quick response. We have done quite a lot of work on our privacy policies including having them reviewed by an acknowledged ethics organisation. The key principle of people having control over their privacy setting is a core plank in this. At the moment however, it is an ‘opt out’ setting….so to be anonymous in our analytics you need to explicitly opt out. Most of our analytics are anonymised patterns anyway or are aggregated at a business unit level.

        Another core innovation we have introduced is the ability for the individual to view and monitor their own personal network interactions and the shape of the network that surrounds them. This is not viewable by anyone else. In this way the individual becomes accountable for their own performance management. Of course their own network maps are subject to privacy settings, so anyone in their personal network that wants to remain anonymous would not be identified. The idea is that we are putting the performance improvement tool in the hands of the individual themselves, without having it exposed to their management.

        I agree that it would be good to initially aim to correlate the engagement metrics we come up with with the annual survey results, with a view to having employee engagement monitoring available 24×7.

        Do you see an issue with opt-out vs opt-in for Deutsche?

        • That all sounds good. The opt-out policy goes a long way to getting people comfortable. Nice!