New comfort with social sharing, combined with the proliferation of new social tools, offer easy, useful means of sharing not just what we do but how we get things done. This title supports productivity, improves performance, encourages reflective practice, speeds communication, and helps to surface challenges, bottlenecks, and that elusive tacit knowledge. For the worker it illuminates strengths, talents, struggles, and the reality of how days are spent. For the co-worker or colleague it solves a problem, saves time, or builds on existing knowledge. And for management it helps to capture who does what and how.
The book features guidelines, case studies, recommendations, exercises, tools, and dozens of examples.
1. Show Your Work: What is it?
It is an image, or video, or blog post, or Yammer chat, or use of another tool to describe how you solved a problem, show how you fixed the machine, tell how you achieved the workaround, explain how you overcame objections to close the deal, drew the solution to the workflow problem, or photographed the steps you took as you learned to complete a new task. Some of the most effective examples show someone explaining how/why they failed, and how they fixed it.
As explained above, showing our work helps others understand not just what we do but how we get things done. This supports productivity, improves performance, encourages reflective practice, speeds communication, and helps to surface challenges, bottlenecks, and that elusive tacit knowledge.
3. What to Narrate (includes workbook/practice activities)
Problem solved, challenges met, execution of a common task, execution of a new task, exemplary performer executing a task, improving a process, etc. Narrating work is not so much a list of one’s activities but how one spent a particular moment or handled a particular thing. It answers the question: “Show me how you did that.” Features many examples from all areas of work -- executive to housekeeper.
4. How to Narrate (includes workbook/practice activities)
Examples of narration and tools suited for each type, plus and minus of each, considerations in choosing tools, publishing and publicizing. Examples of different tools used to narrate.
5. Implications for L&D
Workers showing their work can help L&D get a handle on what real performance looks like, and what real challenges and constraints a worker encounters. It can expand the role of L&D as one who helps capture, publish, and promote examples. It can position learners to help in generating and developing instructional content. It can promote partnerships between L&D and other business units.
6. Organizational Considerations
Effective narration won’t happen in a vacuum. It depends on culture, particularly whether people feel encouraged and supported to do it, and can operate with enough trust to discuss failures or false starts. Workers will need time and space and place for it.
7. What’s next?
New tools such as Pinterest and ever-improving speech-to-text apps are leveling the playing field so that everyone can participate comfortably and equally in the social space. Increased global work and telework will demand that we do a better job of surfacing what people really do all day, and how. Narrating work has long-term implications for hiring, career development, and self-directed learning.
Keywords: Training & Development