Week 6 WOL Circle Summary – So Much to Offer


Today was our week 6 WOL circle meeting.  It’s hard to believe that we’re half way through!  Time certainly does fly.  Our themes for this week were “So much to offer”, updating our online profiles, and whether our WOL circle has met expectations so far.

So Much to Offer:

One of the exercises for this week from the week 6 Circle guide was to write 50 facts about ourselves.  Our circle agreed to post our lists on our internal social enterprise network and then discuss in our meeting.  It was a truly eye-opening experience both creating a list but also reading the lists others had created.

Most of us had similar experiences in creating our lists.  The first 15 or so facts came pretty easily.  The other 35 took a bit more thought.  In talking about going through the exercise we discussed how putting together our lists brought back memories of various experiences we’d had, and gave us an opportunity to reflect on things we had accomplished.  I think we all came away realizing that we have a lot to offer.

Having the opportunity to read one another’s lists really helped us to learn more about one another.  People in my circle have done some pretty amazing things from running marathons, to riding a bicycle across the state of Indiana in a single day, to winning a 3 week trip to watch the World Cup!  I think I know more about some of the people in my circle after this single exercise than people I’ve known for several years.  Completing the exercise and sharing in advance of the meeting also provided a wonderful opportunity for interaction outside of our meeting.

I think I may use this exercise as a team-building exercise for my work team.  It’s really a wonderful way to get to know people better!

Updating Our Profiles:

The exercise to update our profiles was also very enlightening.  I highly recommend the article suggesting in the Circle Guide, 17 New ways to make your LinkedIn profile irresistible to employers.  I have to admit that I’ve not been the best at either keeping my profiles up to date or really using them to highlight what I have to offer.  Other circle participants expressed similar sentiments and we discussed we want to showcase ourselves online.  I was even inspired to create an “About” page for my blog.

Week 6 Check In:

Now that we are half way through our WOL circle program, I wanted to check in with my circle participants to see if their experience so far has met their expectations.  Most people said that they really weren’t sure what to expect when they signed up to participate.  They had read the overview and thought it sounded like an interesting and useful program but they really weren’t sure what they were getting into.

That said, the response was overwhelmingly positive.  People said that they were learning to work in new ways, to tap into other people in their networks, create new relationships, and think differently about how they work.  They talked about trying to change how they work, to share more, and make it easier for others they work with to both create and take advantage of a collective body of knowledge and work more as a community than individual contributors.

We have 2 different circles that were launched at the same time.  One suggestion that I’m excited about was to bring both groups together at the end of our 12 weeks to share experiences.  Our circle really wants to learn from the other circle and hear about their experience.  I’m sure each circle is quite unique given the unique personalities and perspectives of the participants and facilitators.

I mentioned to everyone that it is my hope that at the end of our 12 weeks, that at least one of them will be willing to launch and facilitate her/his own circle.  I have been building and sharing through our ESN a set of resources over the weeks that can be reused for future circles, so some of the work has already been done.

As for me, I’ve learned and achieved a tremendous amount over the past 6 weeks and will continue to build upon that foundation.  Reading the book and completing a few exercises independently, was really helpful but participating in a circle has really helped me to better understand and appreciate the potential benefits from working out loud.  I do know that my work won’t be finished in the next 6 weeks, so I definitely see another circle in my future!


Author: Joyce A Gustafson

Compliance professional and 6 Sigma black belt. Passionate about continuous improvement, "working out loud", and constantly learning. Originally trained as a cellular biologist, I have spent the bulk of my career working in the pharmaceutical industry. Previous experience includes Operations Management, Outsourcing, Recruiting, High Throughput Screening and Cell Based Assay Development, and Biology Research. NOTE: This is my personal blog and the thoughts and opinions are my own. This blog does NOT represent the view and opinions of my employer

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