Following up on my previous post and some seriously good feedback on the Sceenius Clicker, here is some thinking on where we’d like to go with this. The Clicker is a set of 12 intentions that “annotate” any type of conversation canvas, including meetings, hangouts, or chats. The action (to click) is quick and easy to perform and can, given proper attention, change the course of the conversation. Now, the Clicker is focused on dynamics happening in the present moment (e.g. “slow down” or “repeat”). But what about the future? What else do you want to fold into the conversation? What else do you want to trigger in participants? That’s where the Dispenser comes into play.
A Dispenser is a simple way to bring any kind of item (object) into the conversation. The best way to do this (again not to disrupt the flow) is via a card. This can be physical Method Cards (read this) or digital Cue Cards (do this) with the intention to enrich the conversation and allow participants to climb to a higher sensemaking plateau. When a participant “picks up” a card (or gets a set of cards assigned) from a given stack, she will read the card, try to understand the meaning and then “play” it by inserting it back into the flow of the conversation. Once this is accomplished, we need to find a way to “store” the newly gained knowledge, hence the need for a third tool, the Distiller.
The Distiller is a map maker that connects the different pieces (insights) gathered at a meeting and to present them in an organized and easy-to-digest kind of way. There are many tools out there that do this today (e.g. Mind Maps, Outliners, or Dispatches). Our concern is to make this as dynamic as possible, so that an intention raised or a card played during a conversation can be distilled and added to the map as quickly as possible (ideally in real time). The resulting map becomes the knowledge repository for the individual and the team, a reflection of the shared understanding over time, and a re-usable artifact that can be taken with you on future journeys (meetings).
Another way to understand the benefits of the Clicker-Dispenser-Distiller is through a counter example in which things go wrong – the traditional constraints of a corporate setting. Imagine for a moment, you would be opting for a “corporate speak” lens and load the Clicker with intentions like “comply”, “listen-don’t-talk”, or “adhere” and a Dispenser that serves only “policies”, “procedures”, or “competencies” – you’d re-create an agonizing work environment of top-down driven organizations! This is not what we are looking for. Instead, we aim to replace this lens for a new set of intentions and objects that support authentic and generative conversations that can lead to new and surprising outcomes (artifacts). Stay tuned!