Below are the opening two paragraphs of Chapter 16 of Make Yourself Clear. What do you think follows?
Imagine that you’re watching a tightrope walker. You’re watching her walk from one pole to another across a thin wire, occasionally changing speed. Though her wire flexes a little bit, she is light on her feet, almost dancing. By objective measures, that is a pretty amazing accomplishment.
In our forthcoming book - Make Yourself Clear: How to Use a Teaching Mindset to Listen, Understand, Explain Everything, and Be Understood, Steve and I write about “unwanted immediacy.” This is often evident in notifications, reminders, and unsolicited emails that appear in inboxes.
Not everything that can happen immediately necessarily should. Sometimes, these acts of immediacy border on intrusion. How much unwanted immediacy are you creating for your constituents? How much unwanted immediacy are you experiencing yourself?
To reflect further on this, we suggest the following mixed-media exercise:
I think I have a pretty good handle on my email and alerts, but in 16 minutes I had more than a few notifications. The first calendar reminder I received I guess was helpful, but I dismissed it before even reading what it was. I had to reset the alert just so I can make the screenshot (the contents of which I then edited out for this post).
Most notable, towards the end of my brief experimental period, was a sales/marketing email from a company from which I have received many unsolicited messages. The problem is that the "1" above my mail icon could be something internal and useful, or it could be useless like this message. I did select the option to stop sending the emails.
Give this exercise a try - even in 5 minutes you may be more aware of your relationship with reminders, alerts, and other signals of immediacy.
These are the slides we used to facilitate a 4-hour workshop with a regional independent school leadership cohort.
I've been communicating with a book production manager in India who has been assigned to lead the design and production of my next book. It has been super convenient to be able to send annotated PDFs with suggested changes.
I've been working with and around design thinking for a number of years now, and while I am certainly familiar with David and Tom Kelly's work and influence, I had not actually read their book Creative Confidence until last week.
There are plenty of good reviews, summaries, and other artifacts already out there in the world as the book was published 5-6 years ago. Most encouraging for me, today, is that the ideas and approaches for thinking about one's own creative mindset and general self-efficacy seem to have already taken a strong foothold in many of the education circles to which I am closely connected. The long game, then, is that the young people learning in those environments stick with it - even when they go to schools or work with teachers who may not understand it. I hope they will use design to correctly play the game until they can put themselves in a position of relative influence and authority to change the game.