We believe in facing hard conversations head on. Sometimes, in the space of those conversations, one of us may have a nagging sense that we are being lead in the wrong direction, or that something is just off in the way we are approaching the problem.
To address this issue, we are using our new prototype, the Canary Tool. It is a simple flag marked with a canary-- a bird historically used in coal mines as early warning systems for the presence of carbon monoxide. And we are using this tool in conversations, meetings and design sessions as just that-- a warning. An individual who has a concern, perhaps even just a sense that they can't yet articulate, raises the flag to let the others know. No immediate explanation is needs and often as the conversation progresses the issues resolve organically. If resolution doesn't arise easily, the individual is asked to articulate their concerns so we can find resolution.