10Communicating with Immediacy

In the first section of this book, we looked at the way in which authentic outcomes can occur when a human being oversees a transaction, even if that transaction is aided by technology. Pairing that concept to our current topic creates a moment of powerful synthesis: immediacy paired with authenticity, just‐in‐time resources provided within a deeply human context.

Hopefully, you can begin to generate your own ideas around this synthesis and its driving question: What happens when a human gesture shows up at the precisely right time for someone?

For us, two of our favorite examples come from the world of Slack (a communication platform), 18F (a user‐experience design firm that partners with government agencies), and Lyft, a ride‐share service. It should be noted that none of these “research subjects” knew one another and that it's highly doubtful that they were all reading the same playbook or attending the same professional development conferences. From what we could tell, they all came to value and practice immediacy by paying attention to the people they served, whether that was a customer or an employee. (Like good progressive teachers, then, they were using the needs of learners to figure out what to do with their “classroom” time.)

Train Systems to Be Immediate

At the time of our writing of this book, Slack described itself as a “cloud‐based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services” (Slack, 2018). In essence, it created seamless ...

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