Nth Degree Software

Proudly Introduces

Facilitated Intelligence Technology (FIT)





FIT White Paper

Part 5: Turn theory into practice: Question-It Professional Meeting Facilitator App






The following is a white paper synopsis of Part 5. For the complete white paper, contact Dennis Heindl dj@nthdegreesoft.com

                FIT White Paper

Part 1: Problem, Need, and Solution – Working in a hyper-changing world

Part 2: Intelligence and Thinking Defined - A critical success factor 

Part 3: FIT Platform – Intelligence Activator Apps  

Part 4: FIT Ecosystem – Like an assembly-line for your mind

Part 5: Turn Theory into Practice - Example how Intelligence Activator Apps work

I. Vision




The past favored workers who were good at routine jobs, remembering, and processing information. The present favors smarter workers.


FIT’s vision is to help create a more intelligent workforce.


A workforce who “thinks for a living.” A workforce who can quickly adapt to a globally competitive workplace.




Workplace leaders like Bill Gates use their natural-born intelligence to instinctively know  their thinking is directly related to their ability to:

·         Clearly identifying thinking goals.

·         Acquire the right information to think with.

·         Ask the right questions.

·         Apply the right cognitive tools.

·         Follow the right sequence of tasks to achieve goals.

·         Take intentional actions.




Few of us are born with gifted intelligence. We need to learn exceptional thinking skills. Unfortunately, education does not formally teach thinking skills. It’s assumed skills come automatically from learning content.


Now, any average worker using FIT technology can out-think and out-perform workers with exceptional natural born thinking abilities.  




While exceptional thinkers naturally master these 5 workplace intelligence disciplines, FIT Apps puts them into everyone’s hands.


1)   Process “flow” Thinking: The ability to follow the right sequential thinking tasks to achieve goals.

2)   Contextual “critical” Thinking: The ability to acquire valid information to think with.

3)   Work/Life Thinking: The ability to apply cognitive tools to enhance productivity of thought.

4)   Conscious & Subconscious Thinking: The ability to take either intentional/conscious or automatic/subconscious actions.

5)   Self-assessment Thinking: The ability to improve one’s own thinking skills.




Before embarking on any extensive research and development work, FIT was validated with a proof-of-concept SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant from the US Dept of Education.


A typical research participant response: “I have a tendency to scatter my thinking, the software got my thinking focused and more quickly got me to a good solution.”



II. Theory




Billions have been spent researching Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to make machines smart. But little on technology research to find ways to make people smarter.


A new book, Our Final Invention, even describes how machines could put an end to the human era are we know it.


Well, it is time for Facilitated Intelligence Technology (FIT). It’s time technology helps humans use our brains 10-50 times better.




While AI is designed to replace human thinking, FIT amplifies natual human intelligence. It’s designed to help people find their own best ideas and solutions that best fit their unique situations.


FIT is based on a new Thinking Emulation Technology that captures the way exceptional thinkers, THINK.  The questions asked, thinklets used and processes followed.


FIT is like an assembly-line for the mind that boosts thinking productivity. It works in much the same way the invention of the factory assembly-line boosted manual labor productivity.




FIT comes with a comprehensive Thinking BOK that includes 28 skillsets and 36 Intelligence Activator Apps. 


Personal Intelligence Apps

1.     Problem Solving

2.     Decision Making

3.     Creative Thinking

4.     Goal Setting

5.     Collaborative Thinking

6.     Scientific Thinking

7.     Conscious (intentional) Thinking

8.     Subconscious (automatic) Thinking

9.     Personal Change Management

10.  Time Management

Contextual Intelligence Apps

1.     Critical Thinking

2.     Systems Thinking

3.     Socratic Thinking

4.     Personal Beliefs Awareness

5.     Shared Collective Wisdom

Self-Assessment Intelligence Apps

1.     Metacognitive Assessment

2.     Formative (rubric) Thinking Assessment.

3.     Personal Performance Assessment

4.     Personal Character Assessment

5.     Mental Muscle Building

Organizational Intelligence Apps

1.     Foresight Thinking

2.     Organizational Innovation

3.     Root Cause Analysis Thinking

4.     Strategic Planning

5.     Organizational change Management

6.    Professional Meeting Facilitator

7.     Project Management

8.     Tacit Knowledge Management

9.     Facilitative Leadership and Teamwork

10.  Community Transformation

11.  Process Re-engineering (Six-sigma)

Process Intelligence Apps

1.     Linear Process Thinking

2.     Non-linear Process Thinking

3.     Universal Process Questions

4.     Universal Process Tools (Thinklets)

5.     Thinking Process App Builder







FIT is not rocket-science.  Its Intelligence Activator Apps use a just-in-time approach to deliver within a precise thought process; the right questions to ask, the correct thinking tools to use, and the proper thinking methods to enhance personal or team thinking performance.


Apps serve two purposes:

1.    Teaches thinking skills …  but more importantly

2.    Used on the job to improve real-time thinking effectiveness

III. Practice





One of FIT’s 36 Apps is Question-It Professional Meeting Facilitator.  This app is designed to be used by any or all meeting participants.


It works by delivering the facilitation skills needed to achieve great meeting results.







Question-It is a concept App. It’s a rudimentary developed App that demonstrates how workplace intelligence disciplines can be used to improve meeting productivity. 


MindSights Question-It can be downloaded free from Apple store, Android Google Play store and Amazon Apps store.


The following shows how it works.  



Thinking Process Flow



This intelligence discipline is about running meetings with a Facilitator’s Mindset.


As exceptional meeting leaders know, the secret to running good meetings is following a Thinking Process. In the absence of process, meetings can become aimless with participants’ thinking wandering and creating unproductive results.  






Question-It uses a basic 6 step and 21 task “Thinking Process.”

Step 1: Define current state (What’s the meeting purpose.)

Step 2: Indentify goal state (What’s the desired meeting outcome.)

Step 3: Acquire relevant facts & data (What’s participant’s understanding of the current state.)

Step 4: Develop ideas & solutions (What do participants think is the right idea, solution or action.)

Step 5: Make decision (What is the consensus on the meeting outcome.)

Step 6: Identify actions to take (What actions are needed after the meeting.)




The Quick Start feature selects the meeting’s first thinking task (Intelligence Activator Point).


It is at these intelligence activator points (IAPs) that facilitator questions and tools are applied. It’s as if a professional facilitator were personally providing intellectual guidance.





After the first task, the Locator feature is used to determine the next task (IAP).


The Locator allows anyone in the meeting to determine if an important thinking task was missed, or helps decide the next task to work on.


In essence, this feature keeps the meeting participants’ thinking flowing correctly.




Contextual “Critical”   Thinking Intelligence


This intelligence discipline is about acquiring good meeting information and knowledge for participants to thinking with.  It does little good to apply exceptional thinking upon incomplete or inaccurate information.






As situations and problems become more complex, shared collective wisdom becomes more important. Process step 3 facilitates shared understanding.


Example: Complex situations may require understanding from a systems perspective, but meeting participants may lack these thinking skills. Question-It delivers systems questions that stimulate participants’ minds to instantly become capable systems thinkers.  





When a meeting needs outside expertise and information, the “Expert Connect” feature provides accessing of resources during the meeting.


Resources like external expert-knowledge or machine-content are tied to Intelligence Activator Points. This facilitates getting the right information to meeting participants.




Work/Life Thinking



This discipline is about finding and using the right cognitive tools.  


Selecting the right cognitive tool is no different than selecting the right manual tool: choose the one appropriate for the thinking task at hand.  




 Asking the right questions gives participants’ minds the best chance to find the right ideas, solutions and actions to take. When we ask the right questions, we succeed as effective thinkers. When we don’t ask questions, we greatly diminish our thinking capabilities.


Question-It offers over 550 universal questions that can be applied to any problem, issue or challenge. Questions are organized into three categories

·         Prime Questions: Facilitates basic thinking

·         Fundamental Questions: Facilitates creative  thinking

·         Nutcracker Questions: Facilitates deep thinking





Since we don’t remember everything, our mind defaults to using routine or scripted thinking patterns. Unfortunately, this prevents us from seeing things differently.


Finding and using the right thinklets (cognitive tools) activates thinking patterns not commonly used. These tools trigger our mind to create different mental associations and leads to new innovative ways of thinking.





Thinking Intelligence


You might be thinking that Question-It just entered the “woowoo world.” It didn’t. This is real-world thinking that most of us don’t know how to do.


Conscious and subconscious thinking are both action oriented. Conscious thinking allows humans to intentionally respond to situations and control our actions.  Subconscious thinking uses dominant thinking patterns to instinctively respond to situations, and takes automatic actions.





Conscious thinking does not happen by chance. It is mindful and purposeful thinking.  Many meetings fail because they end wihtout  Conscious Thinking. That means there was little or no intentiional thought given to what actions need to be accomplished.  


Like all disciplines, conscious thinking is enhanced by simply asking questions like:

·         Is everyone clear about his or her action items and responsibilities?

·         Does everyone agree that action items align with their current job priorities?



In general, thinking is significantly shaped by our beliefs and biases. Without realizing it, meeting participants can SUBCONSCIOUSLY use erroneous and biased thinking in ways that jeopardize meeting results. 


Getting meeting participants to understand their subconscious viewpoints can be very productive. FIT does this by asking questions like: Do you “know” this situation is true from your own direct experience?  Do you “believe” this situation is true because someone told you it was? How reliable is you source?






Thinking Intelligence




This intelligence discipline assesses thinking skills based on a person’s ability to “ask the right questions.”  It contrasts with educational assessment that measures ability to “give the right answers.”


Note: This discipline is not included in the current Question-It version. See next section, IV Future.

IV. Future

The following four enhancements are not only for Question-It, but all 36 Intelligence Activator Apps.





Some meetings are magical. They are filled with energy, thoughts come freely, and powerful ideas and solutions easily created.  These meetings occur by being in a state of Thinking Process Flow.


Games naturally put players in a flow. It’s what makes playing them so pleasurable.


It’s time to design productive tasks to induce flow states. It’s time to gamify Question-It and all of FIT’s Intelligence Activator Apps.





As the future continues to bring rapid-fire changes, the most important guarantor of success is our ability to “think through change.” That means becoming our own teachers.


Question-It needs a feature to keep track and give feedback on the thinking process used, questions asked, and tools applied. Assessment questions that stimulate self-reflection will empower the necessary Metacognition skills to do this.






An Automated Consultant function offers a significant breakthrough in smartphone and wearable apps.


It allows an App to “listen” to a meeting conversation and respond back with intellectual guidance. It’s as if the App was a skilled human expert who was personally participating in the meeting.


Note: This technology could be applied to virtually all types of consulting services.





Many workers have acquired expert specialty knowledge and skills. FIT’s ecosystem has to be built to allow those experts to turn their “Tacit” knowledge into “Automated Consultant” Apps.


These “Living” Apps also need the functionality to continuously grow and change as work changes.









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