The X Marks the Spot Model

The six psychology stages of engagement between a person and any other person or thing

The X Marks the Spot is an X, with the Scatter, Gather, Matter process running horizontally through the middle of it.

From left to right are the six psychological stages of engagement, from acknowledge, up to enlist. There are two stages to each of the three Scatter, Gather, Matter processes.

This sixth shape plots the six psychological stages of engagement, and focusses on the the key moment of transition from reason-based to relationship-based engagement, where a person changes from being motivated by a cause and instead motivated by their own connection. The six stages are:

  1. Acknowledge, based upon what a person sees or hears.
  2. Explore, likened to the act of unboxing.
  3. Act, ostensibly the action of using the offering.
  4. Identify, deriving identity from mirroring others.
  5. Integrate, exclusive immersion in and commitment to the offering.
  6. Enlist, formally becoming part of the organisation’s mission.

The left side of the X is where the Scatter process happens. This is a place of high volume, low value, just like we’d expect considering that this process is about scattering a message, encouraging other to spread the message, and embracing the role of chance throughout all of it.

The right side of the X is, by contrast, a place of low volume, high value, also what we expect when talking about mattering through means and meaning: two high value things that in general we expect less of our people to connect with.

In the middle of the X – where X marks the spot! – we have the shared moment that we have talked so much about, which is the hallmark of the Gather process, and the very thing that its offering, Engagement as Experience, provides.

Unless the receiver of our engagement becomes a responder, and gathers around our offering, they cannot go on to become a cooperator with us and be enabled the platform that we provide. Thus, the Gather process is not just another part of engagement, but the doorway from low value to high value connection, for both the receiver and the initiator. This marks the transition from engagement being based on reason to being based on relationship.



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