One of the many many things I picked up from yesterday’s fab extended lunch with Johnnie and Viv was caution around the use of the term of “toolbox” for techniques that can be used for making meetings less dreadful.
First up, tools are used on things, and since we are using these techniques “on” (well, “with”) people, then unless you want to imply that the people in the meetings are planks, or nuts, then “toolbox” is the wrong word.
Secondly, it implies that is the “tools” are fixed objects that do not respond to the environment around them, that do not evolve.
For these and probably other good/better reasons, the preferred term was “repertoires”.
Somewhere in there we also worried about the label of “tools” might make people overconfident in their use, or reach for them as a solution at an inappropriate time. And a poorly used “tool” can discredit ‘participation’ for years to come… (“Oh yes, we tried a goldfish bowl thingie in 2007. Didn’t work…”)
Mrs Towers dissents from this view (with my permission). She points out the word toolbox can be powerful, evocative. Whatever floats your boat/cuts your plank/tightens your nuts, I guess.
Dwight Towers post “if the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems begin to look like nails“