Vegan Sandwich? OK / NOK

There are critical steps in the up2U-protocol. These steps are points of decision. At beginning and end, the decision is about which diversion to take.

  • What kind of situation I am in? What do I know?
  • Scope-Decision (commitment to work towards the vision)
  • OK/NOK – result of the particular communication iteration


The protocol is on a level of abstraction that without explanation, it is hard to get the idea. So, let us get it on …


Imagine a sandwich-café. Customer asks for a vegan sandwich.
Currently, it is not in the catalogue of available product variations.

1st iteration ?> <!: “Do You offer vegan sandwich?” – “we do not offer <‘sorry’, opt.>!”

The new status quo is: no business

Now, there are options within this situation. Depending on the environment conditions (solution frame), the waiter can offer an individual approach to satisfy the customer, or end interaction on base of status quo “no business”.

If the sandwiches are prepared within the shop, The waiter can offer an alternative approach.

Establish <) – (> (“eye-level”): “I cannot offer vegan sandwich currently, but are You interested in a satisfying alternative?”
That opens the path for a negotiated alternative approach to satisfy both sides.
By accepting each other as equal parts of the solution system, You establish eye-level.

Scoping > ⌂ <

“Yes, sure” could be customers answer. Now, You are a solution system, ready to master the next step – scoping.
Waiter: “What does ‘vegan’ mean in terms of sandwiches?”
Customer: “Nothing of animal – no butter, no cheese, no flesh”
Waiter: “Ah, I see – no ‘BLT’, no ‘Caprese’, no ‘Croque Monsieur” … “Let me think …”

Finalize Scope ∆!

Waiter: “Offer: We take base of ‘BLT’, do not add bacon and additionally add basil pesto of ‘Caprese’ – what do You think?”
Customer: “Sounds good. Please do so.”

Now, You have a commitment on a customized solution to approach to “vegan sandwich”.

Blue part of communication is really straight forward.

Waiter: “there You go, 3.50, please”
Customer: “thanx, here it is.”
Waiter: “thank You, too. Enjoy.”

New status quo: business. Satisfied customer. Possibility to attract additional people that keep vegan diet.

Better than “no business”?

… depends.

Hamburger without cucumber

In my youth, there were several people that followed the strange habit to remove cucumbers from ready-made Hamburgers in this worldwide operated Hamburger chain. Bad enough, some of them flipped the cucumber slice at the windows. Fun?

Well, the protocol of operations changed. Nowadays it is possible, to order Hamburgers “without cucumber”. “Fun” is gone, but annoyance of other customers avoided.

That is not the point. It is the new status quo. End of story … until next iteration.

Sandwich franchise outlet

Communications protocol at another world-wide operating sandwich-chain is well-balanced to all the options they offer in configuring products on demand of the individual customer.

They do not tempt to stipulate ready-made configurations. They make suggestions advertised by photos, product names etc.
But the individual product is made on demand and therefore freely customizable within the combined options of ingredients.

There is a really small need for clarification. There are some small amount of data unknown to the waiter. So the standard protocol prescribes to establish eye-level to the customer to work out desired sandwich configuration.
Sometimes, customers are not familiar with the possibilities. Then they switch to the blue path voluntarily.

Customer: “Please make me an sandwich with onions and cheese without flesh” ?>
Waiter: “OK. I am on my way” <! (ACK) …

Consolidated Findings

Every civilized grown up human being is able to handle communication protocols and its variants.
It is civilization knowledge, handed over for generations.
Nothing new.

But, in recent times, there is less “stability” in handed over traditions and cultural habits.
Contexts switch fast, cultures mix, certainty loses ground, uncertainty raises.

But, if one side of an human communication-interaction is aware of the protocol and how to handle situations of uncertainty, both can survive in satisfaction.

That is the great value in applying the up2U-protocol.

The crucial point is to determine, whether the currently established process is still correct and an unsatisfying result is consequence of wrongful application of the protocol or to determine whether there are amounts of uncertainty that require an additional iteration starting with the red path.

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