3. Finding prefixes

Prefix to noun forms the influence size

What is a prefix?

A prefix is something that is “pre” therefore “before” something. In this case one or more words as e.g. adjective. In our case the prefix is “before” the noun. A prefix can be:

  • one adjective
  • one mainword with hyphen to mainword of influence size
  • one descriptive formulation
  • one number, etc.

Prefix + noun = influence size

In Kubernetik, influence size and noun are often used synonymously. The reason for this lies in the later effect diagram – see from step 5.

The prefix together with the noun is then the actual influence size.


If in step 2 to the question “How do I eat healthier?” the influencing variables named “cooking course”, “sugar”, “shopping in organic shops” and “blood test” were found, then the prefixes could be:

  • vegan Cooking course
  • onlyBio shop
  • FruitSugar
  • 2-yearly Blood test

What’s allowed?

You can see that there is a lot of leeway to describe the influence size with a prefix. Any description that is useful to you is allowed. These can also be new word discoveries or new word combinations. Possibly even in the language mix. E.g. “one committed day routine”. This may sound strange, but may be the best way to express what is meant.

Everybody who speaks several languages can make it easier if he mixes the words from different languages. This applies to prefixes as well as nouns and optional verbs.

language has the power to name

In some languages there are better or even general expressions for certain descriptions. Just as the Arctic Inuit know several dozen words for different types of snow, the Inuit know few expressions for deserts in their language. The African Tuareg nomad is in a different situation. And in Germany there are countless words for water. For example, ponds, gumpen, dredging lakes, streams, varnish, trickle, etc.. Precisely because water often occurs in a wide variety of forms and can and must therefore be differentiated very precisely in order to guarantee optimum communication. Accordingly, languages are rich in regionally relevant information that has a particular impact on people’s habitats.

Rules for prefixes:

  • Only one prefix per noun!
  • always specific prefixes, never only one quantity mapping like “much, more, better, less, etc.”.
  • Use hyphens if main or binding words
  • Use existing foreign languages, but only if in the case of other people involved in the Kubernetik, e.g. colleagues, partners, etc., they also have equal command of this language
  • comprehensibility – basically anyone who reads or hears the influence variable with the prefix should immediately understand what you mean

The most important rule is the first: only one prefix per noun. So decide if you have more than one prefix. Why? The number of nouns that may already be many makes it too complicated to distinguish between other prefixes. In communication with others, the boundaries of several descriptive prefixes are then quickly shown and you like to get tangled up. In addition, you can seem unclear and not focused enough. Learn to prioritize the prefixes so that you can focus on the essentials and communicate skillfully.

The second rule should also be emphasized here. The “light-footed Kubernetik user” approaches the task too naively because he wants to save time. Who only writes “less weight” leaves the question open for himself and others. Better here is “79kg weight” or “a feel-good weight” or “aesthetic-looking weight”, etc.

prefix-finding needs reflectivity

This is also the reason why this step 3 often takes longer than creating the complete noun list. The nouns may have been buzzing around in your head for quite some time, so they were quickly lost. However, the more detailed reflection on this often fails and needs some brain lard.

We often throw word fragments or word pods around us when communicating with others. We often wonder or don’t even notice that others don’t understand or misinterpret us.

For example, the one with honesty means rather a transparent form and might have less problems with white lies. Another person understands honesty to mean never cheating on his partner. If you want to be understood by your environment, you should have thought through the prefix beforehand and never forget it in your communication!

Small homework

The following step is not explicitly mentioned in the canvas instructions. Nevertheless I always recommend it in coaching or in workshops:

Read someone who knows the topic complex of your question, first your how-question before and then all prefixes plus nouns one after the other!

Long-term relationship partners are often surprised when they understand what you mean for the first time, when you have talked about the problem again and again but only mentioned the nouns with verbs.

That also applies to teams, of course. Especially when a Kubernetik is made in or for the team, everyone should understand what is meant by “innovation”. Not that unwanted misunderstandings arise here, such as dismissing people or just introducing a new CRM tool.


For space reasons, only the nouns of the influencing variables are used in the later course of the creation of the impact diagram. The noun and the influence quantity are therefore synonymous with their use in Kubernetik. In its precision, however, the influence size is richer, since it names more clearly what you mean by the noun. So when we draw in and use nouns later, the actual meaning of the influence size always resonates with them. There is a difference whether you have considered yourself before that it is about a “healthy nutrition” and not only about “nutrition”, which can also be a protein-rich or inexpensive etc..

Therefore the step of the prefix development should never fail, even if you later only use the noun “health” in the visualization without entering the prefix.

Although I write above about the fact that the prefix in the later effect diagram always resonates, so to speak, in the back of my mind, this is only partially complete. Because it can be relevant to think only the noun alone.

An example: The noun “sugar” is entered in the effect diagram. Now the sugar can have a negative effect on the blood test. Or the purchase only in the bio shop affects the sugar, because there are less sugar-containing food available. However, it would be inappropriate to take the prefix into account in the effect diagram, in this case the “fruit sugar”. From your point of view, fruit sugar may not have any effect on the blood test, but refined sugar does.

Conclusion: in the later effect diagram it is important to regard the noun alone as influencing factor, especially very subjectively and according to feeling. This is usually easier for the emotional and generalist than for the very rational and perfectionist.

The previously defined prefix can of course be an important support in many cases to draw the effect arrows in steps 7 and 8.

Next 4th step

In the next 4. Step you will design a categorization by underlining the nouns with a matching color.