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How to Banish the “Yes! Buts...” From Your Organization
A fast-paced technical revolution is shaping today's world of work. To thrive, organizations must foster a culture of innovation and creativity. Can it be done? Here are three simple steps to make it a reality.
- What if we try this new marketing approach? Yes, but it may fail, we have never done this before!
- I think it’s time we came up with a new product! Yes, but our product has been around for over 10 years, and it is tried and tested!
- Hey! I’ve got a new idea for the company! Yes, but don’t you have any work to do, instead of coming up with ideas every day?
- Share the big picture. Have you tried driving a car by simply looking at the white lines on the road? It can be very challenging. Instead, we should drive focusing on our destination, and look further into the horizon. In every project discussion, start by sharing the big picture of why everyone is there. This simple practice will get everyone on the same page and sharing a common understanding of the desired outcome.When people begin to understand the “why” in any project, their minds can become free of existing constraints. It allows everyone to also see their own role and part they play in the greater scheme of things. Many great ideas that we see today began because someone thought of some impractical, crazy or wild ideas. And then that idea was built upon to reality.
- Establish ground rules in all meetings, projects and discussions. Throughout the world, a key component of great teams is a shared set of principles by which all agree and abide. Some useful ground rules include “wild ideas accepted” or “build on one another’s ideas” or “one conversation at a time.” Begin each session by recapping all the ground rules. This will set the stage for everyone in the room to at least have the right frame of mind, and overcome some of their fear of failure in sharing of ideas and opinions.
- Get practical -- make use of a service bell. Have one in each meeting room if you can. Bring one along for each meeting or discussion. The bell can be placed in the center of the table. When to use it? When someone uses some form of “yes-but,” anyone can ring the bell. This will serve as a gentle reminder to focus on building on each other’s ideas versus criticizing an idea. The bell is also useful to get the team discussion back on track.
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