What the heck is “Yes And” anyway?

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And why does it matter for your team?

In improv, we need good ideas, fast.

An audience will wait while we figure out a scene. But they won’t wait long. And they expect entertainment.

Your team may not need to create on demand like this. But you’ll get further, faster using the same method: “Yes And.”

Imagine you and I each have a handful of Lego bricks. It’s our goal to build something together, one brick at a time. You put a brick on the table.

I can knock that brick aside and put mine down. That’s a “No.” It cancels out everything that came before.

Or, I can put my brick down beside yours. Yours is still in play, but there are now two somethings on the go. That’s a “Yes But.” I accept that your idea exists, but I care more about my own. It’s really a polite “No.”

Or, I can stick my brick onto yours. Now we’re working on the same something.

That’s a “Yes And.”

Working together, we continue to find ways to stick the next brick onto the others. A result builds fast.

We don’t have to love it. But at least we have something to work with. We can refine it, changing a brick’s colour or taking off jagged edges. Or we can break it all up and start over.

It’s a positive, enthusiastic process that works.

Tried it? Tell me about your experience with a comment on the LinkedIn post.