The importance of “Yes, and…” to design

It’s been written about a million times before, but attending the Global Sustainability Jam* over the weekend has reminded me just how important this little change of phrase is to the idea generation process.

When you say “Yes, and…” it leaves open the opportunity for someone’s idea to grow rather than be shutdown. If you keep saying “No, because…” you are reducing the chance for for collaborative idea generation to happen.

Ideas that are made together have much more of a chance to be accepted by a team as everyone can feel they played a part in their creation. If you shutdown the ability to collaborate you’re just being a dictator, and that’s no fun for anyone.

*Thanks to the Jam organisers for inviting us to be mentors and presenters. We all had a great time and will definitely be back.