There are two types of meetings. One filled with buts and the other rich
“That’s a good idea but what happens if…”
“We could do what you propose but I think it will
“Maybe we could do that promotion but I’m afraid of
what our distributors would say….”
“I like that idea and imagine if we also tried to
raise the price…”
“We could do what you propose and I think we might
“Maybe we could do that promotion and I think we
should bring our distributors into the discussions…”
Daniel Pink’s recent book To Sell is Human inspired this
post. Please check out his book to gain a deeper insight into this idea. He brilliantly describes the importance of but
versus and. Consider this post a snack sized sample of his explanation of how
to motivate and influence people.
It can have an huge influence on how we view a problem and
the way we approach the issue. Yeah, but is a way of looking at the negative
and assessing why things might fail. Yeah, and does the opposite and allows a
team to build upon an idea with optimism.
The rungs on a ladder are ands….take step one and go to step two and go
to step three. This ladder builds upon the previous idea and takes you to the
Try this experiment.
Organize a brainstorming session to develop a marketing idea or tactics to fit
your overall strategic plans. Post a
series of words that can’t be used in the first half hour. Give your team 30 minutes of building words and
phrases instead like and.
Eliminate reason to take apart an idea and instead see if you can keep
improving upon the original concept. Don’t
let anyone criticize or challenge during those first 30 minutes. Let it be a
building effort like stacking Legos one on top of the next.
I can hear some of you say, yeah but what good will it do?
What I have encountered through this approach is that we take an idea and find
solutions at the weak points. We do it with optimism and a positive attitude
that helps us think through the idea thoroughly. There is plenty of time to put it through the
yeah, but filter. But begin with a good
idea and make it great.
Recently, I did something like this with several colleagues.
I had an idea that for an hour we built upon where we took any concerns and
figured out an and solution that
moved us up a notch. No criticism or skeptical attitude allowed. We built upon each other's ideas and energy and created a powerful tactic for our business.
At the end of the hour, the idea was so much stronger
than it was initially that when we tried to pick it apart, it was hard to find
a major fault or weakness. When we shared it with others, they too couldn’t
find any major problems.
So next meeting, ban the buts and encourage the ands.
Labels: Ands, Buts, Daniel Pink, Marketing Moments, To Sell is Human