Ipek Williamson

Insight Coach

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Innovate with the “Yes… And…” Game

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If you are interested in personal growth, self-improvement and mental fitness, you might have heard about the Positive Intelligence program by Shirzad Chamine already. You might have even taken the program, just like I have.

But if you are not familiar with it, here’s a little introduction. This concept focuses on strengthening the Sage muscles of your brain through mental fitness exercises called PQ. Additionally introduces multiple ways to taking control of the Judge we all have in our minds.

It is an exciting journey. And there are quite a few practices that help guide you to move from the Saboteurs toward the Sage mindset, my favourite being the “Yes… And …” game.

And because innovation requires patience, acceptance and a positive attitude, I find this method useful for organizations that understand the importance of promoting creativity. When you want to be in the innovation mode and lead your team to create and innovate, a great way of doing that is playing the “Yes… And …” game.

How does the game work?

Imagine you are sitting around a table with your team and having an innovation session. And you will play the “Yes… And …” game. Here’s how it goes;

  • each team member generates as many ideas as possible without concentrating on the quality or feasibility of the ideas
  • only after being done generating, the team starts to evaluate each idea individually
  • the evaluation process does not begin until the generation step is fully complete as initiating it kills the creativity when practiced earlier than it should.
  • the primary goal of the game is to consider each idea as being at least 10% right
  • and to not focus on the 90% that might be wrong, but focusing on the 10% that’s right
  • then building upon the acceptable part of the idea by adding on it until it gets to a 100%

Team members take the best part of an idea and start speaking on it by saying, “What I like about that idea is…” and mention the 10% that they liked about it. Say, “And… ” then add to it another idea that triggered by that previous idea.

What are the benefits?

Successfully conducting this process requires deep listening to each other, rather than trying to come up with the most brilliant idea, which stops the collaboration, and brings in the judgment and competition.

When you know that even if you come up with a non-practical idea, your contribution will still be appreciated. And at least some part of your input will help the team move ahead toward another great idea. You become more creative, fearless, bold and confident.

You don’t keep to yourself any idea thinking you might look or sound illogical. Instead, you feel empowered and liberated as a team member, knowing that anything you come up with might turn into a brilliant idea with the add-ons from other team members.

Remember, in every conflict, both parties are at least 10% right.

So, why not being curious about finding the right part of other people’s creations not only at work but everywhere in life?

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay 

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