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The Power of Yes, and …

Innovative people live in a world of cynics. Do you know how to identify them? They are the ones who don’t shut people down. They are the ones who listen. They are the ones who inquire. They are the ones who know how to say, “Yes, and …”

I’ve taught on this principle before in corporate workshops. “Yes, and” is an improv comedy technique designed to not block something someone adds to the sketch. Instead, when someone says something, you add, “yes, and…” and then you complete the thought. Following this principle makes for very entertaining and sometimes brilliant stories.

Take 20 minutes and watch Karen Tilstra, director of Florida Hospital’s Innovation Lab, give a powerful talk on two powerful words that can change the world. As you watch, as yourself how you could better foster an environment of openness and innovation simply by saying, “yes, and…”

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