Wet Blankets Beware

According to Psychology Today, there are few words more dangerous to progress than “Yes, but…”

 
 

A favorite fallback of argumentative types around the globe, the phrase “Yes, but…” allows you to feign agreement with an idea or suggestion while also simultaneously attempting to derail it.

Many times, you don’t even need to really consider the other party’s point for this innovation-smothering phrase to works its magic, much less provide a workable alternative.

Here’s a typical example of a “Yes, but…” mentality at work:

Person 1: “We should start doing _________.”

Person 2: “Yes, but it’s too ________ (risky, expensive, complex, time-consuming, untested, other)

Does this sound familiar?

Of course, no worthy course of action comes without the risk of challenge or even failure, especially on the first attempt. Such issues must be acknowledged and mitigated where possible, especially in an industry as strictly regulated as financial services, yet the end goal should be to use these hurdles to start a conversation, not to end one.

According to the CEO of ImprovEdge, a business consulting group, this more positive approach could be classified as a “Yes, and…” mentality. “Yes, and…” types would include people like Eben Upton, the creator of the $35 Raspberry Pi computer, which was designed as an affordable tool for teaching children and other beginners how to code.

Some “Yes, and…” folks could also be found in the thousands of volunteers currently applying with private companies to go on manned missions to Mars, knowing full well that these would likely be one-way trips.

And yes, we even have a few “Yes, and…” folks featured right here in the pages of this publication.

A great example is the leadership team at Greater Nevada Credit Union, our “Anatomy Of” profile for this quarter. In addition to numerous other feats, this group overcame its past shortfalls in member business lending by rebuilding this department from the ground up with an emphasis on holistic business service relationships.

Next comes our Ideas in Action section covering creative problem solving through non-traditional roles or new divisions of responsibility. This includes rearrangement at the executive level and even some ideas to help tackle conflicts between your frontline-focused technologists and your support-focused IT team.

This quarter’s Technology@CU focuses on a territory everyone seeks to explore but none have yet conquered — mobile. From lending apps, security, and compliance to blue-sky concepts so bleeding edge they have not yet been brought to market, we’ve got experts ready to help you solve all of your pocket-sized business dilemmas.

A final nod goes out to the rebels in our Diversions section. In an industry growing more complacent by the day, we’ve bottled the essence of several of Hollywood’s most rule-bending films down into palatable best practices that even the most conservative credit union can swallow.

If you’re a “Yes, and…”credit union type, you’re in the right place. And if you’re not, give us a read anyway … you just may reconsider!

 
 

July 1, 2015


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