Last night I spoke at the ACM Bay Area chapter’s monthly event. My talk was Yes, My Iguana Loves to Cha-Cha: Improv, Creativity and Design, another iteration of a talk I’ve been giving since 2005. For me, the topic continues to evolve and inspire and each time I talk to a group about this, some new things emerge. Last night, I talked (albeit briefly) about the power of Yes. In improv, we hear a lot about “Yes, and…” which is really an alternative to saying “no.” In “Yes, and…” you accept an idea and then add your own. But I really got to thinking about the fundamental reframe being about empowering ourselves to say Yes. The “and…” is about putting yourself back into it, but I thought there was something to focusing for a moment on the core idea of responding to things with yes. A few years ago we led an ideation training workshop and at the end we had everyone line up and one at a time come to the front and say something that they had learned, while everyone in the room responded with “Yes!” While it had a bit of a revival meeting about it, it was an interesting exercise. My challenge to the folks last night (a mix of old-skool Silicon Valley types and people in my network, all of whom jumped into the games and exercise) was to try responding yes in a situation where you might typically respond no. It’s a challenge I’ll have to take on myself as well.
The slides are below: