“Yes, and” attitudes yield great opportunities

July 30, 2010

“By saying ‘Yes, and’ rather than ‘Yes, but’, we will allow creativity to flow.”

This concept was advanced by OSCPA’s Chair of the Board, Peter Margaritis, CPA, MAcc, CEO of IFRS Education and Training, LLC in Columbus, during his acceptance speech at the Annual Meeting on June 17.

What an eye opener adopting this attitude can have on an individual. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day operations to keep a business running. It’s easy to build excitement about new ideas, but when it comes time to implement them you let the “Yes, but” statements stop you dead in your tracks. And you’re right back to where you started. Perhaps it’s a matter of staying in their comfort zone that prevents people from venturing out.

According to an article on Wriggling Out of Your Comfort Zone, we tend to be content with our current lives and to not want to disturb a good thing.

“We build comfort zones in our lives and in our workplaces. We populate these comfort zones with familiar events and familiar people. Breaking out means physical and emotional pain. Embracing a new situation means sacrificing your comfort zone. And so we end up ignoring opportunities around us, even though we recognize them as important.”

Adopting “Yes, and” statements into our collective vocabulary can help to break this cycle and propel your business forward.

“The ‘Yes, and’ theory keeps ideas alive because it allows ideas to expand and grow while empowering people and increasing morale and productivity. On the other hand, ‘Yes, but’ stops creativity and lowers morale,” said Margaritis.

Whatever state the economy happens to be in may be influencing your ability to move both yourself and the company forward. In an article on 10 Ways to Deny the Recession, author Paul Spiegelman outlines 10 ways entrepreneurs can succeed in a recession. Among them include these tips:

Invest in the Future
Most recessions last only a year or two. Companies that fail to continually invest in business improvements, training and marketing are way behind when the economy recovers. In terms of training, consider how to cross-train your team members while business is slow. It may enable you to perform better later on.

Seek Out Referrals
Nowadays, many businesses assume there are no sales to be made, so they stop trying and sit on the sidelines. While sales may be harder to come by, make contacts now so they will pay off later. Furthermore, if you’re pulling back on your advertising budget, referrals may be your best bet for generating customers. You should also create a program that rewards current customers for referrals.

Maintain a Fun Environment
When companies cut out the fun, it can negatively impact employee job performance. If you’ve sponsored parties at work for years, continue these events. A consistent culture will encourage your staff to provide consistent service to your customers.

Celebrate Being Small
Many smaller firms are more nimble than larger firms because they aren’t loaded down by multiple management layers and overlapping operating units or debt, so they can make decisions quickly and focus their cash to take advantage of new opportunities.

Whatever the reason, you owe it yourself, your employer, and your clients to adopt and keep a “Yes, and” attitude.


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