Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yes . . . And!

From creative blog
When I attended my first ADE Summer Institute in 2009, Rebecca Stockley, The Improv Lady was one of our first presenters.  She put us through a series of initial exercises that helped serve as ice-breakers.  But one in particular served as a kind of theme through the entire week.  We did some impromptu story-telling where a narrative was begun and then within our small group, one after another of us would append a portion of the story that began with the phrase, "Yes, but . . . "  We followed this with another round of story-telling.  This time each of us added a strand that began with the phrase, "Yes, and . . . ."

The point of the exercise was that change can be perceived in terms of obstacles ("Yes, but . . . .") or for its opportunities ("Yes, and . . . .").   The message resonated very strongly with the ADEs because most of us served as change agents in our schools.  Running into "Yes, buts . . . ." comes with our territory.  The "Yes, and . . . ." concept gave us a verbal jujitsu technique for countering negativity.

Last week, at our Apple Executive Briefing in Chicago, one of our presenters referenced Roberta's exercise.  It was startling to be reminded of it in the context of Mercy 2.0.  As we move from the HP Elitebook to the Apple iPad, I can already hear the "Yes, buts . . . ." as my colleagues worry about what they may lose from the change (like keyboards or familiar software).  On the other had, there is some unprecedented excitement surrounding the adoption of the iPad.  More than a few staff members have already verbalized a "Yes, and!!!".  We'll be designing the "Unboxing" and professional development days in April with the "Yes, but . . . ." attitude in the forefront of our minds.

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