Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Lesson In Collaboration

Last semester we were fortunate enough to have Nick Moore give a lecture to our class. For those of you who don't know, Nick is the Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman and a hell of a great guy. His lecture was in perfect time for the class' first team assignment. Focusing on collaboration, Nick showed us all how not to shut down the creative process but to nurture it by leveraging positive language. Take a look at a few of his valuable pointers:

"No, and..." is the first "no" in collaboration. Mr. Moore points out that this is the worst way to respond to a partner's idea. It's a negative response and one that may end your partner's contributions entirely. "No, and you're a total hack for thinking of that."

"No, but..." is only slightly better. As Nick showed us, it is still a negative criticism of the idea with an added insult that you might have a better way to solve the problem. Not only does this make your partner feel foolish, but it makes your ego appear larger than it should in a partnership. "No, but I think I can save your pathetic arse."

"Yes, but...", while starting on a positive note, ultimately ends up in a negative realm. The "but" still insinuates that you have a better solution. "Yes, but wouldn't it be better if we made the car bigger?"

"Yes, and..." is the response that a partner would like to hear. Not only does it begin with a positive, but it ends with the best intentions of collaboration. The word "and" signifies that you will add to an already solid idea. "Yes, and if we made the car bigger, it would give the ad more impact."

Thank you, Nick, for finding time in your insanely hectic schedule to show us how to work better together. Now, if only that person who keeps calling those brainstorms would wear more deodorant.

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