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Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) is the author of Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.  Early this year he started sending out Hugh’s Daily Cartoon on an email subscription service.  I recommend you drop by Hugh’s website and sign up.  Every day there is a new wonderfully ‘scribbled’ thought.

Resistance is everywhere.  An idea emerges from someone else or from our own head and we begin to ask all manner of vocal and silent questions.  Can we afford it?  Didn’t we try that once before?  How will things change for me? How will it work?  How can we sell this?  How does it fit with what’s happening now?

In The Answer to How is Yes: Acting on What Matters, Peter Block pays particular attention to the question “How?”  He begins with an excerpt from his book – Stewardship.

“There is depth in the question “How do I do this?” that is worth exploring.  The question is a defence against the action.  It is a leap past the question of purpose, past the question of intentions, and past the drama of responsibility.  The question “How?” – more than any other question – looks for the answer outside of us.  It is an indirect expression of our doubts ….

Peter Block says that we find ourselves giving in to our doubts “instead of settling for what we know how to do, or can soon learn how to do, instead of pursuing what matters to us and living with the adventure and anxiety that this requires”.  [..]  We often ask ourselves the question of whether something is worth doing by going straight to the question “How do we do it?”” He suggests that if we were to go for six months without asking the How question something might shift.  We would focus more on why we do what we do – and create space for conversations, room for discussion about purpose, (room for great ideas) about what is worth doing, about what matters.

There is value in sitting quietly and welcoming the space of uncertainty and allowing yourself not to be distracted by other things. Distractions are resistance at work.  Hugh MacLeod’s first chapter is Ignore Everybody.  Include yourself in that advice.  Resistance is everywhere!

Lynn Walsh – workshop facilitator – SydneyLynn Walsh – workshop facilitator – Sydney

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Thanks to April K Mills at Engine for Change for generating some thinking for me.  April builds on a Tim Sanders post about the problem with devil’s advocates.  She proposes circumstances where a Yes, if … option could work instead of the Yes, and… reference in Tim’s post.  I can see applications and opportunities for  Yes, if …. as a transition activity to or from Yes, and…

In a previous post, I quoted Patricia Ryan Madson. “Blocking comes in many forms;  it is a way of trying to control the situation instead of accepting it.  We block when we say no, when we have a better idea, when we change the subject, when we correct the speaker, when we fail to listen, or when we simply ignore the situation.  ….. Saying no is the most common way we attempt to control the future.”

Thinking on that further, I remembered that recently I introduced a group of business partners to a Yes, and….Brainstorm.  Through playing the game, one person realised that his automatic response was to block any idea (no matter if it was in play or real life) that didn’t fit with his perspective or vision for the business.  It was a powerful moment for him, one that opened up deeper conversations in the team and resulted in them working together to create a new decision making model for the business.  Yes, if…. in that particular circumstance may not have lead to that breakthrough.

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney- business and strategic planning – team conversations

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