When ‘No’ is ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ is ‘No’

Borders create spaces, where something begins and what’s next to it ends.  Like our skin; me is on one side and not me is on the other.

When we make a choice to say “No”, we create a border. What we chose ‘No’ to is now on the outside. What is on our side, the inside is reserved.  We’ve actually created some time and space to put something within.WineGlass

The next choice is to fill this time and space with something we should say “Yes” to.  Something we can create.  So, “No” creates a ‘Yes’ opportunity.

Saying ‘No’ creates a container to fill with “Yes” things, like a crystal wine glass. The ‘No’s” create the glass.  We fill the glass with our “Yes’s!”

And as we fill our space up with ‘Yes” things, there is less and less room for other things, most wonderfully, the things we should say ‘No’ to.  So ‘Yes” eliminates ‘No’s”.

When we’re triaging business processes, the first step for the triage team is to collaboratively identify the series of containers they must fill in the right order. The work they should say “No” and “Yes” to in the right sequence is the process map and is essential  to creating teams that deliver scalable, high quality workflows.  Deciding what goes into each container — the “Yes’s” and what does not go — the “No’s” creates the most time and space for the most valuable work.

This is what brand positioning is ultimately all about.  What we are not — our “No’s” should be so clear – crystal clear, that all anyone sees is what we really are — our ‘Yes’s.”  Our business model should sustain our ‘No’s” and create more and more space for our ‘Yes’s.”

Here are some examples of such clear thinking — where the borders are clearly marked and the containers are well defined (download here)

So “No” is “Yes” and “Yes” is “No.”