In design we often say that anything is possible, and perhaps we need to believe in this so we can creatively find an alternative to the status quo. The most powerful mechanism that manifests this belief of anything is possible is the power of the little word “AND”.
In business we have a trade off culture, an assumption that the most appropriate solutions are gained through compromise. This is a dynamic that is set up by the ‘OR’ word. We can do this ‘or’ that. We can’t have both. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. When I find myself in these types of conversations, my mind starts screaming, “WHY NOT?!”.
There is no reason why a business can’t reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction, or improve employee conditions and remain profitable. The moment we take a stance of committing to the ‘and’ scenario we are catapulting ourselves into the domain of possibility and of creativity.
It is easier to trade off and to believe that some things just ain’t possible. Though when we do challenge ourselves, and we make a stand to NOT trade off, where we end up is much more innovative and so much more satisfying.
So the next time you hear the words "trade off" or "compromise", try introducing the word 'AND' instead, and see what happens to the thinking, and ultimately, the outcome.
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