We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

Brad: Both as a business owner, and back when I worked for large companies, I have found a lot of negative people. Someone has a good idea, and then it seems like everyone has a “yes, but…” It’s irritating.

Dr. Lisa: Particularly if it’s YOUR idea. In Theory of Constraints, we call that a “yes, BUT”; Small yes and a big BUT.

Brad: Why can’t people be more positive and optimistic? It seems like such negativity blocks progress. Perhaps such people are the problem.

Dr. Lisa: Hold on. To voice concerns is part of human nature. When we hear an idea or solution presented, it is natural to think of what negatives might come from it. The presenter is normally very proud of his or her suggestion, and just as often is not fully aware of what negatives might result from implementing it.

Brad: So he or she is expecting praise and to get credit for the idea?

Dr. Lisa: Exactly. Now, depending upon the trust level and power relationships within the group, and whether there have been previous bad experiences from raising concerns, the concern might not be expressed. Instead, you might hear “let me think about it”. However, we don’t think about it. What we think about is our “BUT”, and hope the idea just goes away. So, we don’t benefit from the idea, and we miss the opportunity to improve it by voicing the concern.

… to be continued in Part 54.

Here’s to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

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