Hunting the Yeah but

I suggest adding "the hunting and slaying of 'Yebuts' to everybody's job description.

'Yebuts' - pronounced "Yeah-but" are monstrous little beasts that inhabit the meetings and conversations that take place in every company.

A 'Yebuts' purpose in life is to sap a team of its competitive strength by killing any new ideas or creative approaches just as soon as they are suggested. They do this by grabbing someone's tongue and making them say things like:

'Yebut' we tried that three years ago.

'Yebut' we've never done it like that before.

'Yebut' the brass will never go along with that.

'Yebut' the rest of the staff will never buy into that kind of idea.

'Yebut' they (this is the ubiquitous "they" who control the world) won't let us.

'Yebut' it might not work.

'Yebut' Volume 4, Chapter 98, Section 17, Part 2 of Paragraph 26 of our procedures manual/constitution says we should never do it that way.

Be aware that when they crawl onto the table during a meeting or swoop down into a corridor conversation, those 'Yebuts' sometimes don't look monstrous at all. Often, they adopt the appearance of a cute, cuddly perfectly acceptable or even helpful contribution to the discussion.

But, if 'Yebuts' are not recognized and stamped out right away, they usually succeed in their deadly, negative missions. The flow of ideas is soon destroyed.

If qualities like innovation, responsiveness, flexibility, decisiveness and speed are critical to your success, then 'Yebut' hunting is one important daily activity that everyone should undertake as their own. And beware, the bigger your organization the more 'Yebuts' you'll find.

Happy hunting!