Hunting Ya-Buts

I was talking today with some people about alternative approaches to projects and process and something hit me hard.

Hunting Ya-Buts.  These are the times when you are working with people and as you talk about ideas, they bring up the "… yeah, that is great but we can’t because …". 

I was talking afterwards with Jim about it and we laughed as we talked about readiness and even a consultants ability to properly explain the vision that they have. We even joked about being able to ask the customer "do you want a big project or get the job done". Of course that is an inappropriate statement, but something we sometimes feel.

When we aim to be trusted advisors with our clients and partners we strive for having the perspective, respect and trust of the other individuals we are working with, but that is not always there even when we think it is. So the question or approach that may be more appropriate and certainly more productive is to take that "Ya-But" and grab it and put it in the box called problems we need to address.

Because in a majority of times we are all working in the best interests of the end result we need to respect the Ya-Buts as readiness issues or problems that need to be addressed and focus on what are we trying to do and what are our organizational and technical constraints.

So are you hunting "Ya-buts" or are you the raskly rabbit?

  1. Stephen Reply

    I whole heartedly agree. As I mentioned we do not ignore the issues raised, but we identify and address them as opposed to using them as an emergency break.
    Otherwise the ‘Ya-Buters’ have veto control just by the very nature of their approach and attitude.

  2. Graham Boundy Reply

    Ya, But sometime the Ya-buts raise legitimate issues that the pre-ya-buts have negelected to identify or glossed over to sell their ideas.
    I have no doubt that the Ya-buts have a low tolerance for risk or “creative tension”. And most ya-buts are passive aggressives, intent on taking the wind out of the sails of a change agent.
    The challenge is to address all the Big Ya-buts and de-scope the small ya-buts to a level where everyone can agree and readiness is achieved.

  3. Stephen Reply

    OK now that is funny!
    The funniest is that you are so right. The qualifier of the but kind of kills all the things said beforehand. Interesting

  4. Morgan Goeller Reply

    Isn’t the old saying that “Everything before the but is bull?” Seems like that might apply here 😉

  5. Jim Reply

    One thing I recall Bob Schaffer saying that he really enjoyed having the impatient client. I think even the “yah buts” cannot resist the temptation to experiment especially if they want improvement. I expect one source of readiness is desperation. Sometimes when they have tried everything else they are ready to listen, especially if survival is at stake.
    The key to Rapid Results is increasing an organizations ability and courage to change. Finding the people who have courage to take leadership and try a new approach is the essential. Training and coaching is necessary. Frequent progress reviews and willingness to change course is critical. Of course, high visibility also helps.

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