Yesterday “La Bonilista”, a Spanish mailing list written by David Bonilla, talked about a really interesting teamwork style: the culture of “Yes by default” [1]:

Once a problem or necessity has been detected, anyone can propose a solution. By default, every proposal is accepted. No member of the team will oppose if he/she doesn’t have a better proposal.

It may seem dumb, but it has completely changed our way of working. Instead of wasting time and energy demonstrating that something is not going to work, we just use it to find something better.

We don’t have time to prepare brainy reports or get into everlasting arguments to show someone is wrong. If something doesn’t convince you, propose a better alternative or shut your mouth.

After having seen myself entangled in some eternal meetings where people had to defend their ideas against people trying to discredit them without having a better alternative, I find the “Yes by default” strategy an interesting, feasible and very productive and creative way of working for small teams. It encourages the team to move forward and look for better solutions, it focuses on positive efforts, and can make the most of the inherent flexibility of small organizations and development groups.

From now on I will always try, as far as possible, to follow this positive way of working.


[1] Original in Spanish, translation and bolds are mine.

Yes by default
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