The 3 minute rule (Yes and …)

judgingI guarantee you that this exercise will help you to double or triple the number of ideas that you have during a meeting (if you apply the exercise in the right way ;-)). Human beings have a tendency to criticize and judging new things. It happens in a fraction of a second where our brain looks at the new idea and compares it with previous experiences. And if there’s a big difference between the new idea and the things that it knows, it blocks the idea because it doesn’t fit in the picture. There are a lot of (sometimes good) reasons why we do this: being afraid to go out of our comfort zone, we only see the downside of the idea, we expect that the new idea will cost a lot of money, and will take a lot of time, … We call all these reasons ideakillers. All kind of expressions that Screen-Shot-2015-06-10-at-14.52.52-300x300are meant to keep the status quo and make sure that we don’t have to change. You can download a poster with ideakillers.

The three minute rule works as follows: explain your colleagues in the meeting that humans don’t like to suspend their judgement but it’s a necessary skill if you want to get new ideas. For that reason, you invite them -for three minutes – to get into the yes and mindset. Instead of responding with an ideakiller to a new idea, they have to answer with ‘Yes and …’ where you accept the idea and you even add something to it. It might be very interesting to put a print of the ideakiller-poster on the table before you start. During the 3 minutes, no judgement is allowed and quantity is more important than quality at that moment. You will notice that in three minutes, you will have a lot more ideas than in a normal meeting-setting – probably also some crazy ideas but that’s not a problem because you don’t need to implement all of them. Maybe you can use some elements of an idea that might be feasible and combine different small ideas to one or two good ones. Another big advantage of this method is that everybody has a chance to contribute so the chance that the idea will be implemented in reality also grows in a substantial way.

Just give it a try! Good luck …

PS: Don’t use this yes and … rule all the time, only for some of the topics where creative ideas are needed (probably only 5 – 10 % of the topics on the agenda). There’s nothing wrong with judging (we would go crazy if we had to think in an open, yes and -mindset all the time) but use it wisely when the need for alternative solutions is high.

You can check out stories, examples and more inspiration at

NEW – you can also download a poster with IDEABOOSTERS or explore the website.


You can find more methods in my latest bookazine ‘the Change mindset‘ (use voucher code ‘FRIENDCYRIEL’ to get 20% discount). 


Feel free to send a mail to Cyriel if you want to get more inspiration (presentation, brainstorming session, …) how you can boost the creativity in your own organisation.

2018-11-14T12:49:35+00:00 Categories: Creativity, Innovation, Tool|Tags: , , , |1 Comment