What is the Yes, and... card?
Build on each other’s ideas using a mindset borrowed from improv theatre.
This tactic is all about going with the flow, building on whatever material you’re given (no matter how unusual), then adding your own twist.
How to use the Yes, and... card
These instructions give participants time to think and write things down. But if you want, you can also run this activity out loud – it’s a little scarier, but truer to the spirit of improv.
If you’re still in Diverge mode:
1. Pick an idea, then ask everyone to write as many “Yes, and...” builds on that idea as they can think of in 3 minutes.
Example idea: “Idea generation activity cards"
Example build: “Yes, and they have fun illustrations on them"
When the time's up, review everyone's builds. Repeat this process for as many ideas as you like. You can go even further and add an extra round, where each person picks a “Yes, and...” statement from the last round, and adds their own “Yes, and...” to that. In theory, you could keep going forever, but you've probably got other stuff to do.
2. Take any statements that stand out and use them to shape idea(s) you want to take forward using a Refine tactic.
If you’re already in Refine mode:
1. Briefly introduce the core idea you want to explore to the rest of the group, reserving any judgement about its potential.
2. Pick someone to privately write as many “Yes, and...” statements as they can in 3 minutes. When the time’s up, ask them to pick one statement to privately share with anyone they choose, and repeat this process until everyone’s contributed.
3. Put everything on display to inform what you decide to do next.