Yeah, but nah: KJR’s take on an improv classic

  • Meg Woolley
  • 16 February 2018

Many of you will be familiar with the creative and leadership improv tool “yes, and”. It’s championed by pretty much anyone who knows how to successfully create a safe and productive environment for creativity and progress. There are countless articles explaining the theory (in fact, here is one), and people you can hire to facilitate workshops in the method (like these guys), in fact we experienced it first hand at Pause Fest in Melbourne recently. And guess what? It works! It uncovers the power of teamwork and breathes light to ideas and conversation that may have otherwise been lost to the fateful “yes, but”.

Now begs the question, why on earth then is the title of this article structured in the negative? As with all true explorers, we like to take our experiences and place them within the context of what we do here at KJR. Every day we are having conversations with clients or prospective clients about their digital potential. And we love nothing more than when the chatter flows with the power of “yes, and” - that’s when we’re all thinking further and journeying towards a positive outcome. But if we’re going to be honest, and we always are, sometimes we have to jump in with a “yeah, but nah”.


We expect everyone who is part of the KJR Collective to be truth-tellers. From internal comms to client work, truth-bombs can be uncomfortable and often not in our immediate best interests. But when we communicate rationally constructed arguments against best-laid plans, it’s steeped in our brand promise: straight-talking advice, smart delivery. If we believe there is a better way, or a client is barking up the wrong tree altogether, we’ll tell you. And we’ve risked our engagement on more than one occasion by doing so.

So, if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a KJR “yeah, but nah”, know that it comes from a genuine investment in your digital success. And we’ll never leave you hanging on the “nah”, we’ll jump straight back in with a new conversation that will hopefully begin the “yes, and” flow to success.