The Power of the “AND” Philosophy
Like many entrepreneurs, Daniel Lubetzky’s path has been a series of ups and downs that alternately made him deliriously excited and desperately worried. Lubetzky is the CEO of KIND, founder of PeaceWorks and OneVoice, cofounder of the apparel company Maiyet, and author of the New York Times bestseller Do the KIND Thing.
According to Lubetzky, people often let circumstances force them into choosing between two seemingly incompatible options--like making a snack bar that’s either nutritious or delicious. Lubetzky’s revelation is that you can have an “AND” philosophy by creating new paths and models that avoid that false compromise, and that’s how he created KIND.
Lubetzky believes that the AND philosophy can help you push the limits in terms of what’s possible if you take these steps:
1. Resist mental shortcuts. In an effort to be efficient, our brains have a tendency to accept prevailing ideas or concepts that may no longer be correct (or may never have been). These shortcuts enable us to process information and reach conclusions swiftly. But they also bias us in favor of quick solutions that may not maximize our long-term potential. The AND philosophy means breaking away from this way of thinking and asking questions like, “Why does it have to be that way?”
2. Think boundlessly. Incorporating the AND philosophy into the creative process can help unlock innovation by giving you permission to think boundlessly. All too often we allow practical constraints (such as costs) to inhibit our thinking. Begin, instead, with a period of brainstorming that welcomes the widest possible range of ideas including wacky ones that seem impossible or implausible. Once this part of the process has been exhausted comes the critical phase when ideas should be vetted past the appropriate filtering criteria and prioritized.
3. Develop a dual purpose. The AND philosophy is a great tool for entrepreneurs to increase their impact on society. You can make good and do good at the same time. Once you have identified such conflicting objectives, you can think about ways to achieve both. This increases the chance that your business will have a lasting and meaningful effect on society.
We all need to define our own guiding principles, but Lubetky’s hope is that introducing more people to the AND philosophy will inspire them to less willingly accept the way things are, unlocking a new way of thinking in the process.
To learn more about Lubetzky’s work, read his book Do the KIND Thing. http://www.amazon.com/KIND-Thing-Boundlessly-Purposefully-Passionately/dp/0553393243