Cultural Change and Negotiation

The Value of Criticism

by Doug Williams

This is a little off topic, but any work practice change is a cultural change, which requires criticism and negotiation. That can be good or bad; it’s up to you.

DITA is a work practice with a lot of powerful ideas, based on solid research, and implemented successfully in hundreds of companies. But I have seen firsthand how DITA cultural changes can be difficult, and I have increasingly come to appreciate the benefits of using the power of criticism to find more creative answers to problems. At companies that have been the most successful with the transformation, they have had strong leadership, and they have also had a strong capability of evolving practices to leverage the best of DITA, and the best of their content developer knowledge.
Key takeaway:
“The secret of criticism in innovation lies in the joint behavior of the participants. Those offering criticism must frame their points as positive, helpful suggestions. Those who are being criticized must use critiques to learn and improve their ideas. When conducted with curiosity and respect, criticism becomes the most advanced form of creativity. It can be fascinating, passionate, fun, and always inspiring. Let us combine “Yes, and” with “Yes, but” to create the constructive and positive “Yes, but, and.”

Why Criticism is Good for Creativity