One of the greatest barriers to change or transformation stems from the inability to see past the obstacles in the way. In A Beautiful Constraint the authors describe how the flow in problem solving frequently comes to an abrupt halt when someone explains that "we can't do that because..." The 'because' may vary - we can't afford it, we've never done it that way, we don't have time - but the result is the same: forward momentum in solving the problem is derailed. They suggest reframing the entire conversation by instead of using the phrase "we can't because" that each sentence begin with "We can-if...". They offer a number of examples and types of Can-If statements, including "We can if we think of it as..." or "We can if we substitute... for ..."
Can-If statements keep the focus on how the problem can be solved rather than whether the problem can be solved. They force people to focus on finding solutions rather than additional problems. The following scene from the movie Apollo 13 illustrates this frame of mind.
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