In This Episode: John Wolpert, entrepreneur and innovator, discusses his recently released book: “The Two But Rule: Turn Negative Thinking Into Positive Solutions,” a transformative approach that turns obstacles into opportunities for growth and innovation. Through compelling examples from the Apollo 13 mission to the inception of Calendly, Wolpert demonstrates how this mindset encourages continuous problem-solving and fosters a culture of momentum thinking in business and beyond.

Key Takeaways: 

Embrace the “Two But Rule” for Positive Solutions: The Two But Rule is a concept that encourages turning negative thinking into constructive outcomes. This approach is about acknowledging obstacles or criticisms (“but”) and then immediately considering a solution or alternative perspective (“but”), thus fostering a culture of resilience and innovation.

Innovation Through Adversity: Wolpert’s journey from IBM to entrepreneurship illustrates the importance of embracing challenges and leveraging them for innovation. His work in blockchain and co-founding IBM Blockchain highlights how adversity and critical thinking can lead to groundbreaking solutions in technology and business.

Momentum Thinking for Business Growth: The “Two But Rule” is a part of a larger strategy Wolpert calls “Momentum Thinking,” which is designed to propel businesses forward by systematically addressing and overcoming objections and hurdles. This mindset demands continuous movement and adaptation, crucial for business growth and development.

The Importance of Honoring Objections: Wolpert emphasizes the value of listening to and respecting objections within a team. By considering and exploring these “buts,” teams can uncover potential issues, explore alternative solutions, and ensure that all perspectives are considered, leading to more robust and well-rounded decisions.

Creating a Culture of Open Communication: The Two But Rule encourages open communication in which all team members feel comfortable voicing their concerns and suggestions. A culture of transparency and collaboration is key to ensuring that the best ideas are brought to the forefront.

Balancing Leadership and Collaboration: Wolpert touches on the challenge leaders face in respecting and listening to team input while ultimately making decisive choices for the direction of the business. The “Two But Rule” can help leaders navigate this balance by making sure that all opinions are considered but also that decisions are made in a timely and effective manner.

Momentum Thinking for Business Strategy: Wolpert introduces “Momentum Thinking” as a strategic approach to business challenges. This methodology involves continuously pushing forward, using each “but” as a steppingstone towards a solution, thus maintaining momentum in the face of obstacles and ensuring progress towards goals.

Practical Application of the “Two But Rule”: Through examples like Calendly’s development journey, Wolpert illustrates the practical application of the “Two But Rule” in overcoming business challenges. By not shying away from the negatives and instead confronting them with creative solutions, businesses can navigate through difficulties and find success in unexpected ways.