Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Pamela Positive: Australia and New Zealand Lead the World in Giving!

What do Australia, New Zealand… and then Canada, Ireland and the U.S. have in common?  


In a survey focused on charitable behavior, Australia and New Zealand attained philanthropic scores of 57%, showing them to be the most ‘giving nations’ amongst 153 countries.   Overall philanthropic scores were determined by a combination three categories–giving time, giving money, and helping a stranger.

So here’s the positive examples of top countries for philanthropic scores:




CANADA – 56%



The Pamela Positive: Don’t Throw Out the Baby OR the Bathwater

The expression says, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I think we have to change our mindset completely…don’t throw out the baby…and don’t throw out the bathwater.  Both represent life.

Two million people are dying annually due to lack of clean water.  Most are children.

So if you find yourself with extra water at the bottom of a hot pot, or an unneeded glass of water…don’t throw it out.  We can water our plants.  Or we can use it to scrub down the basin, clean the bathtub, scour the shower, or dampen a cloth when we’re wiping down the kitchen table.  Let’s not waste something that actually sustains other people’s lives.

The Pamela Positive: Courtesies Which Strike Deepest

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike the deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” – Henry Clay, 19th-century American statesman

Why “Yes And” Is Important for Improv…and Investing

Building Upwards

Charly Kleissner and his fellow collaborators at the Rockefeller Foundation have produced an excellent book on social impact investing: Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation.  It talks about one of the most important concepts in life: “the and.” In a magnificent way, it mirrors one of the most important principles in improv, which is “yes and.”

“Yes, And” On The Stage

When on the improv stage, a key principle is listening to and supporting your partner. You create a very strong sense of team.  You also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience. For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great antiques that date back to the fifties!” What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner. You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store, while adding a name and descriptive product about the store.

You’re building the scene together, adding color, life and meaning to it.

Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.” For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.” That is denying your partner on stage.   It invalidates their idea.  And you are not moving the story forward. You’ve essentially blocked them. 
Your story has now halted…and your partner does not  feel supported.
This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”  I think of this often for how we live life off the stage.  Am I building off of someone’s idea, and Building Upwards

“The And” of Investing

Charly Kleissner’s latest book has opened up a new paradigm for those involved in financial investing. Their core concept is that one can invest financially in a project which provides a financial return, and a social return. One shouldn’t have to make a choice.

And one doesn’t have to make a choice if you evaluate the project from financial, social, environmental and community aspects. Charly and his co-authors encourage investors to look not only at the core product but also the manufacturing processes, the supply chain, its employee practices, community presence, government structures, and impact on the industry. All of these factors can contribute to building a healthy company, strong community and a strong financial return. In fact, the authors of Solutions for Impact Investors call not doing this the “Tyranny of Or.”

Jim Collins’ “The Genius of And”

Jim Collins, author of Built to Last discourages companies from this “Tyranny of Or” by asking companies to follow “The Genius of And.” (page 14) He emphasizes the importance of short-term and long-term performance, of profit and, the pursuit of purpose beyond profit.

Solutions for Impact Investors then takes this to the next level by examining all the components which can make these investments work.  Investments that benefit not only one’s portfolio, but  also a sustainable environment, community, and corporation.


The Beauty of “Yes And”

So we go back to the beauty of “Yes And.”  Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leader of a team project at a company, mom, or a rugby captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another.   Be a part of Building Upwards… and add to the good already there.