Academics, Admissions, Advancement, Consultation

Why we don’t say “no”

As a rule, Proof doesn’t say no. I don’t mean that we always agree to everything that is asked of us. We just don’t believe that “no” is a reasonable answer to most requests.

In some ways we have that luxury because of our platform, but that isn’t by mistake. We have chosen our platforms—and we have built our ethos—around the belief that there should be a high level option for schools that are more interested in having their actual problems solved than they are in a list of features that are accompanied by “no, you can’t do that” to everything that isn’t on that list.

I was reminded of how important this to who we are and what we mean to the people we work with after reading a note that Allie Brunhouse from The Pingry School sent me recently: “Never once did you say no, but rather, let’s talk and understand how we can make this work. And you always have.”

When you lead with “no” you lose the opportunity to understand what is being asked and to come up with a solution. Sometimes the solution is too complicated or too expensive or would take too much time, and it just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the perceived problem isn’t a problem at all when approached from a different direction. And sometimes the solution is a chance to do something really cool and valuable that will make a difference for the users. That is what Proof lives for.

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Steve is co-founder of The Proof Group with Ernest Koe and serves as the company Chairman and COO. He has over 16 years of experience on the operations, consulting, project management and service end of software development. Prior to that, Steve was an independent school teacher, coach and dorm parent.