Improvisation for Leaders

Using the Practices of Improvisational Theater for Leadership Effectiveness

In order to guide others, leaders must be able to be able to navigate effectively change themselves. Change is about pattern breaking. Today's business world requires leaders and entrepreneurs to be open to new ideas, have flexibility in thought and action, take risks, work within ambiguity and uncertainty and still confidently move forward – just like improvisers. Effective leaders and improvisers both have to make spur of the moment decisions, synthesize information, make others look good, see different perspectives, create and innovate, make relevant connections and serve the good of the whole.

Improv-based learning helps people break patterns in order to influence and respond in new ways. It helps people feel comfortable with using their own inventiveness, putting ideas out there, taking more risks and tolerating mistakes. Improv takes us out of our habitual interactions delivers us back into the moment where more possibilities open up. We let go of controls and the linear-only mindsets that otherwise inhibit our inner creative leadership ability. By doing the unconventional, we experience a insights and ideas we would not otherwise access.

Who should attend

Leaders, Executives, Managers, Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Changemakers, Directors, Project managers, Supervisors and anyone who has influence over a team, group or organization and/or over the development of new products, services and processes. No prior improv experience required.

What We Will Cover and Experience

This workshop will focus on two levels at the same time - you as a leader and you as a creative individual. In this workshop you will use the principles, practices and tools of improvisational theater to enhance your leadership performance and:

• Getting past the "inner critic"
• Risk taking – the paradox of making it safe to take risks
• Learning to tolerate "failure" and leverage mistakes productively
• Overcoming resistance; transforming blocks and barriers
• Generative thinking - going from either/or to  yes and thinking
• Quick and easy storytelling

Enhancing Leadership Competencies

Improvisational skills help enhance performance and awareness in core competencies such as:
Presence - being fully in the moment, listening, and paying attention
Thinking on Your feet - ability to respond confidently in the moment while under pressure
Real-time adapting - adapting strategy as new information and situations emerge
Inspiration - drawing forth the energy, passion, and assets in others
Discovery - new and surprising solutions to old and new situations
Resourcefulness - recognizing and using the unexpected as opportunity
Resilience –  bouncing back quickly after "failures" or dead ends
Impactfulness -  engaging risk taking and spontaneous behaviors from others
Influence  - getting buy-in and support for your initiatives
OURS thinking - fostering team thinking in terms of "Look what WE did!"
Taking action - apply techniques to improve systems, products and processes

This workshop is designed and delivered by Michelle James. For more information on using improv in organizations, visit our Quantum Leap Business Improv web page. We will create customized workshops, programs and training initiatives in-house or off-site for your organization. We also conduct Creative Facilitation train-the-trainer improv workshops.