For years, Business Improv’s innovative corporate training programs have helped professionals improve their communication, leadership, management, and team building skills. To learn more about our training, the positive effect our classes have had on our graduates, and how we can help your organization, we invite you to read the articles below.
by Patty Gaul
Achieve better business results by communicating differently.
With the increasing discussion around innovation, and the need to do business differently, many organizations are turning their usual way of operating on its head.
Many are working to instill a culture where risks are welcome, making small changes in process that can lead to new solutions, and asking questions to spur new thinking. One method that can support these changes and which is gaining ground is that of using improvisation.
Bob Kulhan is—along with Chuck Crisafulli—author of the soon-to-be-released Getting to “Yes and”: The Art of Business Improv. Kulhan is president, CEO, and founder of Business Improv, which creates executive education programs for top business schools in the United States and abroad, as well as leadership development and experiential learning programs for corporations, including many Fortune 500 companies. Among the organizations that have pursued Business Improv are Google, the Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Naval Academy, the United Nations, and Hilton Hotels.read more
The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! The government has collapsed. Communication is down. Chaos is the new order. What do you do? Who do you team up with? How do you survive? On Sunday, October 23, the premier of Season 7 of The Walking Dead (TWD) will air. What follows is a memorandum on how to embrace change and thrive in the unexpected, told through the lens of an improviser.
Before we begin, let’s acknowledge that most of us already live in a world based in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity), at least in one form or another. It is also important to remember that in times of Crisis, Risk, Stress and Uncertainty, we fall back on our most overlearned behaviors. They are part of our muscle memory, and we rely on them. Because of that, we must remember to deliberately develop and strengthen a skill set that we can fall back on in turbulent times. Improvisation will be key to surviving a zombie apocalypse.read more
Bob Kulhan is Founder and CEO of Business Improv and author of Getting to “Yes, And”: The Art of Business Improv”, out in January
They should apply the ‘yes, and…’ technique
If the primaries taught us anything, it’s that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should fully embrace the tenets of improv heading into their first presidential debate Monday night. This is tricky because American politics are as pre-packaged as a can of pork and beans. But once we get past the over-rehearsed lines that presidential candidates regularly regurgitate, we’ll have a real opportunity to see them “go off script” with a reactive and adaptive style of communication known as improvisation….read more
Made famous by sketch shows like “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and UCB comedians, improvisation has become a much-loved form of comedic entertainment. But what happens when improvisation takes a less likely route and is applied to business practices? After an evening at Access Confidential’s “Business Improv to Improve New Business” workshop, it turns out there are more than a few lessons that can be borrowed from improv to enhance interactions with coworkers and clients.
Below are key takeaways from the interactive, high-energy event, hosted by Business Improv CEO and Co-Founder Bob Kulhan. (P.S. Kulhan, pictured at top, was trained by Tina Fey, so you know he’s good!).read more
Going off the cuff helps learning and performance. Take it from Ben Folds, jazz musicians in an MRI machine and an improv company’s founder.
Orchestra. Although he didn’t play “Kate” — a personal favorite for obvious reasons — he did deliver on the one thing every audience member expected and waited patiently for: his improvised song of the night that always has the same title but never sounds the same twice.read more
Long before Amy Poehler became famous for her comic roles as Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live,” and as indefatigable bureaucrat Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” she was a college freshman looking for something to do outside class. During her first week on campus, she auditioned for the school’s improvisational theater group, “My Mother’s Fleabag,” and discovered a passion. “Everyone was getting to act and be funny and write and direct and edit all at the same time,” she writes in her memoir, Yes, Please. “My college life sort of exploded in happiness,” she adds.read more
Stand up in front of a group. No script. No prep. No rules. This is improv… in a way. It’s not quite as scary as that, even though that set-up is likely to send many an introvert running in the opposite direction. And in fact, what looks like a completely spontaneous improv situation actually DOES have rules, and there are ways to prepare yourself. Sure, there’s no script, but life doesn’t have a script, so who needs one? View whole story here.
“Focusing on adaptation to change, stress management and teaming, your improv team was able to bring these lessons to life. The “on your feet” approach combined with a high level of participation involvement made for a most enjoyable learning environment. Our team went away revived and refreshed and they learned tools to help them better deal with change on a personal and project level.”
Director, ERP Programs,
University of Notre Dame
“The overt problem: Naming a new software product that will consume half of our company’s resources over the next two years. A big investment, and worthy of considerable thought to communicate the quality and usefulness of this product!
The underlying problem: Getting nine directors of the company to all agree on this name! Enter the recent student of Bob Kulhan’s Business Improvisations class with a raft of new/old ideas. You’ve heard of brainstorming, thinking outside the box, and making new associations, but the practical application of those techniques, in a vibrant, exercise oriented, on-your-feet class brought it all to new heights for me! I took it all home and ran that “Name-Brain” meeting with aplomb… and the results were phenomenal!We actually named the product, with 100% participation, building on each other’s ideas, and total buy in. (Now if we can just Trade-Mark it!) And the level of excitement within the company at having that unified choice is terrific.”
Director, Business Products
Environmental Systems Corp