A few years ago, for complex reasons, I attended the orientation week for Columbia Business School students. The week involved team-building exercises that forced us to solve problems together. It included a module on ethics, in which we were asked to respond to hypothetical dilemmas. There was, of course, a near-lethal amount of alcohol consumption. And, one morning, as we gathered (quite hung over) in the auditorium, we did improv.read more
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.
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
Check out this article, written for Training Industry Magazine by our very own Bob Kulhan, for some fresh new tips on leading a better brainstorm!
Every business has to overcome countless obstacles on its way to success. Hard work can carry you a long way, butany company (no matter how hard working) can be left behind when it doesn’t problem solve quickly and creatively.read more
Many of our favorite comedians launched their careers in Improv, but it’s also a tool for leaders to communicate more effectively with their employees. And, no, it’s not about comedy or trust falls.
Charna Halpern, co-founder of iO (formerly ImprovOlympic), a Chicago and Los Angeles-based theater and training center that launched the careers of comedians like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mike Myers, says business leaders can benefit from incorporating improvisation techniques into their leadership style. Halpern says iO emphasizes a high-level communication and collaboration.read more
Ever thought you had the perfect joke, shared it with a colleague, and it fell flat? Or worse — offended someone? We spoke with several professional comedians who shared their best tips to let your natural humor shine through in the workplace, without the funny business.read more
Clients often come to me looking for ways to make their company more creative and innovative and their employees more communicative and assertive. Instead of focusing on nebulous buzzwords like “creativity” or “leadership,” I encourage them to start from a foundational level and work towards building a more improvisational culture in their workplace. This can be achieved with a handful of actionable steps.read more
We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.read more
Improvisation, or “improv,” isn’t just for laughs. As is turns out, hidden beneath the sketches seen on popular shows like Saturday Night Live or Chicago’s famous Second City are skills leaders and business executives could use, especially in today’s frenetic business environment.read more
London, England (CNN) — In a business world that’s more uncertain than ever it pays to be able to think on your feet. That’s why some business schools are using improvisation classes to teach skills such as creativity and leadership.read more
Robert Kulhan is an instructor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. But Kulhan doesn’t require students to immerse themselves in case studies or wade into arcane academic articles. Rather, he asks them to dive into the world of improv to improve their communications skills and teamwork.read more
“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