A rich history rooted in improvisation – comedy and business.

In 1999, Bob Kulhan was a highly-regarded improv instructor at Chicago’s famed Second City and an improv performer at the Annoyance Theatre, as well as in the iO (Improv Olympic) Resident Company – Baby Wants Candy! It was that fall when serendipity slapped Bob in the kisser, and he seized the opportunity to co-create the first program in any business school in the entire world that focused solely on linking improvisation to business. Bob traveled down the path of behavioral sciences and real-world outcomes. Now more than 20 years later, The Workshop in Managerial Improvisation is still one of the highest rated MBA electives in the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.
As the first pioneers in the space of applying improvisation techniques to corporate training through the behavioral sciences, our history is rich. We blaze trails- from creating the world’s first credit-bearing improv course in a business school (Duke Fuqua, 2000) to creating the world’s first 100% virtual credit-bearing improv course in a business school (Notre Dame Mendoza, 2020). We have formal connections to 13 of the top 26 business schools in America and a half-dozen more top tier b-schools around the globe. Not to mention our list of blue-chip clients is even more impressive. From pharma to manufacturing to aerospace to consultancies to government agencies to small businesses and entrepreneurs, we’ve led leadership initiatives on six continents, in more than a dozen countries (even through 3rd-party interpreters).
Teaching leaders across the globe how to use Business Improv techniques for personal and professional development is our passion, and BI is a world-class leader in experiential programs.
Here are a few landmark moments… This is our story.

The 90s

Early 00s

2003 - 2005

2006 - 2012

2013 - 2017

2017 - 2019

2019 - Present

1991

The Beginning

Bob moves to Chicago

June 1993

Pause-prov

Bob graduates

1993 – 1994

From UIC to iO

Wait… what business degree?

1995 – 1996

Titans of Improv Comedy

Bob is taught by legends

Late Summer 1997

Baby Wants Candy

A Supergroup is born

August 1998

“Entertainment Phenomenon!”

People seem to like it

Fall 1999

A Collision of Improv and Business

Bob collaborates with Duke University

March 2002

The Start Of Something Incredible

Managerial Improvisation – 5 days, 2 credits

June 2000

Duke Professors

It’s all about engagement

January 2001

A Pioneering Path Forward

Let’s make this thing official

July 2001

Duke Exec Ed

Another world’s first

October 2001

Duke CE

“Quality Is Job One”

December 2001

First Client

“A Big Navy ‘BZ'” (and a huge honor)

2002

Professor Kulhan?

“Nope… this isn’t a joke.”

2003

UCLA Anderson

Our 2nd top-tier business school partner

July 2003

BI Down Under

Our 3rd continent

December 2003

Bing Faithful’s Holiday Special

“Comedy Gold”

October 2004

UCLA Exec Ed

Multi-day engagement programs

2004

First Core Faculty of The Second City

Rebuilding the SC curriculum from the ground up

2005

Ensemble of the Year Award

The highest honor

2005

Columbia B-School

Our 3rd top-tier business school partners

2006

Columbia Exec Ed

Continuing to grow our Exec Ed presence

2007

NCL Dawn

Making people laugh at sea

2008

Second City Mainstage

An honor, a privilege and a dream realized

2009 – 2016

Comedy Videos

Never stop creating

2010

1st Virtual Training Attempts

Boy, was “virtual training” different in 2010!

2011

Middle East Improv

Our 4th continent

2012

Distance Influence

“Can you hear me now?”

2013

The Leader’s Voice

Professor Kulhan, again?

2014

A team that can scale

1,500+ participants, 45 improvisers, 3 days.

2014

UF Warrington

Another world class MBA partner

2015

Wharton

Our 2nd Ivy League school

April 1, 2016

Gil Kaggis: “Business Expert”

Shakin’ up corporate events

2017

Getting to ‘Yes, And’

Business Improv publishes our first book

2017

Continents 4 & 5

São Paulo, Brazil

2017

Adapting is in BI’s DNA

Pilot season for our virtual solutions begins

2018

Montclair Improv

Improv vets in the burbs of NYC!

April 2018

1st Virtual Programs

Pioneering new solutions for a new era

April 2018

Vietnamese & Russian

How do you say “Yes, and…”?

2016

Continent #6 – BI Global

Africa

(psst — if you’re in Antarctica and want some improv, let us know!)

2017

Notre Dame Mendoza

The Fighting Irish of Business

2019

“Si, Y”

Una Experiencia Inolvidable

Fall 2019

Self-Paced & Personalized

Business Improv when, where & how you want

June 2020

Blended Learning

Upskill through virtual workouts

October 2020

Another First!

Developing tomorrow’s hybrid leaders… for credit!

December 2020

Virtual Conferences

Tech writers turned into master collaborators

January 2021

Multi-Level, Modularized Training

Improv for Air Traffic Controllers & Tech Ops

January 2021

Forbes Contributor

Focusing on virtual and hybrid leadership development

January 2022

23 Years at Duke Fuqua

Teaching tomorrow’s leaders how to create psychological safety today

At our core Business Improv is a master think tank and an innovation hothouse. Virtual, Online, Hybrid, In-Person, Blended…

Stay tuned to see what we’re rolling out next!