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Improvisation in Leadership Education: “Making Interactions with Others More Positive and Meaningful”

By Publications

The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education
April 2020
Volume 10, Issue 2

Improvisation is synonymous with unplanned performances. Paradoxically, successfully engaging in improvisation involves structured underlying techniques. These structured elements have transferable applications to leadership and organizational development. The purpose of this research project is to explore students’ experiences engaging in improvisation during a weeklong graduate course. We employed a basic interpretive qualitative approach to examine learners’ perceptions around the applications of improvisation tenets and strategies to their professional lives. Results from this study highlighted that the use of the improvisational tenet yes, and motivated participants moving beyond a personal agenda to promote collaboration. Improvisation also facilitated the assessment and mindful adjustment of energy to inspire authentic engagement with others to build trust. Additionally, learners embraced spontaneity to hone their ability to adapt and react in time to change.

Bob Kulhan Uses Improv to Help Businesses Soar to Success

By Videos

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 11.13.26 AMIn our interview, Bob explains his technique of, Yes, And, explained in his book, “Getting To YES And-The Art of Business Improv.” The phrase, Yes, and, is the cornerstone of improvisation. For example, in a sales conversation, rather than being satisfied with a No answer, or an objection to your presentation, simply respond with, Yes, And — what can we do to make our product work for you? Always keep the client engaged and let them tell you what they need and explain how you can fill that need.

Soar to Success: Bob Kulhan Uses Improv to Help Businesses Soar to Success

By Publications

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 10.58.24 AMHave you ever been in a business meeting or situation and found yourself thinking about what you were going to say next, instead of actively listening? Do those conversations end up building trust between you and the others? These scenarios cease to be a problem when you are trained in Business Improvisation®

Bob Kulhan has been helping business people understand and react more successfully for over 20 years, using his skills in improv.

He was a member of Chicago’s famed Second City acting group and has performed in the iO and Annoyance Theaters, as well as the PIT in New York City.

In our interview, Bob explains his technique of, Yes, And, explained in his book, “Getting To YES And-The Art of Business Improv.” The phrase, Yes, and, is the cornerstone of improvisation. For example, in a sales conversation, rather than being satisfied with a No answer, or an objection to your presentation, simply respond with, Yes, And — what can we do to make our product work for you? Always keep the client engaged and let them tell you what they need and explain how you can fill that need. Read More

Improv and the Surgeon: The Practical Side of the Woo-Woo Art Form (Part 5 of 5)

By Blog

William Tseng for BIBy Ali Davis

This is the final segment of improv teacher Ali Davis’s talk with Dr. William Tseng, an internationally recognized expert in liposarcoma surgery, on how the principles of improvisation apply to his work.

React to what’s there, not to what you expected to be there.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my talk with Tseng was when I explained the concept of steamrolling. That’s when an improviser, usually a newer one, walks onstage with an idea (Good!) and then can’t or won’t let go of it (Way less good!) when other players move the scene in a new direction. Steamrolling produces an unsatisfying scene for the other players, who are having their ideas shoved aside, as well as for the audience, who are stuck watching a scene that keeps getting jerked away from its natural flow. Read More

Improv and the Surgeon: The Practical Side of the Woo-Woo Art Form (Part 4 of 5)

By Blog

William Tseng for BIBy Ali Davis

Ali Davis continues her talk with Dr. William Tseng, an internationally recognized expert in liposarcoma surgery, on how the principles of improvisation apply to his work.

Listen actively.

Maybe 90% of improv is learning to listen intensely and with focus – something the average person is less good at than they think. I spend a good chunk of my classes having people go through simple exercises such as paraphrasing what the other person just said to help train them to really focus on the other person. The benefits are huge: When the other person can tell that you’re putting effort into understanding them, they feel heard and acknowledged. They know that you’re approaching whatever the situation is in good faith. Read More

Improv and the Surgeon: The Practical Side of the Woo-Woo Art Form (Part 3 of 5)

By Blog

William Tseng for BIBy Ali Davis

Welcome to Day 3 of Ali Davis’s talk with Dr. William Tseng, an internationally recognized expert in liposarcoma surgery, on how the principles of improvisation apply to his work.

Find times when you can flatten the hierarchy.

There’s one important way that a surgical team is much more like a business unit than an improv group. (OK, there are several ways, but one that’s relevant here.) An improv group has a deliberately flat structure, so any player can jump in and do anything. Surgical teams have a rigid hierarchy, with an expert attending surgeon like Tseng at the top. That’s crucial during an operation, when Tseng has to know that his commands will be followed immediately. Read More

Improv and the Surgeon: The Practical Side of the Woo-Woo Art Form (Part 2 of 5)

By Blog

William Tseng for BIBy Ali Davis

 Ali Davis continues her talk with Dr. William Tseng, an internationally recognized expert in liposarcoma surgery, on how the principles of improvisation apply to his work.

Check in with your team.

If you watched that behind-the-theater warm-up session I mentioned in the previous section, you would eventually notice something: Everyone on the team is sure to make real eye contact with everyone else, and everyone on the team finds a way to interact with everyone else. And if you put your ear to the green room door one minute before an improv show, you have a 98.5% chance of hearing people muttering “got your back” over and over as they move around the room and give each other a quick tap on the shoulder. That’s the sound of people preparing for group work, in part by taking the basic step of making sure that everyone on the team is OK and on the same page. Everyone confirms that they’ll do their best to take care of everyone else. Read More

Improv and the Surgeon: The Practical Side of the Woo-Woo Art Form (Part 1 of 5)

By Blog

William Tseng for BIBy Ali Davis

If you are a professional in the United States, it’s possible that I have frightened you with improv.

I teach workshops with Business Improv®, and part of my job is to push people outside their comfort zones in order to help them generate better ideas and communicate well with their entire teams. Part of the fun of the classes is watching the students have “Oh!” moments one by one. While no method resonates with everybody, every student walks away with some useful insight or technique that they can apply to their work. Read More

Energy Manipulation and How to Influence People with Bob Kulhan (Episode 083)

By Videos

SHIPS: The Vessels for A Meaningful Life
Energy Manipulation and How to Influence People with Bob Kulhan (Episode 083) hosted by Pat McAndrew

Bob Kulhan, CEO and Founder of Business Improv, returns to the SHIPS podcast in episode 083 to talk about Energy Manipulation. This is a great episode for anyone looking for ways to consistently bring their best selves forward. We discuss what energy manipulation is, that energy is a choice, and how crucially important it is to be focused and present when talking to large groups or to an individual. Bob reveals to us that our energy, and what we bring into the room, has a huge impact on those around us.

Think Slow to Move Fast with Bob Kulhan

By Blog

In a world that rotates at 1000mph, sometimes we feel the need to think equally as fast! However, this can often cause stressful and unproductive situations. Bob Kulhan has spent the last two decades linking improvisation to business through the behavioral sciences. Bob is an elite improv actor as well as an Adjunct Professor at The Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Columbia University Business School. He also is the Founder and CEO of Business Improv®. Based out of Chicago, LA & New York City, BI is a world-class leader in developing experiential learning programs for businesses. I’m delighted to welcome Bob back on to the show, as he discusses the art of Thinking Slow to Move Fast. For those of you who want to be more productive and less rushed, this is a show not to be missed!

Think Slow to Move Fast with Bob Kulhan hosted by Chris Cooper

By Videos
In a world that rotates at 1000mph, sometimes we feel the need to think equally as fast! However, this can often cause stressful and unproductive situations. Bob Kulhan has spent the last two decades linking improvisation to business through the behavioral sciences. Bob is an elite improv actor as well as an Adjunct Professor at The Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Columbia University Business School. He also is the Founder and CEO of Business Improv®. Based out of Chicago, LA & New York City, BI is a world-class leader in devel-oping experiential learning programs for businesses. I’m delighted to welcome Bob back on to the show, as he discusses the art of Thinking Slow to Move Fast. For those of you who want to be more productive and less rushed, this is a show not to be missed!

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WSJ – What Startups Can Learn from Improv Comedy

By Publications

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 2.28.03 PMThinking on your feet. Keeping an audience engaged. Forging employees into a team.

They’re all crucial skills for entrepreneurs. And that is why many founders are turning to improv comedy for help running their business. They believe that the core ideas of improv comedy—riffing spontaneously on novel situations and interactions with other performers—can help spark creativity, collaboration and trust among startup employees.

Return on Investment

By Blog, Videos

Watch this video to understand how Business Improv uses the behavioral sciences to understand how and why we make the decisions we do in real time and use improvisation for real world outcomes.

Perspective vs Agenda

By Blog, Videos

There is a huge difference between individual perspective and agenda. Watch the video to learn how improvisation can help your team share their individual perspectives while working as a team to achieve the common agenda.

Distance Communication

By Blog, Videos

Watch Business Improv CEO Bob Kulhan share how improvisation techniques can help you communicate and influence each other, especially when your team spans distances.

Behavioral Psychology Models

By Blog, Videos

Watch our own Bob Kulhan explain how Martin Seligman’s Learned Helplessness model links to organizational behavior and how/why the tenets of improvisation should be used in business.

Getting to Yes And

By Blog, Videos

What does it mean to be an Improvisational Leader? Watch our own Bob Kulhan explain this concept and how being an “Improvisational Leader” can help you become a better leader.

Business Improv

By Blog, Videos

Our very own Bob Kulhan explains how creating a culture of acceptance can help create a clear path to key objectives in business and life.

Contagious Energy

By Blog, Videos

Your energy, attitude, and presence are CONTAGIOUS. Watch our very own Bob Kulhan explain this and how you can help affect the energy and attitude of those around you.

Energy and Attitude

By Blog, Videos

Attitude are CHOICES. Learn how we can help you manipulate your energy at key moments in time in order to help improve how people perceive you, i.e, your Brand.

Improv Communication

By Blog, Videos

What are your barriers to creativity, collaboration, communication and change? Learn how Business Improv can help you chip away at those blocks and barriers.

Applying Yes And

By Blog, Videos

The concept of ‘Yes, And…’ is basically an ideation/collaboration tool. Watch our very own Bob Kulhan tell you more and how it can help you and your business.

Yes And

By Blog, Videos

Our very own Bob Kulhan helps explain the concept of “Yes, And” and how this simple listening skill can help you become a better leader.

What’s Improvisation

By Blog, Videos

What do you think of when you hear the word “Improv”? Got it? Now, watch this video to see how we define ‘improv’ and how improv skills can help you in the workplace.

GETTING TO “YES, AND” tops the Forbes.com best books list!

By Blog

forbes#2 Best Business Book of 2017
… “makes for a colorful and insightful read into the dynamics of improving workforce resiliency.”
Gibbons, Kelly
November 28, 2017

One of the Top 17 Creative Leadership Book Picks for 2017
“Kulhan’s lively guide to developing listening, focus, energy, engagement, adaptation, and decision-making skills provides leaders fresh ways to drive positive change in today’s fast-paced workplace.”
Slocum, David
January 25, 2017

How to Prepare and Give a Speech that People Will Remember with Bob Kulhan | Ep 25

By Blog
Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 11.57.01 AMWhen you know your work, and your craft, share it with everyone. Let other people know about you and what you do.

In this episode, Bob Kulhan shares how to prepare and give a speech that people will remember.

Bob is the Founder, President and CEO of Business Improv, a world-class leader in creating experiential training and development programs for corporations of all scopes and sizes.

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Twelve-Minute Convos With Bob Kulhan

By Blog
Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 12.03.23 PMBob Kulhan is President, CEO, and Founder of Business Improv, an innovative consultancy that specializes in experiential learning and serves an international roster of blue-chip firms. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School.

A performer with over 20 years of stage credits, he has trained with a long list of legendary talents, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. An actor and former core faculty member in Chicago’s famed Second City and a member of the former resident company at the iO Theater,
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Office Hours with Jeff DeGraff – Bob Kulhan

By Blog

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 12.47.31 PMOffice Hours with Jeff DeGraff is a video series where the Dean of Innovation interviews thought leaders on the broad subject of innovation. These thought leaders come from various background but all share insight from their personal and professional experience that can be adapted to foster innovation either in a business setting or in your personal lives.

In this episode, Jeff interviews Bob Kulhan, founder of Business Improv. Together, they discuss how improv can have huge benefits on everyday life, and how it helps spark creativity.


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Thriving Launch Podcast: Improv Techniques For Business with Bob Kulhan

By Blog

Utilizing improv techniques for business can help improve creativity, collaboration, and innovation. On today’s episode, we are here with Bob Kulhan. He’s an author, and he helps business thrive through the process of improv. He also talks about the cornerstone of improv and how it lets you connect and engage with people, which results in positive relationships and positive outcomes. Remember, Improvisation is a great tool for business people to use for a variety of different means. Read More

Fidelity Labs: How improvisation techniques can help with business

By Blog

Author, professor and actor Bob Kulhan recently visited Fidelity Investments to lead an improvisation workshop as part of the Fidelity Labs Design Thinking Seminar Series. Bob is the founder, CEO and president of Business Improv, a corporate training and development company that helps cultivate leadership and communication skills through techniques used in improvisational acting.
Bob has written a new book, “Getting to ‘Yes And’ The Art of Business Improv,” and I had the pleasure to sit down with him to talk more about what “yes and” means and how it can be applied to business.

Bob, thanks so much for talking with me today. When most people hear “improv,” they have images come to their mind of sketch comedy or that TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” or perhaps even jazz music. What does that have anything to do with the business world?

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Improvisational Leadership: Use Improv to Avoid Leadership Pitfalls

By Blog
Most of us aspire to be great leaders—passionate, inspiring, thoughtful and productive. But we all know people in the business world who do a terrible job in leadership positions: awful bosses, disengaged department heads, ineffective team managers, and otherwise bad bigwigs in nice offices who make the work environment an unpleasant one.
So if we all have the potential to be great leaders, where do some go wrong? Perhaps some leaders have developed bad habits; some lack an understanding of what it takes to be a good leader; and some feel they’re leading well simply because they’re focused on their intention to lead, not the results of their leadership. I specialize in bringing improvisational skills to the workplace, and one of the key elements of improvisational thinking is the ‘self-audit’—the ability to be aware in real time of how you’re doing your job and how your actions and leadership style are impacting those around you.
A regular self-audit can keep you from slipping into one or more of the following leadership categories. If you find that some of your language, actions or habits are on this list, don’t worry—some simple improvisational techniques can help you fix them.

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Collaboration—and Improv—Help Fuqua Team Win Energy Case Contest

By Publications

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 3.04.46 PMCollaboration, as many MBA students quickly learn, is key in a business environment. For four Duke University Fuqua School of Business students, that collaborative effort fostered an important victory on the road to a potentially fruitful career.

Paige Swofford, Liz Arnason and Mike DeNoia, Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and MBA dual majors, alongside Daytime MBA student Yochai Ben Haim—all first-years at Fuqua—nabbed first place at last month’s Challenges in Energy Case Competition held at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Teamwork was essential to their victory, but their collaborative bond had formed long before the group entered the competition. Read More

Adapting an Improvisational Mindset

By Blog, Publications

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.

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An Improviser’s Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

By Blog

shutterstock_341994758
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.

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How Improv Can Help Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Win the Debate

By Blog, Publications

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….

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9 surprisingly effective job interview exercises from improv coaches

By Publications

9 surprisingly effective job interview exercises from improv coaches
The tools of the comedy trade can help you rise to the top of the talent pool.
by Dominique Rodgers, Monster contributor

A successful job interview requires confidence, thinking on your feet and quickly finding the right words to impress your audience—the same qualities that improv comedy performers need to demonstrate on stage.

And the very exercises they use to prepare can also help you make a great impression. Improv exercises can “allow the interviewee to really make a connection with the interviewer and make the interviewer feel like the interviewee really grasps onto any information that is shared,” says Rebecca Stuard, creative director of Improvolution in the New York City area…

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Why Top Companies and MBA Programs are Teaching Improv

By Publications

EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS AT DUKE, MIT, UCLA, AND STANFORD HAVE REALIZED THAT LEADERS NEED TRAINING IN HOW TO FAIL.

It’s the standard business school storyline: A manager decides to get an executive MBA degree and starts classes with a bit of a chip on her shoulder.
“You may have reached that point in your career where you’re middle management, you’ve done many things right, you’ve had some failures that you’ve learned from, [and] you could be molded into thinking you’ve figured some things out,” says Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, a nonprofit association that works with more than 200 universities and colleges that offer executive MBA programs.

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Using Improv to Improve New Business

By Blog, Publications

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!).

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5 Methods for Getting to the Heart of the Empathetic Leader – by Bob Kulhan

By Publications

Which is more important as a leader: the head, the wallet or the heart? Trick question: all three.

Oddly, many leaders view their success in terms of personal financial growth, status and increased company profitability. In doing so, many struggle with or ignore how to connect, engage and show empathy to the people they lead.

If the old adage “People don’t quit jobs, they quit people” is true, then there are huge benefits in leading a company where employees feel cared for, respected and understood. So, given our overall workplace culture, where taking the time to connect personally is seen as a distraction from getting business done, how can you add more empathy to your leadership style without sacrificing productivity?

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The 5 Secrets of a Presentational Ninja – by Bob Kulhan

By Publications

Even with great products, wonderful news, and groundbreaking announcements, one thing still determines if the presentation is a success or failure: the presenter.

A great presentation can change the path of your career, steer your company to untold success, and ignite people’s interest in your product or service. But even with great products, wonderful news, and groundbreaking announcements, one thing still determines if the presentation is a success or failure: the presenter.

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How Improv Rocks This Learning

By Blog, Publications

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.

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No Laughing Matter…How Improv Improves Business.

By Publications

Robin Williams will always be remembered as the improvisational genius that was forever present in the moment, and the only thing faster than his mouth was his mind. His speed and focus allowed him to feel the audience and change direction on the fly. Although Mr. Williams made improv look like riding a bike, very few people can upstage him or would even try. But was his skill innate or learned, and what can we, as business executives, study from his ability and apply to the business world?

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Getting to “Yes, And” How improv comedy skills became a must-have for entrepreneurs. By Seth Stevenson

By Publications

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.

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How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning in the Classroom and Beyond – By Linda Flanagan

By Blog, Publications

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.

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The Introvert Entrepreneur – “Yes, And” and Beyond: A Conversation with Improv Pioneer Bob Kulhan

By Blog, Videos

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.


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Eight Keys to Better Brainstorming

By Publications

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, but any company (no matter how hard working) can be left behind when it doesn’t problem solve quickly and creatively. 

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Yes, And.. Improv Techniques To Make You A Better Boss – By Lindsay Lavine

By Publications

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.

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10 Ways to Create An Improvisational Workplace – By Bob Kulhan

By Publications

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.

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Why “Yes, and…” Might Be the Most Valuable Phrase in Business. By Bob Kulhan

By Publications

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.

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Lessons from Disney on succeeding in changing times – By Robert Kulhan

By Publications

Disney is set to unveil its fourth cruise ship at the end of this month: the Disney Fantasy. It comes at an uncertain time for the cruising industry. Little did Disney executives know at the time when they began implementing the operation that many consumers would become skeptical about a sea-worthy vacation in the wake of the Costa Concordia capsizing in Italy earlier this year. Recent reports that 22 Carnival Cruise Lines passengers were robbed while on an excursion to the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta has only contributed to further skepticism.

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Best Business Schools 2014: Duke Tops Full-Time MBA List, Harvard Slips

By Blog

Business Improv is super excited for our great friends at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business for their outstanding achievement of claiming the coveted “Top Business School in America!” The Duke Fuqua School is such a phenomenal establishment and produces some of the very best MBAs, who are truly prepared for the workforce when they leave. We’re so proud to be able to partner with the #1 Business School in the country! Duke Fuqua was where Business Improv all began and through their great partnership, we were able to launch the world’s very first credit bearing improvisation business class; a class that will be in it’s 16th iteration this coming January. Once again, congratulations!

In addition to that exciting news, we are also thrilled to announce that our other fantastic University partners, Columbia Business School and the UCLA Anderson School of Management, were ranked #5 and #11 in the country, respectively! What an incredible honor to partner with three of the top eleven business schools in the country!

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Eight Keys to Better Brainstorming

By Blog

Business Improv is thrilled to welcome you to our blog! We’ve been hard at work coming up with a lot of great content to share with you, whether it be through posting newly released articles, showing you our latest video, or just sharing our thoughts on improv’s role in business and beyond. We’ll be posting regularly, so check back often!

To kick things off, we’ll start by asking a simple question: Is your team brainstorming for new ideas at its highest potential? 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!

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BOB KULHAN: IMPROV 101 (THE “YES, AND…” PRINCIPLE)

By Videos

We’re often at a disadvantage when it comes to problem-solving because we think too fast, and our analytic brains shut off new ideas before they have even emerged. Improvisation, on the other hand, creates “a set of experiences that allow you to fine-tune and hone all of the necessary skills needed to think on your feet and simply react and adapt.” So says Bob Kulhan who has been studying, performing and teaching improv comedy for nearly two decades.

The Best Leaders Give Up the Reins

By Videos

unknownIn order to view this fantastic interview, you’ll be asked to take a moment and create a free account with our great colleagues at Leadercast. With this account, you’ll be able to instantly receive Leadercast’s current special report, and get access to wonderful content, for free, each month.

NPR – ALL SIDES WITH ANN FISHER : IMPROV: IT’S NOT JUST FOR COMEDIANS

By Videos

Composer Franz Liszt was a great improviser, so were Mike Nichols and Elaine May, but improv is a skill that can benefit anyone– teachers, CEOs, even radio hosts. Paul Simon once said, “Improvisation is too good to leave to chance,” so this hour we’ll talk about what it takes to go unscripted and how the words “yes and” can change your life.

NPR – EVERYONE’S A COMEDIAN? NOT AT IMPROV SCHOOL

By Publications, Videos

Improvisational theater isn’t just for aspiring comedians and performers anymore. Improv classes and workshops are popping up in Seattle, Portland, Boise, Spokane and Eugene. Companies and business schools are taking notice. Reporter Julia Flucht is in one of these classes and reports on how the improv mindset can produce creative results beyond the stage. View whole story here.


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Have you heard the one about … By Christopher Mason

By Publications

EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS AT DUKE, MIT, UCLA, AND STANFORD HAVE REALIZED THAT LEADERS NEED TRAINING IN HOW TO FAIL.

Does the secret to success in the corporate world lie on the stages of theatres and comedy clubs, rather than at the boardroom table? An increasing number of people in business education circles seem to think so.

The likes of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Columbia Business School have offered business students teachings on improvisation and its application to the world of business.

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