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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.

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

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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

Think Slow to Move Fast with Bob Kulhan

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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!

Return on Investment

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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

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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.

SOME TESTIMONIALS:

“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.”
-Craig Brummel,
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.”
-Cindy Whitaker
Director, Business Products
Environmental Systems Corp