Advantage Improv cofounders Bob Doll and Lee Godden met while performing improvisational comedy on stage. They had two other things in common: careers as successful business leaders (Bob in finance and Lee in sales), and strong backgrounds as corporate educators.
With an improv-for-business mindset, Bob and Lee presented at two TEDx events. They soon cofounded Advantage Improv. Their goal: to teach forward-thinking organizations and teams how to boost creativity, effectiveness and profits by leveraging proven improvisational techniques.
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The essence of improv is the technique of saying, “Yes, and.”
“Yes, and,” means to accept and advance the conversation.
Most comedians or salespeople will memorize everything. The trick is, and with the help of improv, to be in the moment to what is actually going on in front of you.
Try this exercise with another person. Turn to the other person and start by planning what you want to do this weekend if you could do anything with an unlimited budget. Go one by one and only say “yes, and” after the person is done speaking.
When an entire team is using this, creativity and collaboration improves. Think of what a sports team is like when they are all on the same page. Another way to look at it is that you have probably heard the saying “a band is only as strong as the weakest member.”
While we talk about this as “improv,” you could also use the words “mental agility techniques.”
What makes improv special is that it isn’t a normal based on be better than someone else. The goal is to make the other person look good.
People in improv will often say “I got your back” to the person next to them. That is because they truly believe that it is the job of a group doing improv to make other people look good and know that other people want to make you look good as well.
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