What is Applied Improvisation?
Applied improvisation uses the principles, tools, practices, skills and mind-sets developed in comedy, jazz and theatre and utilises them for non-theatrical or performance purposes.
Practitioners of applied improvisation facilitate workshops, for individuals or organisations, introducing them to these principles, tools etc. via solo, paired or group exercises, activities and games.
Key benefits of improvisation training for your people include:
- Improving their ability to perceive and engage with a situation as it actually unfolds rather than as they had planned.
- Developing self confidence to respond creatively rather than reactively to risk.
- Enabling them to create conversations which engender inclusiveness and exploration rather than enforcing stuck positions.
Improvisational abilities are recognised as increasingly crucial for managers and leaders in complex organisations. With Paul Jackson a co-founder and president of the Applied Improvisation Network – PJA is at the forefront of introducing improvisation ideas and skills to address areas such as leadership, change management, professional development, presentation skills and creativity.
Why your business should adopt an Applied Improvisation Approach
Among the applications professionals and organisations have found important are:
- Developing agile and adaptive leadership skills
- Enhancing performance in fast-changing circumstances
- Accessing and expressing emotions when and where you need them
- Increasing confidence in the ability to succeed under pressure
- Increasing presence (posture, gestures and voice) – to make an impact on the platform, in meetings and in informal dialogues
- Providing the tools with which to collaborate, co-operate and contribute in teams of any size
Improvisation is fast becoming a vital topic at leading business schools as well as in many top organisations. Schools of management at Ashridge, Cranfield, the OU, MIT, Duke and Stanford all have improvisation courses. They recognise that Applied Improvisation offers business students an incisive and direct way to deal with rapid change in organisations, respond with greater creativity and collaborate more effectively. It’s making an impact on their leadership skills, their understanding of teamwork and their ability to make practical sense of complexity.