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Playing to play – on and off the sports field

Playing to play - on and off the sports field One of my favourite tenets of Applied Improvisation (AI) is 'Play to Play'. It reminds us that most people play most games to win - which, to be fair, is inherent in the nature of many games. Take for example the Cricket...

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Big idea from Harvard – Excellent!

Big idea from Harvard – Excellent! ‘Excellence is not the opposite of failure… Excellence is idiosyncratic and cannot be learned by studying failure… ‘ At last! It’s what they call your ‘HBR Moment’. That’s when your big idea gets recognised in an article in the...

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Eight secrets for applying improvisation in life and at work

Eight secrets for applying improvisation in life and at work 'I’ve been learning to improvise, and I love it. I’d like to know more about what’s beyond the stage - this idea of applying improv in life and at work.' Great, that’s what we call Applied Improvisation,...

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Hopes and fears? Don’t invite fears into the room!

Hopes and fears? Don't invite fears into the room! A lot of training sessions, courses, even conferences begin by asking their participants to consider their hopes and fears. It's a good idea to hear what people want (their hopes), and better to have those expressed...

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Lubricate your presentations with collaborative humour

Lubricate your presentations with collaborative humour When people don’t laugh at my jokes – and by people in this context I mostly mean my children – I don’t get offended. I remind myself that I was a comedy professional. Yes, the BBC employed me for five years, and...

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Your stories are never neutral

Your stories are never neutral I was listening to the provocative BBC radio series, The Tyranny of Story, which prompted a few thoughts. One suggestion is that a story is never neutral. Any story that you hear, and for that matter any story that you tell, is pushing...

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How the CNN Effect is killing grandma

How the CNN Effect is killing grandma They call it the 'CNN Effect’. When a cyclone or hurricane hits the seaside town, the pictures are spectacular. You have a heady mix of devastation, offset by a heart-warming and equally compelling spectacle of a family rescued by...

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Three Ways to Let Go

Three Ways to Let Go The first of the LIFEPASS principles is ‘Let go’. Easy to say, sounds OK, but what does it mean? Here are three intended interpretations. Let go of the plan – especially when it is apparent that the plan is no longer serving you. If you are...

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Federer, Kasparov and Perfectionism

Federer, Kasparov and Perfectionism If you feel caught in a trap of perfectionism, consider this: the very best champions of all-time are not perfect and never could be. Gary Kasparov, the most dominant world champion of chess sometimes won and sometimes lost. He won...

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My Powerpoint’s not working – quelle surprise!

My Powerpoint's not working - quelle surprise! In many organisations, there are excellent people who give ordinary presentations. That is a terrible waste of potential. Often they are doing silly things that can easily be fixed. For example, at a recent conference, I...

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How many words does a picture prompt?

How many words does a picture prompt? I've seen this technique used recently a few times to stimulate participants' thinking on the topic of the day. The facilitator shows an interesting picture - on a screen or printed out - and asks the audience to express their...

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