If you are stuck with a problem or want to generate new ideas for a project, here’s a great activity to prompt fresh thinking. It’s also a handy way to banish writers’ block. Here’s what I wrote in a recent workshop, led by Trevor Day for the AMED Writers Group. Trevor provided a selection of objects for us on a table.
How many of us have been part of a bad brainstorm? But what if it’s not about the group but about how ‘bursty’ it is? And how can improvisation create burstiness? Creativity comes in bursts. Well, that’s according to the Adam Grant podcast ‘WorkLife’, in which he visited Trevor Noah and ‘The Daily Show’…
There may be some good arguments for celebrating mistakes, but the fact that they lead on occasion to good outcomes is not one of them.
The occasional good dictator is not an argument against democracy, and doesn’t mean we should start celebrating military coups because now and again we’ll be blessed with another good dictator.
Much of what happens in work, either day to day or over the length of your working life, is unpredictable. It is subject to emergence – what happens as it happens, in a space of uncertainty. There is little value in pretending you know what the result will be when you don’t. An improvisational attitude invites you to trade the illusion of control for the reality of influence.
Layering is the idea of having more than one thing going on at one time in a meeting, workshop or conference. For example, displaying posters on the wall is an example of a layer beyond people simply talking to each other. Each extra layer added to a meeting, workshop or conference also provides an opportunity for the layers to be combined in new activities.
We are seeing a lot more articles about the use of improvisation in organisations. Much of the action is on the West Coast of the USA, especially centred on Silicon Valley. Although we are seeing more applied improvisation coming from the UK.