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How Improv Can Help Your Relationships (and Life)

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by Bob Kulhan for NBC News

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 5.16.16 PMWhat if I told you I had the key to repairing dysfunctional or broken relationships and it is — wait for it — improv?

Yes, improv, an American art form known for its comedic value, can help reunite people who may have wounded each other with words. One of the biggest challenges we face, in politics and personal relationships, is talking to each other collaboratively and moving the conversation forward when we find ourselves in disagreement.

As a communication-based art form, improvisation offers a roadmap for successfully navigating emotionally charged conversations. It can even help to defuse conflict so that we can arrive at a productive solution that respects and represents all people. Read More

Adaptive Leadership Through Improvisation

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by Bob Kulhan for

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 3.08.14 PMDespite the best-designed plans and the most thought-out strategies, business is sweat-drenched in unpredictability. Uncontrollable forces collide the moment that strategy meets execution. It is at this pivotal point that the skills needed for successful improvisation – reacting, adapting, and communicating – are paramount and must be employed.

Improv techniques are not confined to a single intersection, however. The skills of targeted thinking, rapid decision-making and adaptive problem solving that improvisation naturally enhances can effortlessly be used in countless day-to-day activities: cultivating creativity (in self and others), grappling with shifting demands, overpowering analysis paralysis, streamlining redundant meetings, managing conflict, handling crisis, encouraging nimbleness and flexibility, curating a collaborative culture, and igniting intrinsic motivation in others. Read More

Collaboration—and Improv—Help Fuqua Team Win Energy Case Contest

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Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 3.04.46 PMCollaboration, as many MBA students quickly learn, is key in a business environment. For four Duke University Fuqua School of Business students, that collaborative effort fostered an important victory on the road to a potentially fruitful career.

Paige Swofford, Liz Arnason and Mike DeNoia, Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and MBA dual majors, alongside Daytime MBA student Yochai Ben Haim—all first-years at Fuqua—nabbed first place at last month’s Challenges in Energy Case Competition held at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Teamwork was essential to their victory, but their collaborative bond had formed long before the group entered the competition. Read More

The Art Of Improvisation And Business Communication

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Bob Kulhan And The Evolution Of Business Improv

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 1.09.12 PMBob Kulhan, author, actor, and CEO of Business Improv, as well as adjunct professor at Duke and Columbia business schools, joins Steve to talk about what business people can learn from practicing techniques borrowed from the world of improvisation. Bob has worked with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and has taught for many years at Second City, Chicago’s legendary comedy club and talent incubator. While he’s gone on to help countless businesses improve their communication cultures via corporate training programs staged by Business Improv, his insights and practices could arguably be used by just about anyone, whether to become more productive in business or for relationships overall.

Getting to “YES AND” – Bob Kulhan discusses business improv (GutwiZdom Episode-026)

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“YES AND is the cornerstone of improvisation. YES is unconditional acceptance of what has been said…AND is the bridge to how you react to it.” -Improv Bob (Bob Kulhan)

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 1.05.31 PMThis week’s show was recorded in front of a live studio audience at the WCBS studios in NYC! We had a packed house of family, friends, and business owners join us for this special episode. Bob Kulhan (“Improv Bob”) joins Deidre and JG to discuss using improvisation to improve communication and take on business challenges. Bob even walks us through a couple of interactive exercises, including getting the entire theater to shake their hands and feet like they were dancing the Hokey Pokey!

Bob Kulhan on Honing Your Improv Skills

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 12.53.35 PMWe often think about improvisation in the context of comedy and it has nothing to do with the average workplace. But you’ve actually used improv tools more than you probably think. Bob Kulhan, improv pro in and out of the office, is here to talk about how to add these crucial skills to your toolkit.
About the Author(s)

Bob Kulhan is President, CEO, and Founder of Business Improv, an innovative consultancy that specializes in experiential learning and serves an international roster of blue-chip firms. Bob is an Adjunct Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. A performer with over 20 years of stage credits, he trained with a long list of legendary talents, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. An actor and former core faculty member in Chicago’s famed Second City and a member of the resident company at the iO Theater, Kulhan is a Co-Founder of the critically acclaimed Baby Wants Candy improv troupe.

Getting to yes and is #17 on the 800-CEO-READ bestseller list for February!

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Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 12.11.18 PMEach month we compile a list of our top selling books. These books are featured on our site, within our Keen Thinker Newsletter, and syndicated through various publications. We hope the popularity of these titles offers guidance for those seeking an interesting and helpful new book. We report our bestsellers to The New York Times and Nielsen BookScan. Congratulations to these bestselling authors for February 2017! Read More

Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv

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Reviewed By: Randy-Lynne Wach for Manhattan Book Review

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 12.09.02 PMI’m the first to admit I don’t do well at thinking and responding quickly, but I greatly admire people who can—especially when they can be witty at the same time. And, sure, I love to watch Whose Line is It, Anyway?, so maybe I came into this book with the sort of misconceptions that the author wanted to dispel about the idea of improv in business. And I may still be a little bit disappointed that the book was not just full of improv games to play in some sort of team-building activity. However, after dispelling my preconceptions, the author does deliver what was promised: a solid system for using principles of improv to achieve your best performance in business. Read More

The Book “Getting to Yes And” Shows How to Use Improv in Business

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by Charles Franklin for Small Business Trends

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 11.21.09 AMWhy are business executives paying thousands for improv experts like Bob Kulhan? Besides possibly getting a much-needed laugh and chance to connect, these leaders know improvisation develops mental agility that powers athletes, soldiers, and others to stay focused amid the chaos. Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv”, written by an improv master who successfully brought improv to the business school at Duke University, helps leaders use that superpower to excel in leadership.

As Bob Kulhan points out in his book, busy executives are turning to the most unlikely sources to gain a competitive advantage. One of those unlikely sources is improvisational theater. While you might assume these executives are trying to get some much-needed comedic relief, Bob Kulhan points to something deeper. There is a talent present in good improv actors that he believes business leaders can tap into for powerful results. That talent is the subject and focus of Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv. Read More