Thinking Outside of the Thinking Outside of the Box

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The following text is an excerpt from GETTING TO “YES AND”: THE ART OF BUSINESS IMPROV by Bob Kulhan with Chuck Crisafulli.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.59.53 PMWHAT EXACTLY DOES IMPROVISATION have to do with business? Think about the major trends in the business world. Emerging technology continues to increase the speed of business. Moreover technology itself continues to change at an accelerated pace (Moore’s Law purports a doubling of processing speeds every two years).1 Business now relies on instantaneous, 24-hour communication as well as remote access to vital information, and any business that has trouble communicating that way is considered to be at a severe disadvantage.

The global community—corporate, consumer, and geographic—is upon us, and adopting new methodologies for effective communication and collaboration must take place between and across cultures.2 Even within individual workplaces the potential for diversity in perspectives— the probability that those around us see things differently than we see things—is greater than ever before and must now be factored in to how business gets done. Put it this way: reacting, adapting, and communicating are not a matter of choice for businesspeople; they’re a matter of basic survival. This has always been so, but in today’s environment the stakes are higher. Read More

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

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!