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The Art of Business Improv – Bob Kulhan

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Yes Business Improv is a Thing. Business Improv Founder & CEO Bob Kulhan Wrote a Book About it. Getting to “Yes,

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.49.21 PMBob Kulhan is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration for The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University as well as an Adjunct Professor of Business for Columbia Business School, Columbia University. He also is the Founder and CEO of a company called Business Improv.

Bob has a new book called Getting to “Yes, And” The Art of Business Improv, published by Stanford Business Books. Which led him to TotalPicture Radio, and a Career Strategies Podcast with your host Peter Clayton.

I’ve been looking forward to talking with Bob for weeks. I’m a huge fan of improv, and Bob was trained at the famed Second City in Chicago, and to name-drop just a couple of people, he worked with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. I love standup too, and fortunately Netflix continues to serve up a continuous stream of standup comedy specials. Added recently, I highly recommend 3 Mics with Neal Brennan.AND.”

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I Took an Improv Training Course — and It Changed How I Brainstorm

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by STEPHEN J. BRONNER for Entrepreneur Magazine

Stop saying ‘Yes, but.’ Start getting to ‘Yes, and.’

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.42.18 PMI walked slowly across the room, stretched out my arms and said “hot frying pan” to a man I didn’t know. That man acted as if I’d passed him an imaginary skillet, pretended to feel its heat and passed the cookware to someone else.

What the hell have I gotten myself into? I thought.

When Bob Kulhan invited me to participate in a workshop by Business Improv, a training company he founded, I didn’t know what to think. Kulhan’s sessions aim to teach lay people improv acting techniques so they can apply them to all of life’s interactions. My main exposure to improvisational comedy was old snippets of Whose Line Is It Anyway? But hey, who’s not up for professional development, right? If I’m being honest, I also wondered whether the session would end as two hours of bad acting and awkward chuckles. Read More

Editor’s Choice My Business Book Club: Getting to “Yes And”

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Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 11.37.23 AMHaving run a short training session based on improv with my own team many years ago (where we focused on the concept of ‘yes and’) I was immediately attracted by the title. It’s impossible not to smile when you read this book. Whether it is the ‘Eights’ exercise or celebrating ridiculous ideas, “Yes And” will remind you how to have fun at work – and as a result I’m convinced your business will be more effective. Read More

Speed Review: Getting to “Yes And”

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Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 11.33.13 AMIn the early morning of May 2, 2011, a team of Navy SEALS invaded a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed Osama Bin Laden. As author Bob Kulhan writes in his book, Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv, “the mission had been meticulously planned: the SEALS trained for it over months and several contingency plans were developed and put into place.” Unfortunately, during the raid, one of the team’s helicopters crashed. In addition, “the SEALS discovered that the intelligence they’d based their plans on was not entirely accurate,” he writes. “There were a number of unknown variables (how many people they would encounter, the types of people, the weapons, the doors and hallways, etc.). So they had to improvise.” Read More

Improvisational Leadership: Use Improv to Avoid Leadership Pitfalls

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By Bob Kulhan for Great Leadership

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 11.21.18 AMMost of us aspire to be great leaders—passionate, inspiring, thoughtful and productive. But we all know people in the business world who do a terrible job in leadership positions: awful bosses, disengaged department heads, ineffective team managers, and otherwise bad bigwigs in nice offices who make the work environment an unpleasant one.

So if we all have the potential to be great leaders, where do some go wrong? Perhaps some leaders have developed bad habits; some lack an understanding of what it takes to be a good leader; and some feel they’re leading well simply because they’re focused on their intention to lead, not the results of their leadership. I specialize in bringing improvisational skills to the workplace, and one of the key elements of improvisational thinking is the ‘self-audit’—the ability to be aware in real time of how you’re doing your job and how your actions and leadership style are impacting those around you. Read More

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Business Elevation Show with Chris Cooper – Getting to ‘Yes And’: The Art Of Business Improv with Bob Kulhan

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Amidst the deluge of advice for business people, there lies an overlooked tool, a key to thriving in today’s fast-paced, unpredictable environment: improvisation! Bob Kulhan is the Founder, President & CEO of Business Improv®, a world-class leader in creating experiential training & development programs for corporations of all scopes & sizes. Kulhan serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business & Columbia Business School at Columbia University & teaches regularly as part of the Executive Education programs at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Do join us for a show where Bob will be Drawing on principles from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and communication, and will teach us how to think on our feet and approach the most typical business challenges with fresh eyes and openness!
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The Best Way to Talk to Millennials, From a Millennial Communications Expert

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The now-largest generation is redefining the requirements for happiness on the job.
By Coeli Carr for Inc. Magazine

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 12.23.20 PMAs the owner of a shipping company in Puyallup, Washington, Pavel Vosk didn’t realize how little he understood his demographic until he had to hire them. Some of the applicants his age–he started the company when he was 20–who sought administrative and driver positions arrived with an unappealing vibe.

“Their attitude was one of boredom, arrogance, that they were above the job,” says Vosk. He learned to respond by focusing on something Millennials value: teamwork. To prod those who often showed up late and didn’t respect authority, Vosk explained that their tardiness genuinely inconvenienced the rest of the team.

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GETTING TO “YES AND” on AudioFile

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Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.17.21 AMDrawing on his early career as an improv comic and his current experience as business trainer, CEO, and college teacher, Bob Kulhan offers a far-reaching lesson on how we can use mental agility and respectful communication to improve organizational outcomes and culture. At first, Kulhan’s strong voice and high energy seem too dramatic, and some of the writing too bloated and cute. But one is quickly engaged by this master class on how to be phenomenally effective in communicating to and influencing people in work groups. Drawing on research in social and cognitive psychology and communication science, just one of his many valuable messages is that people become more authentically engaged when prevailing views are respected (“YES”) prior to adding new ideas (“AND”) to any discussions. T.W. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine Read More

Think Slow to Move Fast: The Advantages of Mindfulness

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“When you sit down and let the mind settle, the things you need to think about naturally arise.”
By Heleo Editors Mar 28, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 7.54.27 PMRasmus Hougaard is the founder and managing director of the Potential Project, author of One Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness, and an internationally recognized expert at training the mind to be focused. He recently joined Bob Kulhan, founder of the experiential learning consultancy Business Improv, former core faculty member in Chicago’s famed Second City, and author of Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv, for a Heleo Conversation on the power of being present.

This conversation has been edited and condensed.  

Rasmus: What is the link between mindfulness and improv?

Bob: The root of improvisation is being focused and present in the moment. To react to somebody, I have to be aware of what’s being said. I can’t be drifting off into space thinking about what I need to do in the future or what I should have been doing in the past. I have to be right here linked with you. Read More