Category Archives: business improvisation
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“Improvisational comedy workshops have become a staple at business schools, and in the corporate world in general.” – Slate.com
Click the link below and enjoy this informative article about the use of improv skills in the business world. With insightful quotes from some of my favorite colleagues!
“Average performers believe their errors were caused by factors outside their control: My opponent got lucky; the task was too hard; I just don’t have the natural ability for this. Top performers, by contrast, believe they are responsible for their errors.“
How Do Excellent Performers Differ from the Average? - via Farnam Street
“My posse’s in effect and we’re doin’ the do
And we got more rhymes than your damn crew” - Beastie Boys, Posse in Effect
I have a posse. Why are you laughing? My posse is beautiful. For the purposes of this entry, “posse” isn’t my friends. It’s the people I interact with frequently. More specifically, the ones that enable me to do what I do; my dry cleaner, my bartender, my hairstylist (hate that word, but trust me – she ain’t no barber. Haircutress?), etc.
So, my posse is…people I’m paying for goods and services? Well, yeah. At first glance. But the difference is in my attitude toward them. I’ve made them an important part of what I do. They are my Posse. My Business Partners. My Team.
Figo owns three Devrim Cleaners locations. He keeps my shirts crisp, my suits sharp, and he’s fun to chat with. I’m sure he and his family provide personalized service to all of their customers. But when Figo is tailoring my suit, it’s not just A suit. He’s tailoring JAY’S suit. That’s an important difference.
Joe mixes some amazing cocktails. He makes me a cherry coke (cherrys + grenadine + whatever high fructose Coca-Cola approximate they sell) to get me fired up at the start of a long night of comedy. Joe makes devastatingly strong drinks to put a nice cap on the end of a long day of hustle. I tip well, he pours heavily, and we both benefit.
Stevie has cut my hair for ten years. She’s had to listen to stories about every single time I have vomited in public, yet she still takes personal pride in sending me out into the greater world looking my best.
“Got my hand in my pocket and my finger’s on the trigger
My posse’s gettin’ big and my posse’s gettin’ bigger” – Beastie Boys, The New Style
With the birth of our son 4 years ago, my posse has exploded. We have a pediatrician, preschool teachers, and a cabal of ultra-capable babysitters. All people who I trust fully (or mostly) with my son’s health and well being. Without them I couldn’t leave the house to make the funny without worrying about the little guy. And trust me, my son is always on my mind – so my posse allows me to leave with secure, happy thoughts.
In improvisation, we put a strong emphasis on creating relationships on stage. A scene in which two strangers meet and haggle over the price of a taco can be the most excruciatingly unfunny thing in the world. But two characters who know each other, sharing their lives and opinions and philosophies while *not* discussing that taco? That will be at least interesting, with strong potential for hilarious.
Because I’ve made these people an important part of my ability to create comedy professionally, I’m interacting with members of my team; my co-conspirators in world domination. Because of them, I can be in front of an audience or workshop and feel confident about looking competent. That makes my job a lot easier. And all I had to do was focus a little time and energy on creating basic relationships with my goods and services providers. My POSSE.
“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”
- Henry David Thoreau
“Because you can’t, you won’t and you don’t stop…”
- Beastie Boys
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth…Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.
- Noela Evans