Friday, September 19, 2008

Head o' steam

So for two days, I've listened to speakers talk about creativity and collaboration and leadership. And over two days, I've heard a dozen direct references to improvisation (at least) and even more that could be connected to improv theory. 

A guy from Nike talked about moving fast—because it makes you hyper-aware and your thinking is clearer. (Jill's Fireball Theory!) A Toastmaster's guy had us play two improv games. A director and actor talked about "yes, and..."

And I just about bounded out of my seat. I've shoved improv into my corporate world in a gazillion different ways over the last 18 years or so: performances, workshops, presentation training, collaboration-builders. I've brought in friends and done it myself. All along, I've felt like a big ol' dork—like I'm pushing my personal agenda on people who maybe say "OK" just to get me to shut up. 

But suddenly it's started to feel like I've got this cool superpower. I don't quite know what to do with it yet; I mean, I know theories and principles, but translating them into the way I behave every day seems like it would feel like playing an eight-hour show...

Huh. 

As I wrote that, it occurred to me that I've said more than once I want to perform more. And that I love playing with my friends. And that the group of people I work with are a lot like a really good improv group. 

So. 

I wonder if it's maybe time to start treating every day like an eight-hour show. With all the same stakes (higher ones, really), and an even bigger audience and...

Huh.

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