Improvisation is something that we all do most of the time (every time you speak you are stringing new combinations of words together, for instance). But ask someone to “do” improv and most will run a mile. This is probably because we tend to associate it with a bunch of comedians on the telly who are very good at making us laugh with jokes they make up on the spot.
Applied Improvisation (AI), however, is different from impro. It’s not scary, it’s not about being funny, it’s not a performance… The “applied” bit is all about how it is used and adapted for use off the stage to strengthen relationships, build understanding, enhance collaboration, inspire creativity, to help people “be in the present” more of the time, and to be more spontaneous, to project themselves more confidently.
Dr. Farnaz Tabaee’s doctoral thesis on the Effects of Improvisation Techniques in Leadership Development tested what practical benefit a course of improvisation gave to senior leaders. Interestingly this is a rare focus for academic leadership research – but one that warrants further investigation – and development – considering that improvised decisions are made by senior managers 75-90% of the time. Moreover, high stress levels combined with the need to constantly improvise adhoc can affect the leader’s ability to think clearly – leading to ineffective decision-making.
But don’t –Taebee reminds us– forget humour and fun!
See here for more details.
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