Where Great Lines Come From

Where Great Lines Come From

A lot of improvisers get this question: “How do you come up with all those funny lines so fast?” Brace yourself.  I’m going to reveal a MAJOR secret of improv… We don’t. To be fair, I suppose there are some that do – a few mental geniuses who could have been calculating the metric density of plutons in a collapsing black hole, but dedicated themselves to spontaneously creating fart...

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Thought Leader, or Lazy Jackoff?

Thought Leader, or Lazy Jackoff?

If you’ve read many business articles or resumes in the last few years, you’ve probably seen this term: Thought Leader Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?  But what does it mean? For far too many people, it means someone who sits on their ass and thinks – that’s it.  They come up with ideas.  Maybe they share those thoughts, but they don’t DO them – otherwise they’d be known for...

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Risk and Failure part 3 – The Failure Revolution

Risk and Failure part 3 – The Failure Revolution

In part 1, I talked about why failure was critical to success. In part 2, I talked about how you can make yourself take more risks and be more failure tolerant. But it’s almost impossible to take risks and fail in an environment that doesn’t support it, especially in the workplace. Most businesses don’t support risk taking and failure.  They WANT people to take risks -that’s how...

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Risk and Failure – Part 2

Risk and Failure – Part 2

In part 1 I I talked about why risk and failure are critical to success.  In fact, chances are that if you succeeded without any failures along the way, you may be in trouble – that success is likely built on luck more than honed through the flames of failure, and it may be a matter of time before it faces something it can’t handle. By the way, I’ve known a few people who...

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Risk and Failure – Part 1

Risk and Failure – Part 1

If at first you don’t succeed…   Most home-run hitters also strike out a lot.  When you tee off on a pitch with enough power to knock it clear the park, you’re also going to miss…a lot. Most big success stories start with a lot of failures.  They had to screw it up before they got it right, Apple was recently named the most valuable brand in the world.  Just...

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Be Obvious

Be Obvious

I’ve always been a pretty smart guy.  Sometimes that’s to my benefit, other times, well, not so much. But we are what we are. You’re smart too.  I know, because you’re reading this! (Okay, I don’t know you personally, so you MIGHT be a complete idiot…but you’re a complete idiot with good taste in blogs.) Being a smart person, you’ve probably been in situations where you’re...

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Have Fun!

Have Fun!

I’ve looked at 5 major improv principles so far: Overaccepting Co-creating Yes, and.. Keeping it real But if there’s only once principle you pay attention to, it’s this: Improv Principle: Have Fun Business Reframe: If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, do it differently or do something else – your enjoyment or lack thereof will speak volumes your customer “What...

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Keep it real, and have some depth

Keep it real, and have some depth

I accidentally skipped ahead last time – even though my master-list of principles isn’t in any particular order.  Acting on impulse is an occupational hazard for an improvisor   To recap so far: Over-accept Make your partner look good Say “Yes, and…”   But this principle is something that’s often gets overlooked, and it’s something that’s getting more and more...

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Becoming a “yes man”

Becoming a “yes man”

Improv Principle: Yes, and… Business Reframe: Take in what your customer \ associate says, and add a little something of your own. Quote from a bigwig who gets it: “Creative teams, the participants are told, now need to behave more like improv actors – story building’ instead of storytelling – so they can respond in real time to an unpredictable audience. “ Fast Company Magazine...

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The Joy of Co-creation

The Joy of Co-creation

After a broad overview of how to use improv principles in your business, I talked about making your partner look good. And now the next principle… Improv Principle: Discover the joy of co-creation Business Reframe: Your business is built creating a dialogue WITH others, not by doing a monologue Quote from a big-wig who gets it: “Self sufficiency appears to be a worthy goal, but it’s now...

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It’s Tuesday! (Improv in Business)

It’s Tuesday! (Improv in Business)

I want to continue looking at the huge changes going on in how business gets done, and why the biggest business authors out there today are urging you to the use improv principles in your business. So let’s start with… Principle #1: Make your partner look good Business Reframe: Your customers and associates are real people, not statistics or cogs – treat them as living, breathing, feeling...

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Our Annual Report in the Style of Tennessee Williams…

Our Annual Report in the Style of Tennessee Williams…

Improv has suddenly become a very hot topic for business.  Sometimes improv is mentioned directly (like in Fast Company Magazine, or in Chris Brogan’s bestseller “Trust Agents”).  Others like Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin, have focused on some principles of improv as new paradigms of business (without mentioning improv by name). I recently attended a presentation by David Sibbet (founder...

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Defining “Win”

Defining “Win”

A new book about video games and society explains the benefits of the "flow" state gamers often get. Improvisors get it too, but how can we get better at getting into "flow" and how can we get more "flow" in everyday life.

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