(article written in 2009)
Improvisation: school of life
Improv is not just a school for training atypical actors, it is a school of life, because it is the school of adaptation. All principles applying improv principles revolve around adaptation. This is why improv is a current response that everyone needs to overcome their difficulties. In some cases, it’s meant to be the school of cooperation… Here, it’s specific to coaches and players, because I’ve sometimes noticed a performance game that doesn’t go in the direction of the other’s support.
Improv: collaboration and benevolence
The “improvisation” revolution contrasts in her pedagogy with classical theatre, which she loves because she
values all these authors and can even make new generations discover them. Improv came to disturb classical theatre in its ancestral and hierarchical status, defending a written work with a leading role and secondary roles. I remember that we invited a classical theatre teacher to one of our improv games who used his influences to prevent our improv workshop from opening in the same place as his theatre lessons. After seeing 5 minutes of the impro game, he stood up, as if to show everyone his superiority. Today, he uses the word “impro” to sell his classes…
Applied improvisation: an innovative solution for organizations
Do you also see the relationship between the theatre and the company or organisation? A first role, secondary roles, processes… It works, up to the limit: the necessary iterative adaptation, because we are constantly and very quickly evolving, and that is why agility has become indispensable.
I am proud to have been among the creators who professionalized improvisation applied at the international level, the result of several years of exchanges, peer training and mutual investment. This term “applied improvisation” means that we use the tool that is improvisation to achieve a concrete, operational and professional objective, which excludes the action of producing a show. The tool is used for other strategic and operational purposes.
I merge improvisation with training, to better sell, negotiate, manage, speak up, decide, change, create and innovate, be an optimist leader, be a strategist! Others of my peers apply it to sustainable development, to treat patients, to develop education… Which obviously implies that the practitioner in “applied improvisation” has another expertise than improvisation, in training, and in the profession he trains. Applied improvisation is a high pedagogy because we are on a pedagogical tool and another expertise. We are working in the same direction. It’s not about making a group improvise in a company, because that’s improvisation without added value.
Involved in the evolution of our world
When we are experts in “Applied Improv or Applied Improvisation”, we are engaged in a real international group whose creativity and multiple intelligences deploy a strategy to improve our world. We defend much more than a simple business, namely values and a goal!
Happy to create the French group of experts in applied improvisation, after a few years of attempts. Our point of progress in France, cooperation, compared to our American or European friends.
Applied improvisation is effective immediately, perennial, individual and collective. Today, I even develop training in optimism, leadership, agility, among other things by relying on the application of improvisation, and obviously other concepts (shhh:).
What is the profile of the client who wants to train his teams with improvisation? Innovative, curious, open, courageous, visionary, dynamic and humanistic. Doesn’t it remind you of the qualities of leaders whose history has left a positive mark on us or simply great men?
Improvisation is not a fashion, it is a very delicate know-how, it is a question of getting learners out of their comfort zones, it requires a lot of benevolence, psychology, expertise and ethics.
Manage uncertainty with agility
Complexity, transformation, everything goes faster and only the most agile find the keys. We must manage this difficult situation, and improvisation applied to all kinds of problems offers an appropriate response. Getting out of your comfort zone and finding new skills is the quality of those who know how to get out of a difficult situation like the crisis. We can even speak of “improvisatory enterprise”, a paradigm adapted to today’s situation.
Listening, a strategy that always pays off
Listening is at the centre of the adaptation process.
Listening is the act of listening, hearing and above all accepting, to adapt and then build with the other and not against him (tool: “Yes and…” vs. “Yes but…”). That is what we are developing. This posture of efficiency is not innate, it is acquired thanks to a followed work, a logic of regular rise in competence. Developing your team on a regular basis with relevance can reduce costs, it is a benevolent provocation to tell managers that the investment of agility is played on the human !