How improv techniques can build a collaborative work environment
By: Nicole Christie
Say the word “improv” and most people either freeze in horror (“What? I can’t act! And there’s no SCRIPT?!”) or bust out laughing (“OMG, improv is so much fun – asparagus, cat, orgy…make a scene with that!”). But improv is more than just funny faces, colorful characters and on-the-spot scenemaking – it’s also a great team builder in the corporate world.
Holly Mandel – an alumna of The Groundlings, LA’s infamous SNL breeding ground – runs IMPROVOLUTION, an improv school in New York. While much of her work centers around teaching improv to actors, aspiring actors and those looking for a fun creative release, she also teaches traditional improv to cubicle dwellers through her new venture, The Leading Edge. She’s found that the fundamentals of improv not only pay off onstage but, when coupled with other forms of higher collaboration and communication, can help to create new relationships and new ways of working together.
“It’s an effective way to create a new culture built on trust, limitless creativity and working as a ‘we’ as opposed to a group of individuals,” Mandel said.
Not only that, but it’s downright FUN. And how often do you use that word to describe a day at the office?
If you’d like to bring a Leading Edge session to your workplace – either as part of a training program or a company off-site – contact Holly.