Discovering Applied Improvisation...

Discovering Applied Improvisation…

…and bringing it into the London School of Economics

I discovered applied improvisation thanks to Simon Scott in April 2010. He led a great workshop, in support of his MA, exploring how improvisation can help develop entrepreneurship. The simplicity, the principles (including ‘Yes And’), the experiential activities, the fun, and the transformative results struck me immediately. So it wasn’t long before I found myself at an Applied Improvisation Network conference in Amsterdam.

I wanted to share my new passion with my work colleagues at the London School of Economics and to bring the techniques into an organisational setting. So in response to an internal need for improved communication, I proposed a ‘Teambuilding through improvisation’ workshop.

The proposal was taken forward by the Director of Estates, Julian Robinson. Fifty colleagues took part in this innovative learning and development workshop in December 2010. It was designed to be stimulating, challenging and fun, and to:

  • Enhance team-working
  • Build creativity
  • Stimulate innovation
  • Encourage leadership
  • Negotiate ambiguity

There was apprehension about what the session would involve. With some coming only so long as they didn’t have to “pretend to be a tree”. But by the end even he had stepped up to the challenge and pretended to ‘be a tree’. We all left with smiles on our faces and a new perspective on the web of people that made up our office.

The workshop facilitators were Paul Z Jackson and Belina Raffy from the Applied Improvisation Network.