Last week I was invited as a speaker at Business Days – an event that gathers around 1000 professionals. I was in a panel called “The art of improvisation for managers and entrepreneurs” and I couldn’t be more happy that there were so many people interested in improvisation in business. But, and there is a big but, I realise that most of them misunderstand the point of practicing improvisation.
When we (improvisers) say that you should practice improv, we don’t refer that you have to throw all your plans out the window, that you should stop analysing and building strategies. That’s way to extreme and, of course, especially if a business is big, you need some sort of control, plans and procedures. We do say that business is so unpredictable that even though you have a plan things might turn differently and you might need to improvise, but again, not that improvising all the time is the way to do business.
So why you should learn to improvise isn’t so that we do it all the time. Business professionals should learn how to improvise because that helps them develop a lot of skills so useful in the business world: to be present, to adapt, to be flexible and open-minded, to trust their creativity, to be expressive and so on.
In my workshops I don’t try to turn people into professional improvisers. I just help them steal some traits from them, so that they can be more agile in their well thought and planned businesses.
It’s about practicing a mindset, not using it literally (all the time).