The improv-based learning initiatives at Ask.com have received wonderful praise and publicity, and most recently this write-up in Fast Company.
Management wanted innovation and big ideas. The question was, how to jump-start it?
CEO Doug Leeds took a cue from Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which points out how improvisation can lead to more creative thinking and innovation. “[Leeds had} seen it sprinkled in other management books, but that was the tipping point to really investigate.”
He admits, there was some initial concern and fear – but quickly learned Improvisation was not about teaching people to be funny, or jump on stage a la “Whose Line is It Anyway”. Instead, Improvisation lays a foundation for a trusting, supportive, engaged and creative work environment by teaching the basic Improv principles and applying them to their specific work environment.
The result: “Folks said it was the most impactful training session in their entire career…The bonds of trust and common skill set and language of improv allow us to come together … There’s a sense of trust and when you feel safe all kinds of amazing things emerge.”