How to foster a culture of courage and creativity – the results

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.”

How to foster a culture of courage and creativity

Innovation requires courage and creativity, which can be difficult to foster and maintain in a culture“, says Ask.com’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, Lisa Kavanaugh.

Ask.com’s innovation strategy is one many companies are adopting:  to teach Improv skills to every member of their company.

These Improv skills are used as tools to build a safe work environment where ideas are encouraged, shared and built upon.

Hear from the ask.com team about the success of this important initiative here.

 

Ask.com endorses Improvisation as a tool to solve their biggest challenge

What does a company do when it feels fresh out of ideas? Lacking some spirit and encouragement for innovation?

In the case of popular internet company Ask.com, they bring Improvisation to their entire workforce, including software engineers.

Watch here to see Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds’ overwhelming endorsement of Improvisation as a tool that builds skills needed for innovation and creativity.

Congratulations to my Applied Improv Network colleague Sue Walden! Let’s keep it going!

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