BizProv Fall 2019 Recaps and Reinforcements Week 1

“You can always pay closer attention to someone than you thought you could.” Alan Alda


Hello BizProv'ers:

Let’s get one thing straight, I’m an Improviser, not a master speller:)

What a great first class! I am excited about this group and the journey we are embarking on. I have your recap below with reinforcements, homework and a peek into next week's class. Let’s all connect on LinkedIn and the other fun social channels you like. Here are mine.




Helpful Reminders:

There are going to be times over the next 5 weeks that you get out of your comfort zone, you feel like resisting, you don’t understand how or why we are doing something, please trust the process, and trust me. You are safe and I will take care of you. We will take care of each other,

With that, If you keep these few little things in mind, you will get the most out of the process.

These things are as follows:

  • Don’t question anything, just go with it. Yes, I’m asking you to ignore that voice in your head and know that whatever you do or say, it is correct.

  • It’s not about being good or doing it right. It’s about letting go and just doing something. Confidence is not about taking the right direction, it’s about simply trying a direction.

  • You will be uncomfortable at times. You do not have to defend your work.

  • We ask a lot of questions, because we learn from each other and our discoveries.

  • You can expect that you will not like everything you do and it’s okay.

  • You took this class for a reason, so there is every reason you don’t know everything about improvising and how to apply the skill in all the ways we are going to. Take in the process with an open mind, no resistance and allow yourself to fail.  That is just how it’s done, these are the rules, just like with any sport or game.

Here’s what we covered in Week 1:

Vulnerability, Taking Care of Each Other, Failure and Risk Taking

You Already Have Everything You Need!

Vulnerability is a starting point to everything we do in our 6 week journey. If you can let go and be vulnerable, the experience and learning can flow.  Accepting Failure as a natural part of the process, realizing there is no “right” way to do things, and knowing that “just trying” is the goal. Taking the Risks involved in learning a new way to think, react and behave is where your improv journey starts. Interpersonal risk taking requires vulnerability and a sense of safety. When we Take Care of Each Other, we feel supported to take creative risks and stick our necks out for each other.

Showing Vulnerability -We are all human, how often do we let our guards down, stick our necks out there and take a risk?

On Failure and Improv:

  • Education from the very beginning has taught us to color inside the lines, mistakes are bad.  We have erasures and white out, so that we can wipe them out. It’s difficult to shake when we are programmed to think that failing and making mistakes are wrong.  

  • Improv teaches us that you cannot wait for perfection that you must go with what you have right now.

  • Another feature of psychological safety is accepting failure. The Silicon Valley attitude of tolerating errors or even celebrating them seems a healthier way to go than condemning them. “Groups where mistakes are not frowned upon are more psychologically safe.” 

  • In the old days most organisations were run by fear - Thom Dennis

Additional Resources



Weekly Exercise:

This week, I want you take as many opportunities to find beauty in failing.  You will fail. It’s inevitable. So, when you do, I want you to find one thing about your mistake that is valuable.  OR Reverse the roles, and allow someone else’s mistake to provide something useful and point it out. Also, try to announce or own up to something more so than ever before.  Notice how others react.

Next Week:

Week 2 Teaming and Collaboration

Improv is not a solo act….ever.  It is always about the group and working together.  Even when there are only 2 people on stage, there is no success if they are not working together.  In business there is a huge gap in ensemble building skills. There is a need to be right, a need to steal focus, and the need to appear to be in control. In improv, we teach that the group’s goals are far greater than the individual’s. When a group can learn to solve problems together, they bond, learn to trust, learn to lead, learn to follow and become a tight unit that nothing can stop.