How mixing business and comedy creates a stronger team

Guest Blog by Cindy Bates, Microsoft US SMB Group

During a recent offsite meeting, my team had the privilege of seeing improv in action and most importantly, getting in on the fun. I’ve been a longtime fan of improv comedy for its ability to inspire creativity and cause spontaneous eruptions of laughter, but I was amazed to learn how easily it can translate into the business arena. Our session was led by Meagan Flanigan alongside a dynamic cast from Second City Works, the business solutions division of the improvisational comedy theatre, The Second City. After the meeting, I came across a great article Tom Yorto, CEO of Second City Works, wrote for the Harvard Business Review, where he shares tips for your team to cultivate clearer communication and engage more deeply. I’m already implementing some of the principles we learned, including embracing the ensemble mindset, and I hope your business can learn the benefits of improv-based learning as well.

You can find Tom’s article on improv exercises that can change the way your ensemble works here: https://hbr.org/2015/03/3-improv-exercises-that-can-change-the-way-your-team-works. Let’s start a conversation on Twitter @Cindy_Bates @TomYorton to discuss how your SMB is utilizing Tom’s tactics.

 

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com.

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