Reflections on Improv from Corinne and Sarabeth

CE Improv II_2013_09 copy_1

EMAIL FROM: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:15 PM

I wanted to take another opportunity to reflect on the activities of the improv sessions. Three core ideas came across in these activity related to innovative through and design thinking . I feel it is important to make sure you see these activities for their full academic value not just the fun and games.
First , the games last week were designed to remove your inherent desire to filter your verbal comments. Thinking before you speak in most cases will keep you out of professional and personal trouble, but when it comes to developing your skills for innovative thought you need to know when and how to turn that filtration system off. The first step to design thinking is brainstorming and the skill we practiced will be important to implement then.
Second, all the games required you to say “yes and”. The ability to accept others ideas even when you don’t understand the value. This skill to openly accept and reflect upon others ideas is rare and if implemented sincerely will quickly accelerate you beyond your contemporaries. You need to be able to accept criticism without filtration and integrate the good ideas into your project to ensure that redesign and testing is used to its utmost. You also need to keep an open mind in brainstorming in order to get to a product or process that has a competitive edge.
Third, several times you were required to take previous scenes and redo them in a new style. This is really about understanding how perception can take one idea and make it totally different, sometimes significantly better. Understanding different perspectives is critical to long term success in business and product design.
See you Saturday,


Sarabeth’s Response:

Great key points, and I agree with all of them. Thanks for the recap.

The notion of the “self-editor” was a great term to use as well as really listening to what other people were saying so that your ideas connected and kept the momentum moving in the same direction.  I also really liked how all of you took risks and trusted each other in new ways, never sure of what was going to happen.  I think building a community where it is safe to say your ideas and test things out was something that formed over these two sessions.   

Lastly, the notion of play and “work” don’t have to be separate, in fact, when we play, we can be our most creative.  In the future, when you’re working on a solution to a problem, take a break, turn it into a joke, be silly, and let your mind “play” instead of looking for the one “right” answer.

There is so much great energy in this group. I can’t wait to see what you come up with this year.



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