The premise of A Useful Idea is that improvisation acting principles can help with the creation of something new, and perhaps innovative. The five principles are:
- Assume complexity and only control process choices, not the outcome
- Nourish ‘ensemble’ to let go of safety and dive in with openness [improv activities help]
- Design skillful rehearsals & adaptive performances [perpetual beta]
- Tap into source [half-baked ideas]
- Think publicly [learn out loud]
I would strongly recommend this video and the approach it promotes.
Here are five rules of improv from an improvisation leadership consultant:
1) “Yes, and.” Accept a situation and then deal with it.
2) Avoid asking questions. In business that means being conscious of how continually asking questions makes other people do all the work.
3) Listening. In conversation people are often planning ahead rather than really listening, and at work it’s easy to be distracted by computers or blackberries. Focused listening is a crucial skill.
4) Add information. You have to contribute if you want things to go where you want them to.
5) Eye contact. In the workplace it’s important to pay attention to body language. Even on the phone you can pick up clues as to how the other person feels.