Improv is an art form in which participants act and respond in the present, trusting that each thoughtful action will lead to a wonderful outcome—even if it isn’t the intended result. In this book, the principles and practices of unscripted theater are applied to non-theatrical circumstances.

Putting Improv to Work: Spontaneous Performance for Professional and Personal Life is based on a highly successful business school course, and aids in the development of communication, teamwork, creativity, confidence, emotional intelligence and other abilities. Each chapter assesses a different component of improv—how it connects to stage success and how it can be used in professional, academic and social settings. This is the only text that lays out an entire course on applied improv, providing activities with detailed instructions and descriptions. With roots in higher education, the book is informal, entertaining, and designed to be beneficial for anybody. Behavioral science, philosophy, art and athletics are all used to inform this discussion of improv and its real-world applications.

 

• “Greg is one of the best teachers at our business school. Through improv, he provides our students with skills that enable them to think and adapt better in an ever-changing, uncertain world.”—Douglas A. Shackelford, Dean, Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation, UNC Kenan-Flagler

• “Greg Hohn has inspired generations of students at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with his popular course on applied improvisation. This book will help institutions around the country and the world to benefit from Greg’s insights on how to use the skills of improvisation to dramatically enhance one’s leadership.”—James W. Dean, president, University of New Hampshire

• “This book epitomizes what good teaching of any kind is all about… the essence of applied improv at its finest. Our learning is richer because of this book.”—Karen Dawson, PhD, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary

• “If you’re a teacher or a team leader, buy this book! It’s written in an easy to read, conversational style. If you’re learning improv for the first time, you should have this nearby as a guidebook. Hohn is an experienced improv performer and educator, with over 20 years teaching students at UNC Kenan-Flagler, one of the country’s top business schools. The 21 short chapters are each filled with hands-on techniques for both individuals and groups, all of them refined through years of use in the business classroom. Just open any page and you’ll find an exercise you can use. Make sure that you have lots of post-it notes because you’ll be returning to this book over and over.”—Dr. Keith Sawyer, Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations, UNC-Chapel Hill, author of The Creative Classroom: Innovative Teaching for 21st-Century Learners

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