2nd Edition

Training to Imagine Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques for Trainers and Managers to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning

By Kat Koppett Copyright 2012
    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    Creating innovative products and game-changing processes, and adapting to new cultures and communication styles, have all become imperative for business survival. Today’s business leaders, from Fortune 500 companies on down, have discovered the value of improvisational theatre techniques to develop creativity and collaboration skills they need.Since publication of its seminal first edition, the principles and techniques pioneered in Training to Imagine have been widely adopted by organizations around the world, and have given rise to the field of Applied Improvisation. This new edition builds on the characteristics that made it the most comprehensive and most easy-to-apply resource for using improv in organizations. As before, this book translates the theories and exercises of improv into language that is familiar to business culture, and provides guidelines, case studies and exercises intended for use by individuals for self-development, for small groups, and for facilitation by corporate trainers.This revised edition places more emphasis on the development of leadership, in particular adding activities designed for individuals to develop skills on their own, or outside formal training environments. It builds upon what has been learned since 2001, presenting examples of practice, and research on the methods, that have proven to be most effective in the workplace. Kat Koppett has added a whole new section on instructional design to help users make informed choices in selecting activities to best support their objectives and corporate context, as well as numerous new exercises.This is a vital resource for trainers, executives, and leaders at all levels who want to increase their personal communication and creativity skills, and in inspire and motivate their teams. The enhanced e-book edition will incorporate video of sample activities and exercises, as well as interviews with leading Applied Improv practitioners. This material will also be available free on the Stylus Web site.

    Foreword to the First Edition by Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan Foreword to the Second Edition by Joel Goodman Introduction. an updated discussion of the state of the art and the changes made in this revised edition Section One. Principles 1. The Principles 2. Trust 3. Spontaneity 4. Accepting Offers 5. Listening and Awareness 6. Storytelling 7. Performing with Presences Section Two. Activities Introduction to the Activities Selected Activities Additional Activities APPENDIX


    Kat Koppett is the eponymous founder of Koppett + Company, a consulting and training company specializing in the use of improv, theatre and storytelling techniques to enhance workplace performance. She is a pioneer in bringing the lessons, philosophies, and techniques of the theater to corporations, with a special focus on creativity and communication skills. Kat holds a B.F.A. in Drama from New York University and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She was instrumental in creating the corporate training wing of Freestyle Repertory Theatre, in New York, and was the founding Corporate Division Director of BATS Improv, in San Francisco. In her nearly two decades of work in Applied Improv, Kat has designed and delivered training for companies including GE, Kaiser-Permanente, JPMorgan Chase, Eli Lilly, AAA, and dozens more companies internationally. A founding member of the Applied Improv Network, Kat is a sought-out speaker, coach, trainer, and author. Kat’s articles on the use of storytelling in training have appeared in McGraw-Hill’s Training Sourcebooks, and she has had articles published for National ASTD, ISPI, and TechRepublic. She has been profiled in the Thiagi Gameletter, published by Jossey-Bass. In 1995, TheaterWeek Magazine named Kat one of the year’s Unsung Heroes for her creation of the improvisational theater format, Spontaneous Broadway, which is now performed regularly internationally. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management, and as Co-Director of the improvisational theater company, The Mop & Bucket Company. A member of the National Speakers Association, Kat has presented for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA), the Rotary Club and the Young Presidents’ Organization and countless other organizations nationally. Joel Goodman is founder and director of The HUM

    “In the Foreword to the first edition, Thiagi said, ‘Bravo, Kat! What are you going to do for an encore?’

    Here is the encore! We need this second edition… now more than ever. In a world beset by accelerating change, we must be able to think on our feet (and on our seat) in our organizations, in our families, and in our own personal lives. The art of improvisation is a vital set of attitudes and life skills for the 21st Century. Individuals who are not creative and organizations that are not innovative will be left behind.

    This book gives you a chance to work and play with key improv principles of mental flexibility, trust, spontaneity, listening, accepting and building on others’ ideas, and performing with presence— all of which will help to inspire your own personal spontaneous combustion creativity and jump-start your organization’s ability to innovate.

    The first edition mostly focused on training and trainers. This new text goes beyond trainers and recognizes that everyone can be (and needs to be) a performer who calls on improvisational skills and mindsets to promote productivity and pleasure at work (and in life outside of work).

    In an age of instant messaging, Facebooking, and tweeting, we need more than ever to recapture the human touch and the magic of storytelling to communicate with charisma. How do you get your message across to your boss, colleagues, customers, students, clients, patients, family and friends? Chapter 6 will help you to: command focus, create compelling stories, hone your storytelling skills, match your message and style to your audience, and see how stories can magically capture attention and increase retention."

    Joel Goodman, founder and director of The HUMOR Project, Inc.

    is the author of 8 books, recipient of the International Lifetime of Laughter Achievement Award, and has done humor and creativity presentations in all 50 states and on all 7 continents.

    “In this revised edition of Training to Imagine, Kat no longer has to call from the fringes. Clearly we are all performing, all the time, and business requires ‘surfing’ the waves of change. Why not get good at it? By outlining how the six core principles of improv apply to 21st century leadership challenges, Koppett shows how we can trust ourselves to create together, not just in the safety of a team activity but out on the frontiers of business performance. I have used over half the activities in this book with excellent results! The ‘yes/and’ principle alone has the potential to reverse negative patterns and spark upward spirals of trust, collaboration and excellence on any team."

    Elizabeth Doty, author of The Compromise Trap

    “Training to Imagine is useful and wise, entertaining and generous. Based on rich experience and a great deal of thought, it's a splendid second edition.”

    Paul Jackson, President

    Applied Improv Network

    "Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning appears in its second updated edition to revise information and goes beyond the first edition's focus on trainers to show how everyone can be a performer using improvisation techniques to promote productivity within and outside the theatre. From evolving new improvisation approaches to business survival to extending the theories and exercises inherent in improve to organizational structures, chapters draw close connections between management goals and theatre training, making this a strong dual pick for stage and business collections alike."

    California Bookwatch