The Improv Experience

I’ll have the opportunity on Monday to co-present Improv at one of the Mega Sessions of the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference. (That’s short for Society for Human Resources Management. And Mega, which is – ironically – short for Enormous.) If you are attending, here is the information on our session:

Improv is a powerful tool for organizational culture because of the skills focus around teamwork, listening, and being “in the moment”!! And as part of experiential learning through providing opportunities to get incredibly disruptive/creative – AND through participation in a transformational, shared experience. The reason this session (or, this type of session, if you are not at SHRM Monday) might be helpful to you as HR professionals? It provides great skill development for leaders…bringing out the best in employees, getting off “the script” and unlocking new perspectives!

As I was preparing for the session, I wanted to make sure I was armed with the best Improv references for attendees and other interested parties. (Say, for instance, I’m stopped on the street and asked for good Improv blog post references. It’s the nature of the business.) My mentor, the man commonly known as Improv Guru, Shawn Westfall, actually wrote one of the most helpful introductory pieces on disruptive improvisation I’ve come across. In it, he answers “Why Improv?” and how it can potentially help organizations. I look forward to sharing the stage with Shawn Monday at SHRM, as part of my close business relationship with BossaNova Consulting and The Get Real Project.

Another great reference I’ll be tuning people to comes from my colleague and the founder of The Get Real Project (hot link:, Andrea Howe. Co-author of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook, Andrea writes about improving business, gaining trust, client relationships and the like. One of her Improv posts gets right to the basic steps of our improv skill development.

We hope to deliver a thought-provoking and improvisation-inspiring session and look forward to questions. If you can’t make the session, but have an interest in learning more about the topic and how it can help your corporate culture, follow me on Twitter: @thecarypaul or, follow gothamCulture on LinkedIn.