Do you have the desire to be an industry power-house and authority, known as a “thought leader”, but think it’s “all work and no play”? Ever wonder how creative thought leaders Tina Fey, Conan O’Brien, and Stephen Colbert do it so effortlessly? Their secrets lie in the art of improvisation! Here are the 5 basic rules of improvisation that are powerful practices for the great leaders in any industry:
1. Yes, and…
“Yes, and” is the most important rule of improvisation. The principle is simple: When you are presented with new information, you simply say, “Yes, and…” to better build off the suggestion. Pixar Studios incorporates this into their idea of “Plussing”. The practice of always agreeing and adding instead of denying and fighting. Your positivity and ability to adapt to new information with agility will set an example and spread to others throughout your organization.
2. Don’t ask questions
Wait, wait, hear me out! When I say “Don’t ask questions” I’m not saying, “Don’t seek more information”. Instead, try to phrase your sentence as a statement. Asking questions can sometimes be seen as an attack on the idea and the unintended result may be the person becomes defensive or shuts down altogether. Next time, when presented with an idea, instead of asking the question, “Do you think that will work?” try the statement, “Tell me more about that”.
3. It doesn’t have to be good
If you spend too much time and energy disqualifying your ideas because they aren’t “good enough” before they leave your mouth, you’ll end up with a white board full of blank space. When brainstorming, don’t worry about every suggestion or addition being brilliant or even relevant. With the “Yes, and” mentality, even the “worst” ideas can contribute to the larger picture. Strategy meetings should be a safe place for all ideas and every suggestion is a valid contribution.
4. Make a connection on stage
Making a connection is all about being on the same page. This includes making a connection with your team, your leadership, and, most importantly, your audience. This connection comes from knowing your audience on a personal level. Gathering an understanding through empathy allows you to establish that connection and guide them to your desired destination. On stage, you may guide them to the punchline and in the market you will guide them to closing the deal.
5. Make your partner look good
Make your partner look good and your partner will make you look good in return. You can see things your partner or teammate might not see and it is your responsibility to compensate accordingly for the benefit of the team. This “other-centered focus” helps with team moral and overall ensemble building because everyone is invested in looking out for their team when the mentality is mutual.
These basic rules of improvisation can drastically improve every part of your business without the 100 hours of “Leadership Training” lectures. Simply by using the techniques found in comedic improvisational performance, you can boost your team’s performance by having fun and applying new ideas. Remember: It’s all fun and games until someone revolutionizes the market with new and engaging thoughts!
©Will Hightower 2014
(This was written as an exercise in content creation to go with job applications)
Special promotion running from now until the 1st of the new year!
If you make donation to IDK Comics for any amount, I will email you a copy of IDK Comics Volume 1 (.PDF)!
Repeat. If you make a donation for
I will email you a digital copy of IDK’s first eBook!
That’s totally worth it!**Unless you read all the comics online for free. Then, whatever.
But Will, how do I donate all this extra cash I have flowing forth from my gaping wound of a butt wallet?
Funny you should ask! Donate by pushing money into your printer backwards! It works like a fax machine. Promise!
Or you can click the donate button here on the side!
I’m bringing back IDK Chat!
What’s IDK Chat?
IDK Chat is an opportunity to chat with me, Will Hightower, about whatever you want using the IDK Chat Room! Past topics include:
- The Comic!
- Arts and Crafts!
- Personal Anecdotes!
- And general rabble!
Who is invited?
You are! But only you. If you bring someone else, you have to have a convincing line like, “They’re with me” or “I brought pizza”.
Where is it?
It will be right on this website under the “Chat” tab. It will remain hidden until the day of the chat!
When is it?
It will be once a month! On a Saturday or Tuesday! It will be around 1pm or 6pm Arizona time!
The first new IDK Chat will be Saturday the 13th at 1pm (MST – Arizona)!
Warning! Sometimes it turns into a group therapy kind of deal. So what happens in IDK Chat stays in IDK Chat.
Need more info? Ask away via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or in the comments section below!
See ya there!
Results from the last IDK Poll that has been running for about a year!
What’s Your Commitment to IDK?
Poll Options — Total Votes — Percentage
- OMG I LOVE IDK! (Married) — 47 — 12.7%
- I like IDK enough to make a small commitment. (Dating) — 42 — 11.35%
- It’s okay. We hang out sometimes. (Friend-Zone) — 43 — 11.62%
- I hate IDK! Imma kick his ass! (Enemy) — 0 — 0%
- I just found IDK and am not sure how I feel (Stranger-Danger) — 31 — 8.38%
- I only call IDK when I need something (“Friend”) — 16 — 4.32%
- I cheat on IDK with QC/XKCD/C&H but he doesn’t know! (Boy/Girl-Friend) — 104 — 28.11%
- I went to school with IDK. Is he still fat? (Acquaintance) — 8 — 2.16%
- GIMME YOUR WALLET OR I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU! (Crack-Addict Mugger) — 57 — 15.41%
- Other: — 22 — 5.95%
- IDK stop stealing my needles.
- i hold so muhc repsect for IDK that I i visit this site several times a day
- I call up a idk when i have needs that need ‘filling’ (sex-friend)
- I met IDK at Comic Con and decided it was awesome
- I stalk IDK on Facebook and Google Reader. (Creeper)
- We know each other but at the same time meh.
- I’m a flying cactus from outa space, yo!
- Open relationship.
- Belligerent Therapist
- I only pretend to be his friend so after his suicide i can get his kidney.
- We don’t see each other much, but when we do it lasts a while. (Friend?)
- IDK is my secret lesbian dominatrix lover.
- Best friend!(:
- that last option must’ve been funny until you stopped getting any useful info
- IDK is a homicidal maniac but I still hang around him (Stockholm Syndrome)
- I sell drugs to IDK
- IDK fucked me and never called me again.
- I resent IDK. It just ruined the best years of my life (ex-husband/ex-wife)
- IDK, stop stealing my needles.
- We flirt a LOT but never do anything about it (MoreThanFriendsButNotQuiteDating)
Well, I paid for them, so they aren’t really presents. But I did receive stuff! Check it out!
- 6 LAWLS Buttons
- Reeder Rabbit
- LAWLS Volume 1: Choking on Air
- Super-Awesome-Picture of IDK hitting on his character, Cadence (way out of his league)
Fun Fact: That awesome picture of IDK and Cadence is actually the last page of the book! Well, my book anyway. I don’t know if it is in every book. But that would be sweet!
These are all from my buddy [Denis Caron] who recently had a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first book! As you can tell, it was fully funded and is fully awesome. Check out his comics:
At Phoenix Comic Con 2011, his booth was actually across the isle from mine so he came over and said some nice things. Stuff like how he REALLY liked my webcomic and how he read the whole thing in one sitting. He said that I was far more attractive than him and how he wished he could have the same sweet haircut that I do (it’s a modified bowl-cut that I have trade marked. Sorry guys!). Anyway, after I stopped his flattery 3 or so hours later, we became friendsies!
Okay, that’s only sorta true. It was mostly subtext. HEAVY SUBTEXT!
Anyway, I am super jealous of Denis because of his art, writing, dedication, and hair style (even though he mostly wears a hat).
Congrats on the book and constant growing success!
Fuck you Denis.
This was my final project for a film class at ASU. It was the only film I’ve every directed/edited/everything-else’d and it was a nightmare!
This is actually a heavily revised version of the original script. When the original rough cut was viewed, I was laughed out of the class! That “funny” footage is seen in B&W. To save the film I removed the audio, shot new scenes, and cut up the acting performances to make it more of a music video. Then, the external hard drive I was using to store all my data became corrupted so when I finished editing that day, I had to call the project finished. So, here it is!
In Fact, here is the original script for you to look at! Even less people have seen this!
I’m pretty sure I wanted people to laugh at the end. Laugh-Cry would be ideal. But I’ll take shocked/bored expression during the film and a scoff at the end too!
Now let’s close up this wound forever!