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Creative Leadership

Business Improvisation

— May 3, 2008 — Business
Improvisation is the process of accessing and applying creativity to a situation in real time. It is the ability to converge composition, creativity and execution to achieve success. Creativity can be defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, and relationships; creativity brings forth original methods and interpretations. Improvisation is not 'winging it”, in fact in order to access creativity it is important be well prepared. Business Improvisation is the ability to think clearly, to access creativity in the moment and under pressure in order to solve problems. It is the process followed to achieve your objectives despite unexpected events.

As a trend, Business Improvisation is starting to be recognized as a skill for executives, sales people or anyone who relies on execution in the moment to determine success.

In the business world we often face situations where our execution within the moment determines success. The performance, much like a jazz solo, is the difference between winning and losing. Successful business people naturally improvise as a solution to pressure situations. Improvisation is a sound strategy to execute at your best in many situations, EMS workers employ it, physicians, high paced team sports like hockey or basketball, and the military to name a few. Developing a skill to increase success in critical performance situations is not only a sound strategy, but perhaps the next big competitive advantage.

Business Improvisation is a skill that can be taught. It is a process that can be broken down into steps which can be isolated and then practiced. The steps in the process are simple, easy to understand but can be difficult to execute correctly due to the environment they occur in. However, the typical conditions for improvisation are generally stressful, and performing anything under pressure is more difficult and being creative under pressure is extremely difficult.