Improv and Creativity

Here at Wedge we like to work with others. Actually, this is when we have our most creative moments-with groups of people brainstorming ideas, playing out scenarios. To be honest, sometimes we suggest a problem and brainstorm solutions simply for fun.

Quickly coming up with ideas, building off of others, trying to not laugh when something funny happens. These are not only subsets of brainstorming, but they’re also a part of improv comedy. I believe we can draw a lot of similarities between improv comedy and brainstorming. If you think about it, brainstorming is like improv, but rather than telling a story we are trying to come up with design solutions.

Every improv comic learns a set of rules about how not to only be creative in improv, but to be a good improv partner. These are rules that can be applied directly to the times when you are developing ideas with others:

Agree and Say Yes
If you say “No”, or don’t try to explore what others suggest, then you are essentially stopping the conversation or brainstorm session. Not only does this leave you stuck, but all the weight of carrying the group forward is back on your partner(s), and that’s simply not fair.

Yes, And
Always make sure that you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile. Allow yourself to go down that road of uncertainty.

Make Statements, which tells us to offer our own opinions and suggestions:
Whatever the problem is, be a part of the solution. If you ask a question to your partner, or to a group, you are simply dismissing your responsibility of adding value to the conversation, and totally depending on others to do the work.

There are no mistakes, only opportunities
This doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong, but that it’s your job to make the best of the situation you find yourself in.

Make others look better than yourself
If we all look out for one another, than we all win. Once you are trying to make your partner look good, then chances are you’ll be a more cooperative, creative, and collaborative person.

These are rules we practice all the time at Wedge. Coincidentally we laugh a lot, too.

Ready, set, brainstorm!

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