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Business Improv: Experiential Learning Exercises to Train Employees to Handle Every Situation with Success Paperback – June 13, 2011
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About the Author
Val Gee is cofounder of the global training firm MJLearning, headquartered in Chicago, and author of The Winner’s Attitude, Super Service, OPEN Question Selling, and The Customer Service Toolkit.
Sarah Gee is a leadership consultant with affiliations to the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is an alum of Chicago’s The Second City and iO and has performed with Tina Fey, Martin Short, Eric Idle, Tim Meadows, and other comedy legends.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a unique blend of creative exercises and applied professional facilitation. Each of the 75 activities is structured in a "Dummies" approach meaning that they are clearly described, formatted the same way and linked together in themes. This makes the book very accessible which greatly increases the value potential of the activities and practices. Each activity has the following descriptors:
Level of Risk - which is helpful to determine
Background and Purpose - that share the reasons for the techniques, how they apply to business and what they mean
Objectives - clearly stated goals
Mini-Lecture - that describe the situation the activity addresses
Overview - a short description of the activity.Read more ›
However, the editing is substandard. Chapters 4 and 44 describe the same exercise in totally different words. There are frequently confusing phrases and weak descriptions, such as "then have people take it randomly to add new ideas," and "[have] participants create a silent human tableau showing delegation at it's worst..." I have no idea what either of these instructions mean.
Overall, the book is a great starting point and I have used it extensively in designing an education program. The poor editing unfortunately impedes understanding repeatedly throughout the book, to the extent that entire chapters are skipped from time to time.
The basis of the book is that it is a "how to" manual for helping people improve the way they communicate, manage and lead. There is an extensive, although a little "waffly" introduction that explains the authors' rationale. Although I found this a little basic (even for non-professional facilitators), the ideas are sound. I particularly liked the four "Rules of Business Improv":
* "Yes, and"
* Support and celebrate others
* Suspend judgments
* Take risks and participate energetically.
The bulk of the book includes 75 activities/exercises that can be used in team facilitation, meetings and training sessions.
Each of these activities/exercises is set out in a similar manner that is easy to follow and implement:
* Level of Risk
* Background and Purpose
* Mini Lecture
* Overview and Objectives
* Steps to Follow
* Benefits to Look For
* Discussion Points
* Participant Action Plan
And there are some great exercises - everything from Building Relationships and Collaboration to Problem Solving, Ethics and Harassment - the list is very extensive.
As a professional facilitator myself, one of the nice things I liked about this book is the creative way the activities are planned and conducted. There is an obvious link to the authors' theatrical background. This alone sets it apart from other similar books available.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best improv books I have used. I work with managers and executives and have used several of the improv games to help leaders be more creative at solving... Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Shantiananda
This book, including its title, are ethically challenged. There are chunks of this book that are lifted from course materials created by Bob Kulhan, CEO of Business Improvisations... Read morePublished on October 14, 2012 by Charles Farley
I own an improv-based training company and have been searching for a book that really lays out exercises, take aways and debriefing questions specifically for use in a corporate... Read morePublished on December 23, 2011 by Gina C.