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Business Improv: Experiential Learning Exercises to Train Employees to Handle Every Situation with Success Paperback – June 13, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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  • Business Improv: Experiential Learning Exercises to Train Employees to Handle Every Situation with Success
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (June 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071768211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071768214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Its hard to swing the proverbial dead cat around a book store and not hit a bunch of books that discusses innovation. Most tout the merits of innovation and the need for people to be more creative. Few provide actionable tools and techniques that you can understand and actually think about how you would put them into action. Business Improv is just such a book. Highly recommended for people who are looking for new approaches to open up their organization, the way it thinks, the

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.
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Format: Paperback
What a relief! As a former actor / improvisor this book has given me the impetus to start my own Improv based company. This marvellous book is comprehensive / informative and opens up the huge potential for good Improvisation can unleash in a business setting. In the UK Improvisation in Business is a new concept, but thanks to Val Gee and Sarah Gee I now have the confidence to launch myself into the business world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The exercises in this book are plentiful and useful. The discussions along side each exercise are interesting and somewhat useful, though an effective teacher might dig deep into the essence of each exercise and apply it to whatever work situation they are in.

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.
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Format: Paperback
In "Business Improv", Val Gee and Sarah Gee have produced an excellent resource for trainers, facilitators and change agents. Based on their work in business, theatre and business schools, the book resonates with exercises that are inclusive, creative and above all, practical.

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
* Time
* 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.
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