- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: Stanford Business Books; 1 edition (January 24, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804795800
- ISBN-13: 978-0804795807
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Getting to "Yes And": The Art of Business Improv 1st Edition
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"Getting To 'Yes And' is a transformative book. With focus, care, professionalism, and good humor, Kulhan delivers a how-to guide for implementing improvisation in business. At the center, we will definitely be incorporating his techniques into our future programs." (Rick Barrera COO The Center for Heart Led Leadership and author of Overpromise and Overdeliver)
"You don't have to spend years on stage to be good at the art of improvisation. In his new book, Getting to 'Yes, And', improv veteran Bob Kulhan shows you how improvisation techniques can positively impact almost any business situation. Read this intriguing book and get ready to take communication at work to a whole new level." (Ken Blanchard coauthor of The New One Minute Manager and Collaboration Begins with You)
"Kulhan is an experienced improviser with a deep understanding of the art form. And, he is a talented teacher with years of experience translating the essence of improv into valuable business lessons. His no nonsense (yet entertaining) style is perfect for anyone in either business or improv who wants to bring the two worlds together." (Daniel Klein, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Department of Theater and d.school)
"Bob is a thoughtful and caring teacher of improvisation. He's a tireless champion of the art form and he'd stop me from singing his praises if that didn't directly contradict improv's first rule: Acceptance. Deal with it, Bob." (Jordan Klepper anchor of Comedy Central's The Opposition with Jordan Klepper and former correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)
"Getting to "Yes And" is an eye-opening and innovative business book written by a business person and professor for business people." (Soundview Executive Summaries)
"Prescriptive, educational, and funny, this book is filled with disarmingly easy improv techniques to up our game at work. Getting to "Yes and" has earned its place on the bookshelves, desks, and nightstands of savvy business readers. It's Dale Carnegie Training for the 21st century." (Jack Canfield CEO, The Canfield Training Group and bestselling author of The Success Principles )
"It's impossible not to smile when you read this book. Whether it is the 'Eights' exercise or celebrating ridiculous ideas, "Yes And"will remind you how to have fun at work – and as a result I'm convinced your business will be more effective...Can't recommend this book highly enough. It will be a GREAT addition to your bookshelf." (MyBusinessBookClub)
"Improvisation is the key to collaboration and innovation, and Bob Kuhlan is an improv star! This book shows you how to use improvisation for business success. It's filled with specific, practical, actionable advice, and it's lots of fun to read." (Keith Sawyer author of Group Genius and Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity)
"I don't know anyone who likes this more or commits harder than Bob. Bob is an improviser's improviser. Buy this book!" (TJ Jagodowski Improviser and author of Improvisation at the Speed of Life)
"For years, the business world has echoed 'yes and,' but we were light on details―until now. In a fun romp from Chicago's Second City to Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and beyond, this book threads together improv and such business essentials as negotiation, sales, goal setting, and conflict resolution. Read it, follow it, and you'll get better results, maybe even a few laughs along the way." (Dave Logan USC Marshall School of Business and bestselling co-author, Tribal Leadership)
About the Author
Bob Kulhan is President, CEO, and Founder of Business Improv, an innovative consultancy that specializes in experiential learning and serves an international roster of blue-chip firms. Bob is an Adjunct Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. A performer with over 20 years of stage credits, he trained with a long list of legendary talents, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. An actor and former core faculty member in Chicago's famed Second City and a member of the former resident company at the iO Theater, Kulhan is a Co-Founder of the critically acclaimed Baby Wants Candy improv troupe. You can follow him @Kulhan.
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One of the great directions Mr. Kulhan takes in writing about improv is being clear about what separates improv comedy troupes from the concerns of organizations. This is not a book about how to be funny, or to initiate your team with trust falls. It's about what it takes to create trust, create a culture that will thrive both during the good times and times of difficult change. Impressively, he acknowledges up front the differences of his life as a performer (trying to make audiences laugh), and how those skills translate, but are different in the business context.
Improvisers work in the area of the unknown and adapting to sudden changes in their environment. This is accomplished with the title of the book. Taking on a Yes And attitude to everything. Accepting ideas before judging them, listening intently, creating a space for trust and dialogue, and being highly mindful of your own actions and those of others. You can almost imagine that improvisers are a kind of superhero able to do situation analysis, decision making, brainstorming, team building and risk analysis all in a matter of seconds. But this can't be accomplished without tight teams, and the yes and philosophy (along with some other core ideas about awareness of your self and surroundings). To take it a next step the book shows how cognitive psychology has shown that even switching the verbal expressions from Yes but, as happens in many a meeting or even "No". This kills ideas, and also leads your best resources, your employees to no longer want to volunteer information.
The concept of Yes And is carried throughout this fantastic book, and Mr. Kulhan clearly shows how to put it into action at organizations of any size and hierarchical level. Spun with wit and incredible positive energy, this is a must read for any manager looking to make their teams go from good to great to elite.
Most importantly its clear that it doesn't take the 25 some odd years of experience Mr. Kulhan has to implement these ideas and see a change. He clearly believes that despite the seeming superpower like ability of improvisers, the ability to learn them is achievable by the most average of mortals...of course I should say Mr. Kulhan suggests that results do only come with hard work and choice to practice these ideas.
In our fast ever changing world that constantly shifts with technology and the complexity of globalization, improvisation and the concept of Yes And should be a core skill set for sales people, administrators, managers and leaders everywhere.
A great “ah-ha” in this book is an accurate break down of what improv is, exactly, and the numerous ways Kulhan recommends utilizing the skill sets. Kulhan is quick to point out that while improv and comedy will always be connected—Kulhan himself being a 20+ year improviser and alum of all the major improv theaters in Chicago—improv offers much more. He does a fantastic job of showing how improvisation can make any great team (in any setting) truly remarkable. Navy SEALS, world-class chefs, EMTs and First Responders, and yes, even businesspeople (just to name a few) are all professions that require improvisation. Kulhan argues that improvisation often gets misrepresented as the absence of preparation (i.e. making stuff up as you go); however, he makes it crystal clear that TRUE improvisation is the result of on-going training and preparation so that the individual can truly perform at what he calls “the top of your intelligence.”
Improvisation, according to Kulhan, is discovered at the intersection of strategy and execution. Let that sink in, because it’s profound. There are so many eye-openers in this book; be prepared to fill up a notebook! This is without question a worthwhile read that will pay dividends over the years.