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Getting to "Yes And" By Bob Kulhan

Getting to "Yes And" by Bob Kulhan

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Getting to "Yes And" Summary

Getting to "Yes And": The Art of Business Improv by Bob Kulhan

Amidst the deluge of advice for businesspeople, there lies an overlooked tool, a key to thriving in today's fast-paced, unpredictable environment: improvisation. In Getting to "Yes And" veteran improv performer, university professor, CEO, and consultant Bob Kulhan unpacks a form of mental agility with powers far beyond the entertainment value of comedy troupes.

Drawing on principles from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and communication, Kulhan teaches readers to think on their feet and approach the most typical business challenges with fresh eyes and openness. He shows how improv techniques such as the "Yes, and" approach, divergent and convergent thinking, and focusing on being present can translate into more productive meetings, swifter decisions, stronger collaboration, positive conflict resolution, mindfulness, and more. Moving from the individual to the organizational level, Kulhan compiles time-tested teaching methods and training exercises into an instrumental guide that readers can readily implement as a party of one or a company of thousands.

Getting to "Yes And" Reviews

"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 *
"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 *
"Teaching momentary situational analysis, snap decision making and workplace camaraderie makes this book an excellent read for any manager looking to build a great team." -- Kelly Gibbons * Forbes *
"When it comes to the application of improv tenets in the business world, there is no one better than Bob Kulhan. Any university, business, and (now) reader is fortunate to have him as their lead facilitator. If I ran the business world, I would insist this book be a part of every curriculum, in every company." -- Susan Messing, Instructor and Performer, iO, The Annoyance, and The Second City and Adjunct Professor, DePaul University, The University of Chicago, The School at Steppenwolf * and The World *
"I have known Bob Kulhan for a damn 20 years. He's a great improviser, a great teacher, and an o.k. guy. His commitment to improvisation is spring loaded and fuel injected. He's super positive (too positive) and rather smart! Read this book because why not?" -- Mick Napier * Founder, The Annoyance Theatre and author of Behind the Scenes and Improvise *
"Bob Kulhan's skills as an improvisational teacher and player offer an insightful and energetic point of view to any group.I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with this dummy for almost twenty years now. And I look forward to many more." -- Jack McBrayer * Actor, 30 Rock, The Middle, Wreck-It Ralph *
"Kulhan was early to the realization that we are constantly innovating in business and in life, and that there is a method to doing it better. He brings very sharp tools to promote collective success, through motivating, making decisions, energizing, building ideas, and managing status differences. Although a key insight in the book is that improvisation isn't synonymous with comedy, nobody will mind that Bob presents these important ideas with a lively and fun way." -- Paul Ingram * Columbia Business School *

About Bob Kulhan

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.

Table of Contents

Contents and AbstractsIntroduction: More than One Way to Hit a Pinata chapter abstract

The Introduction defines improvisation and puts a cognitive frame around improv as an effective tool for strengthening business skills, while dispelling myths and misconceptions about improv. Myth one is that improv is just comedy; myth two, that improv is making stuff up as a means of last resort. The author debunks these myths by illustrating the use of improvisation in different contexts (including an interview with Navy SEAL Captain Jamie Sands, discussing the importance of training and preparation for exceptional improvisation) and establishing a simple definition of improv. The Introduction also creates a clear road map for the book: from personal development, to interpersonal application, to team application, to creating culture.

1Thinking Outside of Thinking Outside of the Box chapter abstract

This chapter explores how the ever-accelerating pace of change in technology has affected how we communicate and collaborate with each other in a global community. These free-flowing channels of communication have revealed a need to explore and celebrate diversity of perspective in the workplace. This chapter looks to define the barriers to creativity, collaboration, improvisation, and change. Further demonstrating how improv can be used in business, the author characterizes the skill set related to improvising well, and introduces the concepts of divergent thinking and convergent thinking. The chapter also serves as an introduction to the author, and uses a UCLA program about storytelling as a case study for the application of improv to the business environment.

2Just Say "Yes, and . . ." chapter abstract

The chapter defines the key improv principle of "Yes, and . . ." and introduces the language and philosophy of business improvisation. Beyond a brainstorming tool, "Yes, and" is a communication tool that links to mindfulness, empathy, and relationship building. The author also explores the concept of emotional intelligence in leadership and provides a step-by-step path for using improvisation as a way to develop EQ. The chapter provides exercises that challenge the reader to begin to embrace and practice the core concepts of improvisation inwardly, for personal growth, so that the reader can ultimately implement these techniques outwardly, in dyadic and small-group conversations.

3I'm with the Brand chapter abstract

This chapter introduces the concept of personal branding, especially as it relates to authenticity and awareness in real time. The author defines mindfulness as a key developmental goal, and buttresses the lessons and themes from the previous chapters by challenging the reader to take on a personal development "deep dive" through the application of improv techniques. The chapter explores the need to slow the brain down and focus mental energy on being present, in the moment. It dives into creating culture by exploring the "employer brand" as it relates to leading and designing environments in which workers feel valued and appreciated. The chapter offers practical exercises to help readers achieve a keen awareness of their mental and physical state, and to help them develop a clear vision of how their personal development can help them define and achieve their brand in the workplace.

4Energy Independence chapter abstract

This chapter directly expands on Chapter 3 by answering the "how" question, and paves the way to Chapter 5 by exploring the concept of energy manipulation. Specifically the author walks the reader through energy manipulation techniques that are first employed individually and in small-group settings. The chapter focuses on intrinsic motivation as a technique for personal drive and inspiring others. It also looks at how-through behavioral psychology studies like the chameleon effect-we influence others through our own actions. This type of influence carries over from in-person interactions to distance and virtual communication (highlighted here through reference to the work of voice-over artists). The chapter also emphasizes the importance of momentum in creative and collaborative endeavors.

5Teaming Up chapter abstract

The chapter dissects the dynamics of teams and demonstrates how improv can be used to make teams operate more effectively. The author first looks at how the concept of unconditional support directly translates into respectful communication and how "individual perspective" is not the same as "individual agenda." The chapter explores how the reader can play a significant part in a team, and investigates the concept of leveling status as it relates to divergent and convergent thinking. The author looks at the U.S. Navy's premier flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, as a short case study on the benefits of leveling status to facilitate respectful communication. The author also looks at the role of failed leadership-specifically relating one of his own failures as a case study on poor leadership. He concludes with a look at how Gen Y and Millennials are reshaping corporate culture.

6Must Be Something Ideate chapter abstract

This chapter takes the reader through the process of leading successful collaboration sessions. Using the analogy of panning for gold, the author demonstrates how participants in a brainstorming session increase the probability of success by collecting as much material as possible. The chapter shows how to remove the most destructive cognitive blocks to creativity, collaboration, and change by creating a culture of acceptance. This "culture" is not only effective for collaboration; it's a means for eliminating bad meetings. Further, the chapter moves past divergent (creative) phases of ideation and delves into the necessary convergent (editing) phase. Arguing that influence comes not only from our energy, attitude, and language, the author looks at how nonverbal communication and body language affect others in a meeting. The book continues to underscore the importance of creating muscle memory through continued practice by looking at the "conscious competence" learning model.

7Busted chapter abstract

This chapter examines how bad teaming in the form of silos can negatively shape corporate culture. The author defines this problem explicitly through case studies (9/11 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security; the IDEO workplace; and how a hotel in Dubai busted silos) and analysis of current corporate trends, and then demonstrates how this common problem can be addressed; that is, how barriers to communication can be torn down through the application of improv techniques. The chapter also briefly examines how global trends in virtual communication-information sharing, crowd sourcing, social media-have become effective ways of removing silos both inside companies (employees) and outside organizations (customers). The author shows how vertical hierarchies within companies can create silos and then how leveling status and distributing leadership can remove silos within meetings. Additionally he shows how improv techniques are effective in managing conflict.

8Take Me to Your Leadership chapter abstract

The chapter analyzes traits of both great and horrible leaders, differentiates leaders from managers, and shows how through improv techniques leadership skills can be developed so that one has an understanding of how energy, attitude, behavior, and communication style affect others. By focusing on presence and mindfulness, this chapter reemphasizes improv's value as a means of outward expression and deep introspection. It delves into the Six Domains of Leadership framework and explores leadership traits that organizations value, as well as traits that derail leadership. The author highlights the actions of a dean in Duke Fuqua's executive education department as an instance of exemplary leadership in the context of failure. The improv phrase "Follow the Follower" is redefined as a way to manipulate status and establish cross-functional relationships within teams. The chapter also looks at how VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) relates to business and connects with leadership traits.

9How to Eat an Elephant chapter abstract

This chapter hits the "how" of applying improv techniques on a personal, interpersonal, and team level. The author shows how improv can be used to influence, inspire, and create intrinsic motivation in others, who will then put accountability practices in place around rules, principles, philosophy, and a shared language. He then shows how improv techniques can be applied to create corporate culture. This chapter highlights the importance of leading change through practice in revisiting Captain Jaime Sands and the U.S. Navy SEALs' team culture. The author looks at differences between "groupthink" and "group mind" and shows how learned helplessness and conformity pressure can be reverse-engineered to create cultures that explore possibility and potential. This chapter constructs a guide to designing innovative cultures and shows how to deal with different types of resistance encountered when leading change.

10And Wait . . . There's More! chapter abstract

This chapter makes the lessons of the book practicable in the reader's life by providing new exercises designed to aid in the transferability, sustainability, and accountability of leading change and creating culture. Takeaways and practical applications are made crystal clear.

Additional information

Getting to "Yes And": The Art of Business Improv by Bob Kulhan
Used - Very Good
Stanford University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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