Improv and Team Building for Companies and Organizations

The basic skills required for Improvisation are not unlike the basic skills used to build successful companies. The process of saying “Yes” to new ideas in order to spur innovation is the cornerstone of any improv group. Collaboration towards a singular goal is second nature to Improvisationists.

For your organization we offer full and half day sessions, aimed at introducing Improv and risk taking to your team. We explore company structure and challenges through a variety of tasks and games, with the goal of building towards a set of achievable and measurable goals. The day mixes basic and intermediate improvisation exercises with group work. There are no acting or individual performance skills reviewed, the entire day is geared towards helping your organization identify need areas, and create objectives and goals to better serve the customers, the team, the management and the owners.

Although the agenda will change based on the organization goals, challenges, and structure, a sample itinerary for a day of Improv Team Building would look like:

  • 8:00AM-Continental Breakfast/Casual Conversations.
  • 8:30AM-Opening exercise/Warm Up. Getting to know the team.
    • Review rules for the day. (phones, breaks, confidentiality, assiduity, timeliness)
    • Energy Exercise and Focus Exercise.
  • 9:00AM-Split into Small Random Groups. Each Group will do an organizational chart as they see it the way it currently exists. This will include all operating departments, support departments, and additional stakeholders (owners, customers, local community). Sub-Groups will present their charts to the full team.
  • 10:00AM-Break.
  • 10:15AM-Focus Exercise
  • 10:30-Break into groups by work function. Depending on the earlier exercise, we will work on a presentation that might define “What other departments don’t know about what we do” or “What I wish I understood about another department”. Presentations follow.
  • 11:30-Based on the challenges presented in the morning session, the next half hour will be spent in an exercise pointing out Log-Jams (Eli Goldratt), Change Management (Who moved my cheese), Providing honest feedback (1 minute manager), or Sales Techniques (everyone sells). The 30 minute segment will be determined on the goals set by the company and by the work done by the team in the morning.
  • Noon-Lunch
  • 1:00PM-Focus Exercise.
  • 1:15PM-Split into small groups of 2-3 people. Groups will provide flip chart work, or notes towards a narrative regarding “What would your company success look like to you”. We will spend an hour on this task, with the first 15 minutes allowing the group to free-think the process. At the 15 minute mark the group will be reminded of the various stake-holders that orbit the company. In the final 15 minutes, I will ask the teams to split the “Success factors” into groups by “For the Employee”, “For the Owners/Managers”, “For the Community”, “For the Customer” and “Anything that doesn’t fit one of those groups”. Finally, I will ask that they cross out anything that is mutually exclusive to one group that would harm another group’s success. Presentations will follow.
  • 2:15PM-Look for commonalities within the groups.
  • 2:30PM-Break.
  • 2:45PM-Energy Exercise
  • 3:00PM-Working with the previous flip charts, as a group identify 5-8 items that would be most beneficial to the organization. Split the groups into non homogenous work groups and divide the beneficial tasks among them. Give them 30 minutes to create “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Targeted to the issue). During presentations, get buy-in on very specific Goals, and make those the blue print for the coming year.
  • 4:00PM–Quick Break
  • 4:10PM-Next steps
    • Tools to bring back to the work place.
    • Follow up/Milestone discussions.
    • 4:40PM-Ending exercise.

A half day option is available with a more directive and task specific overall goal in mind.

You can begin the process of exploring Improv as an organizational tool by contacting Marty Matfess at 706-799-8309 or by Email at teambuilder@livecatdeadcat.com.

Mr. Matfess is the Chief Operating Officer for Singh Investment Group. Mr. Matfess facilitated the growth of SIG from a single hotel in 2006. Today SIG own and manages 12 hotels with over 700 employees. Mr. Matfess has been doing improv for 6 years, and practicing integrating improvisation and team building on his sales organization since 2001. Mr. Matfess’ average hotel provides sales in excess of 120% market share.

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