Kelly Leonard: Say Yes! To Funny Business

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In this episode of Simplify, Caitlin talks to The Second City executive Kelly Leonard about how improv-based skills and techniques can be applied to the business world. Effective collaboration, innovative thinking, and constructive problem-solving can be major struggles for many teams, regardless of industry. But for those who really want to fix these issues, it’s time to look beyond how other companies work and turn to improv comedy ensembles for inspiration. After all, they’ve literally taken teamwork and turned it into an art form. Reflecting on years of experience with Chicago’s famous Second City improv troupe — where comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dan Aykroyd cut their teeth — Kelly Leonard explains how improv techniques can benefit the business world. From fostering better communication to generating better ideas, improv can help to build teams capable of rising to any challenge. Leonard gives useful advice and practical exercises on how to get the most out of a meeting, what kind of environment should be created at a workplace, and how to build trustworthy and respectful relationships inside the team to improve collaboration and get better ideas. Listen to this episode to learn business tips that are used on stage by some of the world’s best comedians, and discover the key to truly outstanding teamwork. Stick around after the interview for when Ben Schuman-Stoler joins Caitlin Schiller to talk about the main takeaways from the conversation with Kelly Leonard and helps put together a book list for further reading. For more info, including links to everything we discussed in the episode, go to: https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/simplify-kelly-leonard-growing-teams-with-improv. Read the transcript of the interview here: https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/simplify-kelly-leonard-transcript. Let us know what you thought of the episode, or just give us some book recommendations on Twitter—we’d love to hear from you! Find Caitlin at @caitlinschiller and Ben at @bsto. Try Blinkist for free for 14 days by going to https://www.blinkist.com/en/nc/friends/ and typing in the code "yesand" That excellent music you heard is by Nico Guiang. You can find more of it on Soundcloud [https://soundcloud.com/niceaux] and Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/niceaux].

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