and what the Applied Improvisation Methodology (AIM) can bring to the table.

Organisations often have weak structures, processes, and procedures that need to be addressed for growth and success.

My first line of questioning would be about getting an insight into the culture that either directly or indirectly supports the longevity of these weaknesses. What does the organisation gain from these structures (e.g. comfortability vs pain)? Why are they in this situation?

Understanding these better, people can then play through Applied Improvisation (AIM) activities that can (but not only) emphasise better resource allocation, effective communication and adaptability in crisis situations, or adaptability and strategic thinking in response to sudden market changes or disruptive events.

The importance of HR function in organisations, particularly during periods of growth or change.

Growth and change is well covered within improv. My first thoughts are around the appetite for change, how staff and management want to see change, and what they would do once they get change.

Improv is predicated on both safety and secure and creativity, openness and risk, even within difficult or stressful situations. As people tend to see change in a negative light, AIM activies bring in a new relationship to change. Then they can lead when they live the change.

The need for a streamlined onboarding process to ensure new hires feel supported and valued.

I would work with any improvements in the onboarding process as a support system so people can experience feeling supported and valued from the get go. This would mean any values the organisation has that talk about employee health and wellness is demonstrated by actions.

The importance of HR audits in identifying underlying causes of errors or fraud.

Again, improv acts as a support mechanism for the auditing process, helping bring the right mindsets and states so the process stays on track and doesn’t derail. This is important for high-stakes/consequential processes. Here are three ways improv is used:

Identifying Organisational Weaknesses: “Yes, And” mindset and other improv principles can help uncover vulnerabilities that might lead to errors or fraudulent activities. Environment of trust encourages open communication and transparency, which is a key for identifying the root causes of issues.

– Improving Presentation and Reporting Skills: Improv activities around  public speaking and storytelling can enhance the HR audit team’s ability to effectively present their findings and recommendations to stakeholders. This can lead to better understanding and buy-in for implementing necessary changes

– Building Trust and Psychological Safety: Improv builds a sense for and use of playfulness, empathy, and shared purpose. This leads to trust and psychological safety during the audit process.

“Those who say ‘yes’ are rewarded by the adventures they have. Those who say ‘no’ are rewarded by the safety they attain” (Keith Johnson)



Step 1: Divide and Suggest
Divide the group into 2-4 players (P1…P4), choosing who will be P1 etc. For each round, P1 starts by enthusiastically suggesting we all do a social activity together using statements. P2/P3 responds to P1 in the same energy as P1. After every suggestion, each player gets a turn to suggest something.

Step 2: “Yes, But”
In this round, we are responding to another player’s offers by saying “yes”, then continuing with ‘but’, then a reason for the ‘but’. P1 chooses a activity and P2 gives “yes, but”. P2 asks the same question to P3, and P3 gives “yes, but”, continuing through the group. At the end of 60 seconds, what does the social event  look like? Are the suggestions vague or uninteresting? Do people care?

How normal is this in everyday conversation? Likely, not much came back from “yes, but”, nor was there any building on ideas.

Step 3: “Yes, And”
Continue the conversation from where you left off, and exchange ‘yes, but for ‘yes, and’. ‘Yes’ shows you heard what P1 said, and have taken time to understand it. ‘And’ bridges the perspective of P1 to your own, and gives you a chance to add to what P1 said. “yes, and…” is an invitation and aims for inclusivity, flow, and momentum. This is someone supporting your idea and build on it with active listening.



CX, SALES, PROJECTS, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: Yes, and’ helps strengthen the personal skillset for active listening and focusing on one thing. ‘Yes, and’ pulls people into a conversation, or sometimes just an exchange of ideas. ‘Yes, and’ reflects a positive approach to relationship building.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: How well ‘yes, but’ doesn’t work opposed to ‘yes, and’. This helps reduce conflict and allows ideas to flourish. which is really just about you two talking to each other.

COMMUNICATION: Awareness of default conversation patterns.

STRATEGY: ‘Yes, and’ is effective with harvesting ideas, due to an absence of ‘yes, but’ or blocking. When editing this ‘yes, and’ collection of ideas for the ones that work the best, those ideas with no traction fall away. The remaining ideas are individually ‘yes, and’ed until the best survive.


Step 1: Co-creating the Story
All players co-create and build a new, cohesive story by adding one word (or more) to the story on the spot.
Players build off the previous player’s word(s) and add the first word that comes to mind, no matter what it is.
Through this process, the story unfolds.

Step 2: Adding Words to the Story
After Player 1 (P1) contributes one (or three) words, P2 follows and contributes the same, then P3 and so on.
Players can use filler words, sounds, or gibberish if they get stuck, as the story will still be understood.
Use of punctuation (comma, full stop, etc.) can only be added by the next player.
All words must flow grammatically and with the story’s progression.

Step 3: Embracing the Unexpected
As the story forms, players may say a word expecting the story to go in a certain direction, only to have it go elsewhere. They must accept and adjust to the many directions the story takes.



PRESENTATIONS, COLLABORATION, MEETINGS, DEI: Consider conversations with your partner as a series of ‘offers’ that you give to each other. An offer can be positive (“I have more time to speak”, “sounds like a useful product”), neutral (“thanks for asking, I’m good”), or negative (“we don’t have the budget”). The ability to immediately empathise with the existing situation, regardless of preconceived notions, enables a presenter to recognise diversity and tolerate adverse opinions.


Step 1: Giving the Gift (🄶)
Player 1 (P1) mimes/magically gives Player 2 (P2) an imaginary 🄶.
The 🄶 is presented in a recognizable physical form, but P2 is “blind” to what the gift is.

Step 2: Receiving the 🄶
P2 puts their hands towards P1 and accepts the mimed 🄶, mirroring the hand shapes and movements P1 made.
The Moderator (MC) invites them to take a moment to breathe and reflect on the prompt.
P2 receives the 🄶 with appreciation and discovers new things about it that make it perfect for them (“Oh, look, it’s my favorite color. And it’s self-replenishing!”).

Step 3: Describing the 🄶
P2 thanks P1 and describes the 🄶 that P1 handed them, including how it helps (🄷).
The 🄶 can be large, small, heavy, smelly, sentimental, magical, a certain size, shape, or weight. If 🄶 is an action item, it may help P2 amplify a capacity or remove obstacles.
P2 shares where and how they will keep the 🄶

Step 4: Acknowledging the 🄶
P1 now knows what the 🄶 is and is happy to have given it.
P1 may be surprised by P2’s interpretation of their mime and relates to what P2 shared.

Step 5: Switching Roles
Then switch roles or move on to P3.

This activity ends when you have gone around a full round, or it feels time to move on.

GIFT, TYPE 🄶: missile, bank safe, mosquito, blobs, flagpole, bird, cat, vibrator, skunk, perfume, stew, cricket bat from age 7, baby shoes, magic wand.

GIFT, THE FEEL OF 🄶: slippery, felt-like, wet, hot.

GIFT, HELPS 🄷: will make me look good when the Queen arrives, this will be great to feed to my pet crocodile, I’ll finally pay off my mortgage with this



  • PROJECTS, STRATEGY, BRAINSTORMING: Colleagues, management, or the public may offer you opportunities. Accept these offers, whatever they may be, to help your team adapt to unexpected changes, strengthen your connections, and have fun. This topic encourages players to be open to unexpected opportunities that can help their team adapt, strengthen connections, and have fun. It’s a valuable skill in improv and collaborative activities.
  • PRESENTING: Identify the center of attention in any given situation. Lacking this skill can cause presenters to drift off-topic and get sidetracked. Identifying the center of attention is important in improv to avoid getting sidetracked. This skill helps players stay focused and responsive to the evolving scene.
  • COLLABORATION: Improv helps people recognize diverse perspectives and fosters open-mindedness, which is crucial for successful collaborative improvisation where players need to build on each other’s ideas.
  • TEAM COHESION: Improv is an inherently collaborative activity, which means people are more likely to promote or defend each other’s choices. Use this when advancing a point of view that is shared by at least one other person. GRP’s collaborative nature encourages players to support each other’s choices, which can be leveraged when advancing a shared point of view. This promotes group cohesion and creativity.



Verified by MonsterInsights