"An excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City's improv workshops. It sounds crazy that a comedy troupe should have anything to say about how you should lead your life. Trust me: it isn't." – Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair
The Second City and HarperCollins are excited to announce the release of YES, AND: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration (HarperBusiness; February 3, 2015) co-written by veteran Second City executives Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.
In addition to 55 years of entertaining audiences and producing a legion of top comedic talent and influencers, The Second City has also been a training ground for teachers, managers, marketers, lawyers, advertising executives, politicians and even daytime television hosts (yes, Oprah has studied with them, too).
More and more people are recognizing what The Second City has known for a long time: personal and professional success often rests on the same pillars that form the foundation of great comedy improv – eradicate fear, embrace failure, and foster ensemble work. Whether you’re on the famous NBC stage or simply dealing with demanding colleagues at work, knowing how to pivot out of tight and uncomfortable spaces helps you become both a more compelling leader and a more collaborative follower.
YES, AND: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration offers specific improvisational methods and techniques (re-capped in a helpful Appendix) that have been proven to enable groups and organizations to find fresh, unconventional and inspiring ways to:
Generate ideas more quickly
Communicate more effectively
Create ensembles that rise to every occasion
Break down organizational silos that threaten collaborative success
Make something out of nothing
The rules of improvisation may sound a little like a recipe for disaster (“dare to offend” “fail in public,” “relinquish power”); in fact, the basic tenets of improv are also those that help groups like nonprofits, schools, apartment coops, and political campaigns communicate and create more effectively and confidently.
Throughout Yes, And, and with the sense of humor you’d expect from The Second City, Leonard and Yorton offer a unique look into their innovation laboratory where individuals and organizations routinely churn out the unexpected and unusual connections that lead to creative breakthroughs and paradigm shifts.
Click here for pre-order information. YES, AND: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration will be released on February 3, 2015 by Harper Business.
About the Authors
Kelly Leonard is executive vice president of The Second City and has produced shows with Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers and Keegan-Michael Key to name a few. He has worked at The Second City since 1988 (when he was both a dish washer and audience-seater there), and lives in Chicago with his family.
Tom Yorton is CEO of Second City Works, which provides improv- based training, content marketing, and conference support services to 400+ corporate clients annually. He has formerly held positions at 3Com, Sears, and Ogilvy & Mather. He writes and speaks widely on the power of improvisation and humor to improve individual performance and transform organizations. Tom and his family live in Barrington, Illinois.
Tom truly understands the clients that Second City Works serves. He was one before he came to run the company, having hired The Second City to humorously depict the promise and the perils of the “digital home” when he was a VP of marketing for 3Com.
About The Second City
Beginning as a small cabaret theater on Chicago's north side in 1959, The Second City has grown to become a comedy empire, building a robust $40+ million business based on its core improvisational methodologies. Resident theaters in Chicago and Toronto create topical sketch comedy revues that satirize politics, culture and news of the day. Additionally, Second City performs thousands of shows each year in regional theaters, colleges, performing arts centers and through an exclusive partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line. Beyond its stages, The Second City created the foremost school of improvisation-based arts in the world with training facilities in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles that currently enroll over 11,000 students annually; a corporate division that works with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies in areas of training, marketing, entertainment and brand services; and The Second City's forays into television and new media include the classic, Emmy Award-winning comedy series SCTV and continues to produce new content and programming originating from The Second City Entertainment's offices in Los Angeles.
About Harper Business
The gold standard in business book publishing for more than half a century, Harper Business is home to classics that form the cornerstone of every businessperson's library and to cutting-edge new releases that redefine business, management, economics, AND business narrative.
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