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Expand Your Story: Improv for Reinvention


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Using improv principles and practices with storytelling for creative reinvention and expanding what is possible. Mining the unknown and cultivating something new. Living stories and a 4-step emergent storytelling process. (Presented at the Reinvention Summit)

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Expand Your Story: Improv for Reinvention

  1. 1. Expand Your StoryUsing Improv Principles and Practices for Creative Reinvention By Michelle James CEO of The Center for Creative Emergence and Quantum Leap Business Improv
  2. 2. Engaging the UnknownOur relationship to the unknown is paradoxicalReptilian brain fears it. Protects from real threats.Frontal lobe of neocortex comes to life with it. Births new ideas.Compelling stories engage both the known and unknown. ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  3. 3. You and the UnknownWhat is the story you carry about the unknown?It is something to be feared or avoided?Is it something to be tolerated or handled?Is it something dynamic, alive and creative to beengaged and cultivated? ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  4. 4. Unknown as PotentialIn an organic universe, where we are meaning makers ever-seeking new levels of coherence and connection, there aremany possibilities.The unknown becomes a generative part of the emergenceprocess - a sought-after participant in new story creation. ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  5. 5. Emerging, Living StoriesLiving Stories - stories that are dynamic, alive and ever-evolving in light of new energy, insights, experiences andinformation.Emergent Space - the in-between pause. Holding (receptive)and cultivating (active) the open, uncharted space for whatemerges before filling it up with what we already knowexpands our stories. ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  6. 6. Mining the MysteryImprov offers rules of engagement to minethe mystery...and it’s fun!It dips you into the unknown.It doesn’t deny or avoid contradictions in a story - it uses them.It allows you to build on them until something unexpected is createdand a new, expanded, more inclusive story emerges.A new whole emerges that is greater than the sum of its parts. ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  7. 7. Improv Principles7 Improv PrinciplesAnd applying them to your personal reinvention story1. Yes-And2. Make Everyone Else Look Good3. Heighten and Explore4. Justify5. Serve the Good of the Whole6. Mistakes are Invitations to Create7. Be Changed by What Happens ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  8. 8. Emerging Story Process Improv Principles4-Step Process for Cultivating Emergent Stories1. Tune into what is most alive in you2. Draw it out using pattern breaking techniques*3. Shape and form the emergent patterns into a new story4. Live into the new story - let the HOW unfold moment by moment* Includes improv practices on the next slide ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  9. 9. Improv Story Practices5 Story-based Improv Practices for ExpandingYour Story1. Yes-And Story2. Yes-Because-And Story3. Future Selves Story4. Random Word Story5. New Choice Story combined with 100 Answers ©2010 The Center for Creative Emergence
  10. 10. Michelle James