Improvisation: a leadership dojo for an interconnected world


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This is a presentation from "Using Improvisation for Appreciative Intelligence", a doctoral seminar co-taught by Tiff von Emmel and Tojo Thatchenkery, at Fielding Graduate University, School of Human and Organization Development, on January 11, 2013.

Thanks to:
Tojo Thatchenkery |
Fielding Graduate University |

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Improvisation: a leadership dojo for an interconnected world

  1. 1. Improvisation:a leadership dojo for an interconnected world
  2. 2. presented atUsing Improvisation for Appreciative Intelligence Human and Organization Development PhD program Fielding Graduate University, January 11, 2013 Co-taught by: Tiffany von Emmel, PhD Tojo Thatchenkery, PhD
  3. 3. Alexandreena Dixon and audience at Newburg Jazz Festival, U.S.What is improvisation?
  4. 4. Improvisation is a cultural practiceOriginated as spiritual practices in group-oriented cultures in Africa, Asia, Latin America
  5. 5. … migrated as art in individual-oriented culturesEurope and North AmericaEco art, disability art, feminist artDance-theater in Tokyo, Berlin, San FranciscoTheater improv in Canada and U.S.
  6. 6. Improvisation is a processMindful responsiveness to relations that generates positive development
  7. 7. Kandinsky, Flood Improvisation, 1913Why practice improvisation?
  8. 8. Perform a better world. Wisdom is the cultivation of an ever-increasing capacity for responsiveness to our relations, unfolding moment to moment. Peter Hershock, Liberating Intimacy, Chan Bhuddism
  9. 9. Transform a deforested Self. Passivity (Alaine Touraine) Shallow perception (David Abram) Impoverished imagination (Maxine Greene) Fragmentation (Susan Griffin) Consuming mode of desire (Peter Mclaren)
  10. 10. Develop leadership as... “...transformation of all kinds.” “...a process that everyone participates in.” Rost, Joseph, Leadership for the 21st Century
  11. 11. Software engineer from San Francisco and Kenyan youth leader, during storm and power outage, Nairobi, 2012How does improvisation work?
  12. 12. Your use of self  Connect often  Appreciate context  Build on offers (“Yes, And”)  Engage diversity  Reframe stories  Follow the joy
  13. 13. When more perceptionis engaged, more relations are appreciated.Connect often.
  14. 14. Two experiential activities in trios:ReframeDreamer and the DreamPost-activity discussion:In the moments that you felt joy, what was happening in the trio?What did you notice about your use of self?Which aspects of improvisation were in process?What aspects of appreciative intelligence did you notice?
  15. 15. Create conditions for organizational improvisation. Values: joy, generosity, openness, respect, growth Vision of good Facilitation training Practice labs Rituals Environment: space, objects, time, gestures
  16. 16. Apply improvisation wherever you are. Psychology Leadership development Social and ecological justice Organization development Team development Arts-based Inquiry reference: Applied Improvisation Network
  17. 17. Kandinsky, Improvisation iii, 1911 How might you applyimprovisation in your world?
  18. 18. Play on... For research, consulting, and training projects, contact: Tiffany von Emmel, PhD vonemmel [at] gmail [dot] com