Old dog - new tricks
Another year, another trip to Australia to work with Cleverfool and one of Patrick’s big clients Ford Australia. This time we headed for the Gold Coast to help out with a gathering of their Parts Managers.
Working with Cleverfool always means lots of characters, which I love. This visit was no exception. I got to be David Hasselhoff in full “Baywatch” mode, alongside a security guard and a royal aide. This year we also managed to add some improvisation training into the mix.
I was a little unsure about this to start off with because these guys work in a pretty blokey industry and usually aren't about doing things in front of a group of people. But I should have trusted in improv and in the Parts guys and gals themselves. Improv is a great thing to get you to step out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself with what you can create. Patrick and I were pretty strong in issuing a challenge to people at the beginning of the workshop and that challenge was well accepted. We saw some pretty grizzled Aussies throwing themselves into improv exercises and coming out the other end rating it as one of their favourite sessions of the conference. It really does work!
Improv teaches so many lessons about a listening, teamwork and creativity in a way that is really tangible. I have said before that those people who can't see the point in improv and creativity training need it the most. Those people who just plain haven't been exposed to it before really can get a lot out of it as well because it is such a different way of experiencing being out of your comfort zone and in completing improv exercises there is a real sense of achievement because something uncomfortable has been faced down, and easily because we all possess the tools to create and play. It's just the willingness to access them that can be the issue.