Improv and Business: How Improvisation and Business Meet

On June 13th, a group of business professionals from Bioventus, a cutting edge orthobiologics company, stood in a circle in Miller Hall’s Innovation & Design Studio at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary. Led by two improv facilitators, the group went around the circle doing exercises that encouraged quick thinking, team building and flexibility.

By participating in activities such as naming ten things off the top of their head that make them smile, and mimicking each other’s faces, professionals were able to take a well-deserved break from business life and learn more about one another. Once professionals have the confidence to let their guards down in this environment, it is easier to be more open with one another in meetings and work events.

According to Forbes magazine, studying improvisation helps business professionals develop careful listening, contributing freely, and being present in the moment. These skills are vital to workplaces that rely on adaptability, and especially in the business world. Improv classes can also enhance presentation skills, as well as critical thinking.

This improvisation class is offered for corporate teams through the Mason School’s Center for Corporate Education (CCE). This is just one of the events this program puts on. Through classes like this, teams learn to think on their feet, trust one another, and build teamwork habits. Improv has been used for corporate teams of all shapes and sizes to come learn how to work together, and to practice creative thinking to bring back to the business realm.

This is not the only type of event the CCE provide corporate bodies. The CCE Experience provides unlimited opportunities through the CCE Experience. These include events from hands on team-building activities such as the improv class, design thinking workshops, simulations, interactive lectures, and many more. The CCE team will work with organizations to create an event that is fits any learning objectives. Past programs have included ropes courses, cook-offs, and case studies that involve teams working in small groups to come up with creative solutions.

Ken White, Associate Dean for MBA & Executive Programs, encourages all organizations to take part in CCE programs. “Companies that allow their employees to come to our campus and unplug for a few days or even a few hours, show that they are really investing in those employees. The organizations we work with want their employees to have the tools to succeed.”