WHAT MORE COULD YOU ACHIEVE AS A WITH...

The key to improvisation is the “Yes! And…” principle, which teaches us to actively listen to each other’s ideas and add value to them.

When we support each other in this way, we are more engaged, collaborative, and creative.  We not only achieve more together, we enjoy doing so!

Imagine what your business could achieve if everyone…

  • Supported and trusted everyone else
  • Was fully engaged at work
  • Felt more empowered to add value
  • Made decisions with speed and conviction
  • Was more adaptable to changes

5 Fundamentals of Improv For business

Companies that train with us learn to integrate these 5 key principles of improvisation into their culture to improve their business outcomes.

1) Perform as an ensemble

Always “have each others’ backs.” Great ensembles utilize the divergent strengths of the individual while putting the needs of the team first. Each member trusts that they will be supported by everyone else.

2) Think or say, “Yes! And…”

Treat every idea and action as a gift to create a growth mindset.  This simple phrase has immense power to quickly improve interpersonal communications and cultivate a culture in which ideas flow freely.

3) Take Action

Take bold decisive action in each moment to succeed under pressure. Quiet your inner critic and “think on your feet.” Commit and follow-through. If you don’t believe in your idea why will anyone else?

4) Be flexible

Take every opportunity to step outside your comfort zone. Be open to learn from mistakes and flexible to adapt to changes.

5) Find the Joy

Celebrate every success and laugh whenever possible. People love to laugh and humor and playfulness puts everyone at ease and breaks down barriers.  In fact, we don’t teach people to make jokes.  We help them discover the humor and joy by practicing the first 4 principles.

It’s time to say “Yes! And…”

to the most engaging, challenging, and memorable method for

  • Breaking down silos and building connections
  • Improving interpersonal communications
  • Building more effective and collaborative teams
  • Developing more courageous and compelling leadership
  • Fostering creativity and sparking innovation

… all while laughing and having a ton of fun.


Look who’s saying, “Yes! And…” with us



These exercises build confidence in a group and for each individual.

I loved the improv class. I thought it was very funny and it was a great team experience. I think from a business and professional stand point it was really good too as we discovered some issues with brainstorming and some people not getting their voices heard. Amy was great and made everyone feel comfortable. These exercises build confidence in a group and for each individual.

Charlotte Lambert, SEER Interactive

team building and creativity workshops
2014-06-10T11:46:01+00:00

Charlotte Lambert, SEER Interactive

SeerInteractive_logo
I loved the improv class. I thought it was very funny and it was a great team experience. I think from a business and professional stand point it was really good too as we discovered some issues with brainstorming and some people not getting their voices heard. Amy was great and made everyone feel comfortable. These exercises build confidence in a group and for each individual.

Rave Reviews from WD-40 Employees

Wow! Within just a couple of hours, Amy and Kat had our team open, trusting and ready to move forward with positive communication and relationship building skills. We received rave reviews from our tribe members (employees) and created a significant shift in our mindset as it relates to positive communication. The “Yes.. And” was especially powerful as well all of the stimulating activities that got us out of chairs, out of our comfort zones and on the path towards self-awareness and development. Bravo Finest City and we will definitely request a repeat performance!

Joanne Lamb
Americas HR Manager, WD-40 Company

team building and creativity workshops
2016-05-25T13:53:11+00:00

Joanne Lamb
Americas HR Manager, WD-40 Company

wd40
Wow! Within just a couple of hours, Amy and Kat had our team open, trusting and ready to move forward with positive communication and relationship building skills. We received rave reviews from our tribe members (employees) and created a significant shift in our mindset as it relates to positive communication. The “Yes.. And” was especially powerful as well all of the stimulating activities that got us out of chairs, out of our comfort zones and on the path towards self-awareness and development. Bravo Finest City and we will definitely request a repeat performance!

Days after we were still talking about the experience!

The staff at Finest City Improv hit it out of the park on all counts. They customized a workshop that was fun, informative, and engaging. We walked away from the workshop a more cohesive team and inspired to take that energy back to our own respective teams. Days after the workshop my key managers were still talking about their experience and applying what they learned to their daily work.

AJ Antun- President, Art Institute of San Diego

team building and creativity workshops
2015-09-08T12:08:06+00:00

AJ Antun- President, Art Institute of San Diego

aicasd_4c_logo
The staff at Finest City Improv hit it out of the park on all counts. They customized a workshop that was fun, informative, and engaging. We walked away from the workshop a more cohesive team and inspired to take that energy back to our own respective teams. Days after the workshop my key managers were still talking about their experience and applying what they learned to their daily work.

Important communication lessons for the workplace in a fun and intuitive fashion…

[The Finest City workshop was a] great way to use improv techniques to deliver important communication lessons for the workplace in a fun and intuitive fashion - I highly recommend.

Toby Richardson, VP, Informatics, Synthetic Genomics

team building and creativity workshops
2014-06-10T11:53:53+00:00

Toby Richardson, VP, Informatics, Synthetic Genomics

synthetic-genomics-master
[The Finest City workshop was a] great way to use improv techniques to deliver important communication lessons for the workplace in a fun and intuitive fashion - I highly recommend.

Fantastic team-building activity

Thank you Finest City Improv for the fantastic team-building activity for San Diego City College's Life Sciences Department. Not only was the workshop lots of fun for all who attended, it also allowed faculty and staff to bond while working on effective communication skills via improv games. I look forward to working with you again in the future!

Erin Rempala, San Diego City College

team building and creativity workshops
2016-02-05T12:45:08+00:00

Erin Rempala, San Diego City College

City_Logo
It allowed faculty and staff to bond while working on effective communication skills via improv games

We were so impressed with our workshop from start to finish.

We were so impressed with our workshop from start to finish. The Finest City Improv team was so thoughtful and helpful in planning our custom workshop. We loved the variety of exercises to get us all working together. It was exactly what we needed!

Tana Lorah, Kaiser Permanente

team building and creativity workshops
2014-06-27T14:52:33+00:00

Tana Lorah, Kaiser Permanente

kaiser-permanente
We were so impressed with our workshop from start to finish. The Finest City Improv team was so thoughtful and helpful in planning our custom workshop. We loved the variety of exercises to get us all working together. It was exactly what we needed!

Our president said it was the best retreat, bar none…

Finest City Improv managed to turn a group of attorneys into funny folks, as we improvised our way through challenges, bonding as a team along the way. The Finest City Improv team was so thoughtful and helpful in planning our custom workshop. Our president said it was the best retreat, bar none, that he had ever attended for any organization.

Jan Rieger, Board Member, San Diego County Bar Foundation

team building and creativity workshops
2014-06-27T14:43:39+00:00

Jan Rieger, Board Member, San Diego County Bar Foundation

sdcba
Finest City Improv managed to turn a group of attorneys into funny folks, as we improvised our way through challenges, bonding as a team along the way. The Finest City Improv team was so thoughtful and helpful in planning our custom workshop. Our president said it was the best retreat, bar none, that he had ever attended for any organization.

We elevated our game…

We couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon! Our custom workshop focused on working as a team and how we can best build off each other’s ideas. Finest City Improv directly related all their lessons to our GoPro brand, and through the magic of improvisation we elevated our game.

Jeff Youel, GoPro

team building and creativity workshops
2014-07-07T00:09:18+00:00

Jeff Youel, GoPro

gopro
Finest City Improv directly related all their lessons to our GoPro brand, and through the magic of improvisation we elevated our game.

I saw my heart-based entrepreneurs’ creativity and imagination come to life!

"In just one workshop, I saw my heart-based entrepreneurs’ creativity and imagination come to life! They were transformed! “Yes And” thinking has become part of our lexicon and is the start for truly prosperous action.”

-Mary Morrissey, Life Mastery Institute

team building and creativity workshops
2015-08-20T13:52:29+00:00

-Mary Morrissey, Life Mastery Institute

Mary Morrissey
"In just one workshop, I saw my heart-based entrepreneurs’ creativity and imagination come to life! They were transformed! “Yes And” thinking has become part of our lexicon and is the start for truly prosperous action.”

Their keynote knocked it out of the park!

Finest City Improv was anything but traditional in their keynote presentation. They had our large group up on their feet utilizing the principles of improvisation right away. We will not hesitate to work with Amy and Kat again, as our team is already taking to the “Yes! And…” philosophy that was taught in the presentation. They knocked it out of the park!

Solomon Poretsky, EVP of Organizational Development, Sperry Van Ness International

team building and creativity workshops
2016-03-18T16:36:02+00:00

Solomon Poretsky, EVP of Organizational Development, Sperry Van Ness International

SVN_2016_Annual_Conference_Logo2
They knocked it out of the park!

How It Works


Prepare


In every workshop we teach, we create a learning lab environment where every participant feels supported and able to take risks.

Since learning happens best when we are just slightly out of our comfort zones, our facilitators constantly monitor the comfort level for each person in the room and ensure they find success just outside of their comfort zone. We pay close attention to introverts and help create space for them in a room of extroverts.

No one is expected or encouraged to be funny, but everyone will be laughing a lot – and everyone loves to laugh.

We can then begin to teach everyone to think and act with an improvisational mindset using the 5 fundamentals (above) and discuss how to apply these skills to their work immediately.

Play


Improv games (or exercises) are introduced at various levels of difficulty, concentration, and risk-taking so we can start at a comfortable level and quickly adjust to meet the team where they are currently at.

Each game we facilitate is chosen to match your team and your goals and each has a few simple rules plus a point of concentration. Just like basketball or any other team sport, the point of concentration is a single focus the group shares towards achieving a goal, just like getting a ball in a basket as many times as possible within a time limit.

This familiar game structure helps participants let go of thoughts of “what might be”, “what ought to be”, or “what will make me look good.” Everyone practices being “in the moment”, collaborating as a group, and laughing at our “mistakes” while working to achieve the shared goal.

Apply


Most importantly, after each game, we spend ample time debriefing the experience and applying it to real-world challenges or goals.

Our facilitators aren’t just actors or comedians, they have real experience in business and are highly adept at helping participants discover connections between the skills each game builds and their everyday work lives.


Our facilitators are talented improvisers and teachers with a wealth of experience in other fields such as business, law, marketing, and leadership.Meet Our Team


Our workshops aren’t for everyone.

While everyone can benefit from practicing improvisation for business (and life), our programs are best for organizations that recognize they have untapped talent amongst them and with more spirited collaboration and fresh challenges will be more engaged at work and accomplish more amazing things together for the business.

We partner with companies that value a culture of idea sharing and risk taking and know that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” These companies don’t settle for “the way we’ve always done it” and are constantly looking for innovative ways to adapt to the changing business landscape.

If this is you, we want to work with you to help you achieve every “stretch goal” you’ve set and increase your bottom line using the power of improvisation for business.

Our trainings are best for

  • Employees that dread the thought of another 3-hour PowerPoint presentation.
  • Teams that want to be engaged and challenged.
  • Managers that want to see meaningful changes in the mindsets of their team members.
  • HR executives that want to know they are getting the greatest ROI for their training dollars.
  • Businesses that know that taking risks is essential to getting ahead.

If the thought of a few hours of on-your-feet learning and lively discussion about trust, communications, and collaborations causes your team members to call in sick, our workshops might not be a great fit for your culture (and also might be exactly what you need).

Improvisation truly challenges people to be authentic, vulnerable, and participate fully in the team activity.  And, that’s what we’ll bring to your team.

Have questions or want to book a workshop? Call us at (619) 306-6047 or email us to get started.

As Featured In



READY TO GET STARTED?


Try our introductory team building workshop

Improv training creates greater inter-dependence within team members and creates a wonderful sense of value of others’ ideas, and true belief in the power of the group. A 2014 survey by the American Psychological Association shows that “whether or not employees feel valued is a huge differentiation. 92% of employees who feel valued say they’re satisfied with their job compared with 29% of those who don’t feel valued.”

Build trust and support with the principles of improvisation. We guarantee your team will be inspired and collaborating more effectively in just one two-hour session!

2-HOUR INTRODUCTORY PROGRAM IS JUST $500 FOR 10 PEOPLE PLUS UP TO 8 ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS AT $45 EACH. Workshops take place at our North Park area training center or at your local San Diego office. For customized or larger workshops please contact us.

  • LAUGHTER-FILLED SESSIONS WHERE YOU RELEASE STRESS AND HAVE FUN.
  • TEAM BONDING THAT’S UNIQUE, MEANINGFUL, AND INCREDIBLY VALUABLE.
  • SEE EACH OTHER IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT AND BUILD MORE TRUST AND SUPPORT IN YOUR ORGANIZATION.

Once your group completes our Connect+Humor workshop we have more great programs including Communication Tune-up and Spirited Collaboration workshops that build on the skills you’ve learned previously.

We also create customized programs for companies, conferences, and retreats as well as keynote presentations and corporate entertainment. Contact us for a free consultation.  

Have questions or want to book a workshop? Call us at (619) 306-6047 or email us to get started.

Improv For Business Blog

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  • We’re in Entrepreneur Magazine!

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    Excited to be mentioned in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine! “Make it up!” is one of three tips for snapping out of the creativity rut. Our client San Diego Trading Company is used as the example of someone doing this successfully with the help of our improv at work training. Get your staff saying “Yes! And…” rather than “yeah… but….” with improv training.Read More »
  • Think Fast!

    Think Fast!

    When it comes to processing information and responding to a person or situation, do you resemble the tortoise or the hare? Do you spit out the first thing that comes to you or carefully consider before speaking or acting? Myself, I have never been a fan of “slow and steady wins the race.” So, I struggle a little to let others finish their sentences. I also blurt out information that might have been better left in my head. At the same time, my ability to think quickly and act without over evaluating at times is extremely useful for brainstorming, creativity, and making …Read More »
  • We could be on a boat in the Caribbean right now.

    We could be on a boat in the Caribbean right now.

    If you know me you know I love sailing as much as I love performing. At this time just 3 years ago, I was on a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands having the time of my life simply soaking up the sun. Letting go of stress by letting the breeze take me from one beautiful beach bar to next, I was also beginning to let go of the idea of opening a home for improvisational theater in San Diego. I had just spent the past 9 months touring dozens of buildings and spending way too many hours stressed out …Read More »
  • I Just Want Them To Care As Much As I Do!

    I Just Want Them To Care As Much As I Do!

    Throwing Ninja Stars to Build Trust Recently, I walked into a Vistage meeting in downtown Los Angeles that had just gotten underway.  I was there to present my interactive workshop on using improv as a tool to become a more courageous and effective leader.  As usual, I knew that my participants, though all accomplished executives, would be feeling anxious about being taught to “be witty and say funny things off the top of their heads.”  At least, that is the typical understanding of improv that I encounter and a myth I quickly have to dispel. I sat down at one of the …Read More »
  • SD Business Journal Reviews How We Connect Colleagues With Comedy

    SD Business Journal Reviews How We Connect Colleagues With Comedy

    Brittany Meiling of the San Diego Business Journal sat down with us a few weeks ago to talk comedy and team building. In her piece for the San Diego Business Journal, she explains how our corporate team building programs are unique and effective. We were especially pleased to see our friends and clients from San Diego Trading Company and ensemble member Jacob Bruce, quoted in her story!Read More »
  • Yes! And…. Add more action to your life right now!

    Yes! And…. Add more action to your life right now!

    Why do improvisers say “Yes! And…” all the time? For decades, improvisers have been studying and practicing the best techniques for creating action from unlimited possibilities to “create something wonderful right away.” When we begin a scene we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen. We simply get a suggestion from the audience for inspiration and we just begin acting. And acting, by definition, is doing. We make a single choice or “offer” and build on it over and over again. In effect, we are rapid prototyping on stage! We do this every single show and never run out of …Read More »
  • The Pressure is on.  Do you EXPLODE or SHINE?

    The Pressure is on. Do you EXPLODE or SHINE?

    Pressure.  We feel it every time we have an IMPORTANT meeting or a BIG presentation. These are the moments that we lose sleep over.  Our heart begins to race, our palms sweat, or minds begin racing, our legs become weak, our stomach does flips. We are like a balloon being forced with more and more pressure until it is ready to burst. And, then, once we finally “get through” the BIG IMPORTANT moment, we lose even more sleep tallying all the things we could have done better! I, myself, am in the beginnings of that cycle right now! Tomorrow night I will …Read More »
  • KPBS: Teach Co-Workers Improv And They Bond Over Laughs

    KPBS: Teach Co-Workers Improv And They Bond Over Laughs

    KPBS featured Finest City Improv on Evening Edition and KPBS Radio.  Clair Trageser shows how we teach employees engagement and teamwork by with improv comedy exercises. See one of our clients San Diego Trading Company, featured in this story! Aired 3/4/16 on KPBS News.Read More »
  • The Use of Humor in the Workplace

    The Use of Humor in the Workplace

    by Eric J. Romero and Kevin W. Cruthirds Academy of Management Perspectives May, 2006 ABSTRACT Humor is a common element of human interaction and therefore has an impact on work groups and organizations. Despite this observation, managers often fail to take humor seriously or realize its numerous benefits. Humor is more than just funny concepts; it represents a multifunctional management tool that can be used to achieve many objectives. This article describes how managers can use humor to reduce stress and enhance leadership, group cohesiveness, communication, creativity, and organizational culture. Specifically, we suggest humor styles that are best suited to …Read More »
  • 2017 is your year to get on the “Best Places to Work” lists!

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    December is always filled with end of the year lists, and one of my favorites is always the “best places to work” lists. However you cut it—San Diego based, international and everything in between—these businesses share two very important traits: great culture and great success.  Congratulations to two of our clients CDC Small Business Finance and Kaiser for gaining spots on San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work! This lesson isn’t exactly new, the old adage “culture eats strategy for lunch” has been heard in B-schools for years. Every “best place to work” knows how important it is to bring smart …Read More »
  • Amy Lisewski presents at Ignite San Diego

    Amy Lisewski presents at Ignite San Diego

    Amy was selected as one of 18 speakers out of 80 submissions for Ignite San Diego’s fifth event.  She wrapped up the evening of talks with 5 minutes of (mostly) improvised inspiration about getting out of your comfort zone by practicing improvisation to take over the world!  Read More »
  • Let go. Notice more. Use everything.

    Let go. Notice more. Use everything.

    What is around you? Right now.  What do you notice? At this very moment. How valuable is this all?  I’ll wait… As improvisers, we aim to let go of our agendas and “notice more.” We practice being fully present so we can notice what is happening in every moment as we build scenes. We look for every offer, pick up on tiny changes in body language, and listen for shades of meaning. Everything we notice we honor and use in our scenes, because everything we need is found right here in the moment. This past weekend I joined about 200 …Read More »
  • Science communication: Lessons from improvisation

    Science communication: Lessons from improvisation

    Originally published on naturejobs, the career development blog of the journal Nature By Catherine Seed  |   September 4, 2015 Improvisation techniques can help scientists hone their key messages when addressing peers at conferences, says Catherine Seed. You’ve spent weeks in the lab collecting, processing and analysing your data, and you’ve filed for publication. All this work took a lot of effort, time, organisation and collaboration (and coffee). Finally, you are now free to show the data to the world at the next conference (or most probably to your research group). This step might seem like the easiest part. Once you …Read More »