Can improvisation create a more productive workplace?
Welcoming Our Guests
We were honored to welcome our panel of special guests eager to discuss improvisation and its philosophy and benefits for our organizations.
Kate DeFeo is the founder of FoHi Improv. Kate has taught theater to children and adults for over 20 years in NY, launching theater and creative writing programs at Cultural Arts Playhouse in Bethpage and Hunter College in Manhattan. She is one of the founding members of TAP Arts (Theater and Puppetry Arts), which services several local schools, including the Church-in-the-Gardens school and PS101Q, and is part of the creative staff at The Garden Players all located in Forest Hills, Queens. She has been performing long-form and musical improv for over 9 years on numerous teams. She can currently be seen on the long-running house teams Sequel, The Magical World of Musical Improv, and indie team Freeze Frame at The People’s Improv Theater and Magnet Theater in NYC.
Jamie Cummings is the founder of Cummings Coaching. Jamie is a professional improviser and corporate trainer who has performed for over two decades on stages across New York City and nationwide. As a professional improviser and corporated improv teacher, he has offered improv training to young and old, novice and veteran alike. He focuses on demystifying the concepts and connecting them to practical skills such as Collaboration, Listening, Speaking confidently, and Brainstorming.
Gabe Capone is the SVP Creative Director at H4B CHELSEA. Gabe moved into the role of Creative Director in January 2019 at the DCV Village, the world’s premier healthcare communications agency focusing on diabetes and cardiovascular health. He develops thought-provoking ideas and engaging communications while managing the creative team.
Rod Sayegh is head of Digital Strategy at Fiduciary Trust Company. As an expert in improv, Rod has a passion for Diversity, Inclusion, and Philanthropy and is known by his colleagues to challenge the norm in the financial services industry.
Improvisation teaches empathy, relatability and listening skills and has a deep impact on the culture of an organization. Our growing dependence on technology can cause us to become less effective at interacting with humans in the workplace. When the landscape is complex and unpredictable, adaptability, not efficiency, must become our new central competency.
Leaders risk losing trust and mutual respect when they shut down their team’s suggestions by passively agreeing, but not building on them.
If instead, they encourage further development with unscripted supporting ideas, they truly engage and connect. By remaining open and receptive to input from others and letting go of their own insecurities and preconceived notions, leaders can create a culture of creative risk-taking and a shared sense of purpose.
However, it‘s easy to think that by hiring a consultant to teach improv to employees a new culture will emerge. As leaders, fostering a lasting culture of improvisation depends on consistently using it ourselves.
Remember, at its core, every conversation is an improvisation, which means we’re all improv artists in a way.