We recently discovered a powerful and entertaining video by speaker, teacher and storyteller Dave Morris who presented on the topic of improvisation at TEDxVictoria in 2011.
As we watched the video, we immediately recognized the value of leveraging “The Way of Improvisation” mindset while participating in the Design Sprint process (our favourite design thinking framework for problem-solving).
Improvisation is making things with what is at hand. We’re creating something out of nothing… It’s a process. It’s a way of making a thing.Dave Morris
Dave Morris at TEDxVictoria
Watch this fun and inspiring video for yourself and/or (TL;DW) find our summary below.
The Seven Skills of Improvisation
As you prepare for your next Design Sprint, share the Seven Skills of Improvisation with your team to improve engagement and increase the likelihood of a successful sprint outcome.
1) Be Ready to Play
- Be present and engaged in the moment
- Limit distractions (Turn off or silence devices and email, close your laptop, etc.)
2) Let Yourself Fail
- The fear of failure will most likely lead to failure
- To fail means that you have learned something – get back up and try again
3) Always Be Listening
- Listen twice as much as you speak
- Do not listen just to respond
- Be willing to learn from a different perspective
4) Say “Yes”
- A series of “Yes” will take your team somewhere
- A series of “No” will prevent you from getting started
- One “No” can ruin all previous yeses
5) Say “Yes, and…“
- “Yes, and…” will help your team to build something
- Avoid “Yes, but” which is a contradiction
6) Play the Game
- Having constrictions and playing by the rules will help to funnel your creativity
- Trust that the [Design Sprint] process will take you somewhere
7) Relax and Have Fun!
- Try not to overthink this… but the success of your sprint depends on it 😉