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Improvising During a World Health Crisis

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A message from Karen Hough, Founder and CEO of ImprovEdge

Just this week, due to travel concerns and restrictions:

  • Our global pharmaceutical client halted all travel across 75,000 employees, and we were the last presenters at the conference in Germany
  • A large retail client cancelled a workshop and dinner in NYC due to travel concerns from employees
  • In California, our technology client has partnered with ImprovEdge to present a virtual version of the Global HR conference that we were planning to have in person

We share these stories as a reminder to improvise!

When we’re not physically in the same room, we can meet in virtual rooms.

And, when done well, virtual meetings and conferences create energy, connection and momentum, just like in-person meetings.

For years, ImprovEdge has been a virtual company – committed to testing and refining interesting, meaningful ways to connect and improvise, even if we are not in the same room. We’ve been using virtual platforms for effective training and development for the past 10 years.

I’m not talking about the boring, weird, poorly timed video conferences you are used to.

  • We convene on platforms that allow us to see all the participants, and we play improv games together
  • We coach via video conference and create real behavioral change and deep ties with our clients
  • We convene groups of people in rooms all over the world and hear their stories, connect them to their teammates in other time zones, and make learning happen

Here are some success stories from virtual conferences:

  • A Global Financial client convened teams in four locations to accelerate collaboration through video, social media and internal collaboration platforms. An ImprovEdge facilitator was in each location, and the program worked over the course of three months
  • Leaders in sub-Saharan Africa are coached individually via video, then groups in each country convene to improvise with us and think about solutions to problems on the Continent
  • Large groups in healthcare hear from and can ask questions of their leaders on a panel. Afterwards, they split into smaller virtual “rooms” of 4-5 people – one from each country – to meet and get to know their colleagues and discuss ideas from the panel

Improvising is about dealing with the reality in front of you and saying “Yes, And” to the possibilities. Never more so than in moments of crisis and change do we have opportunities to improvise. Please, stay safe, take care of yourself, your family and your team, and we look forward to collaborating on solutions.