By Randy Sabourin
Attentional and Interpersonal Characteristics of Improvisation Professionals vs. Business Executives [What Executives can learn from Improvisation Professionals]Randy Sabourin, with Robin W. Pratt, Ph.D,
The business world is constantly searching for ways to expand the skills of its leaders. “Business Improvisation”, performance under pressure combined with the creative process, is becoming increasingly popular as a strategy to resolve unexpected leadership challenges. A promising approach to teaching new skills in an experiential manner is using improvisation exercises. Accordingly, we felt it valuable to study the characteristics of skilled improvisation professionals to see which ones might be applicable to leaders in business.
In order to see if we can identify characteristics that differentiate improvisation professionals from business executives, we studied a group of active, professional improvisers. We used a performance under pressure based psychometric inventory with these improvisation professionals, one that has consistently differentiated among elite performers in sports, the military, and business. We compared the profile or pattern of scores for these improvisation veterans with the data we had for senior executives in various corporations around the world. Continue reading