The idea would have never occurred to me in a million years but if you’re looking for a legitimate initiative to help build positive connections between stakeholders, be sure to check out something the Wichita Symphony rolled out a few months ago.
Spoiler: they designed an improv workshop.
Attended by a cross section of a dozen board members, managers, and musicians it produced worthwhile results. The program was initiated by the WSO’s concertmaster and Partner for Audience Engagement, Holly Mulcahy (disclaimer), and she published an article about where inspiration for the idea originated and how everything came together (emphasis added).
Participating in improv games and exercises encouraged our deep listening, supporting one another, and exploring creativity all in a safe place. There was a freedom to “fail.” The ability to try new ideas without worry or repercussions was something none of us were used to!
I spoke with Kelly Leonard of Chicago’s Second City recently to understand the benefits corporations seek. Kelly is in high demand for workshops and seminars guiding a wide range Fortune 500 companies through how improv can improve creativity and communication.
Given how much pressure each stakeholder group is feeling right now that line about freedom to fail really stuck. Mulcahy includes excerpts from her conversation with Kelly Leonard as well as including direct feedback from WSO stakeholders.
I won’t spoil things by posting too many excerpts here but be sure to check out what some participants wrote about the value of vulnerability.