Let’s set the stage, so to speak. I recently turned 50, delightfully married for nearly half of those years (yes, same wonderful woman, DeDe, just to be clear) and am a mid-level executive with a large healthcare system. Nearly all of my twenty years with this organization have been in strategic planning. In other words, trying to meticulously forecast and prepare for the future — for example, how many patients will our hospitals need to be able to serve five years from now.
However, eighteen months ago, I made a change, within this same organization. I joined our corporate innovation team, swapping spreadsheets for customer interviews, future narratives and post-it notes. So, I’ve been on a personal journey for a while now, getting out of my comfort zone, developing new skills and generally extracting some latent right-brain talent that had been getting stale.
Last year, I had been thinking about using improv within our Innovation Engine team. It’s a small team of great people who already have a strong level of trust established, but I saw improv as a potentially fun way to further challenge ourselves and to add to our creativity toolkit. My wife and I have been to Chicago a couple of times over the years, seeing a Mainstage Show (with the late, great Harold Ramis sitting at a back table) and a fun, informative Old Town walk hosted by a Second City actor.