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Yes, And

How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City

About the Book

Executives from The Second City—the world’s premier comedy theater and school of improvisation—reveal improvisational techniques that can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses.

For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry—including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.

The rules for leadership and teamwork have changed, and the skills that got professionals ahead a generation ago don’t work anymore. Now The Second City provides a new toolkit individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Based on eight principles of improvisation, Yes, And helps to develop these skills and foster them in high-potential leaders and their teams, including: 

  • Mastering the ability to co-create in an ensemble
  • Fostering a “yes, and” approach to work
  • Embracing failure to accelerate high performance
  • Leading by listening and by learning to follow
  • Innovating by making something out of nothing

Yes, And is a must-read for professionals and organizations, helping to develop the invaluable leadership skills needed to succeed today.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“I know one of these guys, so at least half of this book is pretty good. Yes, And is for anyone looking to be more creative in their work and in their life.” —Stephen Colbert

“If one phrase can capture the essence of the creative mindset then ‘yes, and’ might just be it. If one book can inspire you to apply that creative mindset then Yes, And is most certainly that book.” —--Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of Change By Design

“Yes, And takes you behind the curtain of Second City to reveal deep insights and practical tips about how to lead a creative life. If you want to flourish in the new world of work, this book is an essential read.” —--Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive

“You’ll learn, you’ll laugh, and you’ll immediately test out the rich set of practical exercises at the office-and the dinner table.” —--Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

“Accepting and building on what others have initiated, Yes, Andis the best teamwork advice for the stage or the boardroom.” —--Dick Costollo, CEO of Twitter

“An excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City’s improv workshops. It sounds crazy that a comedy troupe should have anything to say about how you should lead your life. Trust me: it isn’t.” —Vanity Fair

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062248541
  • ISBN 10: 0062248545
  • Imprint: HarperBusiness
  • On Sale: 02/03/2015
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: 34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership
  • BISAC2: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management

Yes, And by Kelly Leonard, Tom Yorton

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