October 16, 2017
We live in a world where, by many measures, our differences in culture, custom, beliefs, geography, color and sex are a separating force. You need only to turn on the TV or open a newspaper to see examples of this, and the sheer amount of discord, misunderstanding and mistrust can make the most optimistic person feel overwhelmed and helpless to change the tide. In this environment, working to forge bridges between peoples across these divides can feel like a very uphill battle, but someone’s got to do it:
Enter Leadership Coach, facilitator and Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Shian Chuan. Rather than being drained by this problem, Shian is energized by it, and passionate about finding new ways for people to work together in business, commerce and govt. Her approach with the teams and leaders that she coaches is personal; helping people to recognize and tap into their greatest source of motivation so they are able to face personal and professional challenges and create an environment and follow strategies that enable them be their best and most contented self.
September 29, 2017
The life of a professional model maker is all about making things from nothing.. Taking what you have and making it work. In a company like Planetary Resources Inc., which is on the leading edge of space exploration and technology, a model maker's job is all about high stakes, and making it happen, even when you have to improvise.
Meet Planetary Resources' Manufacturing Engineering Lead, Charlie Gary. A man whose job is exactly this.
In the hyper-dynamic, potentially dangerous environment of commercial space exploration, Charlie Gary is a pioneer, an inventor, a scientist and an improviser. His models serve as the very physical manifestation of the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers on the planet. In such an environment, does improvisational thinking have room to exist? Let’s find out…
July 28, 2017
Let’s say You work for NASA, and you are in charge of the rockets. Specifically, keeping all the rockets and teeny-tiny rocket pieces that are under development in one place, and all of the rockets and teeny-tiny rocket pieces that are fire-tested and ready to fly astronauts into space, in another place. Your single-most important task is to schedule both unique sets of parts to pass through the same shops and machines so that you achieve both your engineering development needs, and your customer-focused launch schedule...all while making sure the two piles remain accounted for and separate. Your ultimate failure is someone, in a mad fervor to meet a deadline, accidentally grabbing one of your test rocket bits, and slapping it onto a launch vehicle that is carrying real people, or a company's critical satellite, into space. In this ultra-high stakes environment, what would you do to ensure mistakes weren’t made? Now it’s time to meet a man whose job, and concern, is exactly this.
Jack Tucker began his space career as a Structures Engineer on Delta IV rockets before transitioning to a Systems Lead with the Atlas V, and finally, Chief of the Space Launch Systems Team with the USAF before transitioning from the military to assume the role of Manager of Master Scheduling with commercial space exploration company, SpaceX. He is also the founder of NewSpace Ventures, an amazingly popular online spreadsheet that allows Space Enthusiasts, Technologists & Entrepreneurs to share, discover, and discuss leading edge space technologies, products and companies with the aim of spurring excitement, generating ideas, and furthering commercial space entrepreneurship.
In the incredibly competitive, potentially dangerous, and hyper-dynamic environment of commercial space exploration, Jack is the ‘keeper of the clock’. Decisions he makes can mean the difference between the kind of success that creates legacy and goes in history books, and the kind of failure that destroys lives and dreams.
In such an environment, does improvisational thinking have room to exist? Let’s find out…
June 16, 2017
Nicholas Domingo was a little chubby, and had crooked teeth as a kid. He was a target for bullies. and as he grew, he learned to channel his negative energy into his training to become a semi-pro football player, a weight-lifter, and a cage-match and street fighter. A brain hemorrhage at the age of 19, and the loss of 3 of his best friends to suicide turned his life upside-down, and changed his life trajectory forever.
There are no super-gadgets that can help you deal with bullies. No special powers that can magically heal hurt feelings. In the comics, obstacles are usually overcome by fists and willpower, but that’s not how it works in the real world. Nicholas Domingo was walking down the streets of L.A. one day and he decided to just start doling out compliments to the people he walked past. As he saw their faces light up, he realized that the world needed a superhero who CAN deal with those complex issues. A real live hero who resolves conflict without violence; whose superpowers are infectious positivity and the ability to encourage people to do their best and spread kindness. And so, burning with the desire to help the world, Nicholas transformed into Captain Encouragement.
His mission: to perpetuate positive change in the world, starting by giving all children the tools to break the cycle of violence that is inherent in our society and the media.
Taking advantage of the world’s unprecedented interconnectivity, Captain Encouragement travels from school to school, library to community center, across the country, to wake up the new generations, and trade our apathy and isolation for the love and kindness of a more positive humankind.
May 19, 2017
Frank Abagnale is the man whose life inspired the movie 'Catch Me If You Can, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hanks, and also the subsequent Broadway musical hit of the same name starring Norbert Leo Butz. As a young man, he was considered the world’s greatest con man, and after serving 5 years in prison, was offered a chance to turn his life around and pay it back by working for the FBI as an undercover agent, a teacher and a lecturer, which he has been doing now for over 40 years. In this episode of Improvisationally Speaking, Frank talks about what it took to pull off the things he did as a young man, and how improvisational thinking, self-resourcefulness, and creativity have helped him to become one of the best crime fighters out there.
May 5, 2017
Travis Thomas is a published author, national speaker, performance coach & trainer, and a nationally performing improv-comedian. He took his first improv class at age 25. As Creator of the company, Live Yes and, Travis works with teams, from non-profit to Fortune 500 corporations, inspiring them to see how a ‘YES AND’ mindset can be transformative. He also is a founding member of the Jove Improvisation, a professional improv troupe based in Palm Beach FL. On this episode of Improvisationally Speaking, Travis shares his life story, and the power of Improvisationally thinking.
April 21, 2017
Mark Chenovick, executive director of the Second Story Repertory Theater in Redmond, WA took a folding theater company with $107,000 of debt, and turned it into a prolific and profitable theater. The journey was the both most difficult and the most rewarding professional undertaking for him. Learn how sticking with the improvisation principles of Yes And, and positive thinking/action gave him the energy, inspiration and business savvy to accomplish the unimaginable.
April 10, 2017
Ben Kurland is Co-Founder of BillFixers, LLC. Ben and his team are expert negotiators and improvisers who work on behalf of consumers to lower their bills by calling customer service reps at Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Dish Network, and other companies (that EVERYBODY loves to talk to..) finding promotional rates, customer loyalty discounts, special packages, and additional credits to get his customers the lowest bill possible. What has thousands of phone hours on the customer service lines of these companies taught this fearless team of bill fixers about improvisation?
March 24, 2017
Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, founder of Roses In Concrete, a community school that serves black and Hispanic, inner-city youth in Oakland CA, giving them an educational opportunity that rivals it's wealthy suburban private school counterparts. With classes in dance, music performance and arrangement, and athletics, in addition to the core curriculum. Jeff is a national keynote speaker and his council is requested by education departments across the country who are trying to build a more just, equitable education system for all.
March 19, 2017
Seattle City Council Member, Mike O'Brien has a tough but rewarding job. As a council member, it is his job to serve his constituency and to do what he knows is right. But sometimes doing both of these at the same time is impossible. How does he communicate effectively and effect the kind of change he is charged to bring to the city of Seattle while being under the microscope of the public eye? This discussion reveals some of Mike O'Brien's methods, and they are surprisingly based on the principles of improvisation.