What Fashion Professionals Can Learn From Improvisation
I recently read a book called “Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration” by Kelly Leonard. This book reveals improvisational techniques that can help any organization. The author explains how in an improvisation group they cannot ever shut down someone’s ideas no matter how off the wall it is. Instead, they must always reply with “Yes, and…” to continue the conversation.
Improv techniques can actually provide incredible leadership training to companies, leaders, and teams. These techniques are aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle for how to get your creative juices flowing in the fashion industry in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashionable Creativity Series. If you want to learn how to keep coming up with creative new ideas and not get stuck then check out the other articles in this series at the bottom of this page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
What You Can Learn From Improv
The skills that got professionals ahead a generation ago don’t work anymore. The new mantra is a collaboration! 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
How Can Improv Work In The Fashion Industry
The fashion industry in one of the most creative fields you can be in. It can also be one of the most stressful! A fashion professional is constantly having to pitch their ideas and convince others why it is a good idea. We are often shut down by our own boss or other team members who are also pushing their own ideas. This can be a receipt for disaster.
By implementing the improv techniques into your daily work environment you can begin to foster an environment where creative people feel welcome to express their ideas and contribute. This openness and contribution will help to bring the best collaborative ideas forward and the team will be rewarded.
An Example Of Fashionable Improv
Let’s say one works in the sales department for a major shoe company. And one junior sales associate suggested that the company should start selling socks. The manager could shut this idea down. Or, they could say, “Yes, and the reason I like this is because it is a new licensing opportunity for the company. What other licensing opportunities could we all come up with to potentially increase sales?”
By forcing the manager to find something good about this idea he has pivoted the conversation to “let’s look for other opportunities” and has given an actionable step for the entire team to become involved with. And through this brainstorming of ideas may come an amazing new opportunity that no one would have ever thought of had the original idea been shut down.
- Spend one entire day (or week!) practicing the art of “Yes, and”.
- Pitch one of your ideas to a team member and ask them for honest productive criticism.
- Take note if an even better idea came out of the collaborative efforts.
Fashionable Creativity Series
As a creative person, we could all use some help from time to time to reenergize and get those creative juices flowing. If you, or someone you know, is interested in staying at the top of your game, then please read this entire series. Learn how to stand out and stay motivated and inspired!
- Why Fashion Professionals Should Have A Personal Brand
- How The Most Creative Fashion Professionals Stay Innovative
- 10 Ways To Jumpstart Your Creativity
- What Fashion Professionals Can Learn From Improvisation