Improvisation Is Preparation

In an interview with New York Times, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talks about how improv comedy affects his work as chief executive of the social media behemoth.

"One of the things that you’re always trying to make sure you really pay attention to in improv is being in the moment and listening. When I was first learning the trade, one of the things that folks at Second City used to always say was “Be in this moment.” That’s one of the things I tell my new managers. The notion of “Yes, and” in improvisation is, I think, important in any sort of discussion."

Improvisation means performing without preparation. Seth Godin identifies two kinds of "unprepared"—the disconnected cog of the industrial world and the other that embraces the risks associated with doing something remarkable for the first time.

"If you demand that everything that happens be something you are adequately prepared for, I wonder if you’ve chosen never to leap in ways that we need you to leap."

And yet how do we measure or predict improvisational ability? We can practice improvising by leaving our comfort zones and taking risks that we aren't prepared for, like Costolo did at Second City.