• Alexandra Bond Burnett

How tech thinkers can use YES to discover innovation

Earlier this year I was asked to run a workshop at the Royal Society... a conference about environment economics, policy and research....

What did they want me to create?

A workshop about theatre.

The brief was this: Help us to find creative and empathetic ways to communicate their expertise... and have fun.

Sounds simple? It was a hefty task to pull off. using the word theatre with scientists usually fills them with visions of jazz hands. However what we wanted to achieve was a a sense of freedom for the group to abandon binary decisions and to also look beyond their own passion for their field, often we care so much about our specialism that we can overlook other avenues.

I led the group in improv - a performance field that can look chaotic, but has a very clear structure to allow innovation.

The basics of Improv

1) You have to accept the idea presented

Here is the part were we say yes. Accept the 'gift' of the idea. So often we instantly dismiss something presented - and that can be a symptom of not listening. With Improv - any idea (no matter how ridiculous) has to be accepted on stage. You then have an opportunity for the idea to take you somewhere you never anticipated as you change it with your own input.

2) You work towards a common goal

You have your project goal, your meeting title - every idea you have, every change has to be anchored with that in mind. Keep on topic.


3) Allow yourself the freedom to fail

We don't often get the luxury of being able to fail. especially if you work in a science, tech or finance related field. It was to work. But by allowing failure in your development, you have the freedom to discover new ideas that fear would have stopped.

In your team, your practice do you invite freedom to fail? How can you give the space to change?

If you would like to know how my workshops could create a freedom for innovation, get in touch at hello@bondambition.co.uk