My weekend reading consisted of a book that I randomly picked up at the library in the “NEW” rack. The title alone, “The Comet and the Tornado”, was intriguing enough that I starred at the book to scan the cover and see “Randy Pausch” mentioned. That sealed the deal that this would be adding to the pile of books I was checking out.
While the book itself was…interesting and enlightening of what it was like to be Randy’s officemate for six years, it wasn’t the author who offered the best advice. In an interaction with Ed Catmull, who at the time was Chief Technology Officer of Pixar, the author asks Dr. Catmull what is a necessary skill for prospective employees of Pixar. His answer may surprise you,
“It is an anti-ego device. In order for improvisational acting to work, you have to be a generous person. If you insist on always having the punch line or getting the laugh, then the entire improve skit falls apart. It only works if the actors have a generosity of spirit. And that is the kind of generosity you need in order to be successful team player. At least at a place like Pixar.”
pg 47 – The Comet and the Tornado
Do we do enough of this in higher education? In K-12 education? Do we allow for improvisational thinking, acting, doing?
Last week during an #sachat many people mentioned using summer time to get caught up, to create new programs, and to plan for the next semester. Perhaps maybe you should add an improvisational workshop for your office to the agenda. From anti-ego device, to team builder, to communication workshop, to hilarity it seems to me that the outcomes of such an exercise could only be positive.
Let’s try it out in a series of comments…I’ll start with one line, then you comment only ONE line, and let’s see where the story goes…
I stepped through the doorway, anxiety in tow, to read a sign that had to be size 1000 font reading “WELCOME NEW STUDENTS” with an army of polo wearing, high-fiving, overly energetic young people waving at me with smiles that were also size 1000.”