Yes, And Book Summary - Yes, And Book explained in key points
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Yes, And summary

Kelly Leonard & Tom Yorton

How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration

4.3 (68 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

'Yes, And' by Kelly Leonard & Tom Yorton is a guide to applying the principles of improvisation to your work and personal life. It offers practical advice on collaboration, communication and creativity, based on insights from the authors' experiences at The Second City.

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    Yes, And
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    A strategy used to keep comedians loquacious on stage can help generate business ideas, too.

    Have you ever seen an improv comedy show? Seemingly on the spot, actors share hilariously creative and detailed stories. It’s not magic, however; comedians all use a particular, essential tool that gives them a platform to explore a multitude of ideas.

    This strategy is called the “yes, and” mind-set. But how exactly does it work?

    When an actor uses “yes, and,” she is agreeing to follow through on or add to any narrative started by a collaborator on stage.

    Here’s an example. Actor A opens by looking skyward and saying, “What a beautiful night. I can see all the stars.” If Actor B ignored the “yes, and” strategy, she might say, “What are you talking about? It’s daytime.” This deviation from the starting theme could kill the conversation.

    But if Actor B was in tune and playing by “yes, and,” she’d further the narrative by saying, “Yes, and the earth looks so small. It’s great we finally took this trip to the moon.”

    The genius of “yes, and” is that this strategy opens up unlimited possibilities, by giving every idea the chance to show its potential. And this technique applies to much more than just improv.

    You don’t have to look hard to see applications of “yes, and” in the business world, for example.

    The online collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is a prime example of what can be accomplished when a large group embraces the “yes, and” attitude.

    On the site, a user starts an article and others build upon it. In this way, the very nature of the site requires that users add to the work of others.

    While there are drawbacks of such a collaborative approach (such as inaccuracies), this free, universally used website would’ve never been possible without the creative synergy of “yes, and.”

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    What is Yes, And about?

    Yes, And (2015) shows you how by incorporating the techniques of improvisational comedy to the business world, you can generate better ideas and foster more effective communication, with the ultimate goal of building a team ready to meet any challenge. The authors draw on personal experience from working with leading talents such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler.

    Yes, And Review

    Yes, And (2015) is a captivating book that explores the power of improvisation and how it can be applied to our personal and professional lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through real-life stories and examples, the book demonstrates how the principles of improvisation can improve communication, collaboration, and creativity.
    • It offers a fresh perspective on embracing change and uncertainty, showing that saying "yes, and" instead of "yes, but" can lead to greater opportunities and growth.
    • The book's practical exercises and actionable tips help readers develop their improvisational skills and apply them in various aspects of life, making it an engaging and valuable read.

    Who should read Yes, And?

    • Entrepreneurs looking to expand their creative skills
    • Business leaders in search of tools to optimize creativity and collaboration
    • Fans of improvisational theatre

    About the Author

    Kelly Leonard is the executive vice president of The Second City. Since 1988, he has fostered collaborations with Lyric Opera Chicago, the Norwegian Cruise Line and The Chicago Tribune, among other organizations.

    Since becoming CEO of The Second City in 2002, Tom Yorton has applied his knowledge of improvisational comedy in his consulting work with businesses and professionals.

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    Yes, And FAQs 

    What is the main message of Yes, And?

    The main message of Yes, And is to embrace the power of improvisation in both work and life.

    How long does it take to read Yes, And?

    The reading time for Yes, And varies, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Yes, And a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Yes, And is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to enhance their creativity and collaboration skills.

    Who is the author of Yes, And?

    The authors of Yes, And are Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.

    What to read after Yes, And?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Yes, And, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Happy Accidents by Morton A. Meyers
    • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
    • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
    • If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? by Alan Alda
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • Happy Accidents by David Ahearn