Why Improvisation Is a Crucial Skill for Great Leadership and Innovation


In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Stanford’s Dan Klein explained how he’s taking improvisational theater beyond the stage and into business, leadership, and life.

Klein is faculty in Stanford’s Drama Department and the Graduate School of Business, teaches at the d.school, and was named teacher of the year in 2009. His work focuses on the multi-disciplinary power of improvisation in leadership and innovation.

“A lot of what I do…is about applying improv techniques in other domains and helping people be more resilient, be more collaborative, be more open—to connect with each other in a way that can help them come up with new ideas and solve new problems,” Klein said.

Watch the whole interview to find out how key tenets of improv—like embracing failure, being a good partner, and compelling storytelling—can help us become better innovators, better leaders, and better people.