Welcome to Change Your Mindset (formerly known as Improv Is No Joke) where it is all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. The way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant, will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while, growing their businesses.
Ep. 31 – Bob Dean, Founder of Dean Learning & Talent Advisors LLC
Bob Dean is a collaborator, innovator and talent developer. His firm, Dean Learning & Talent Advisors LLC, consults with companies on learning and development, talent management and customer experience.
“I believe that learning and development needs to be a life-changing experience for people.”
He is a ”Certified Experience Economy Expert” and joined the first group of professionals certified by the authors of The Experience Economy, Joseph Pine and Jim Gilmore. The book explores the opportunities that businesses have in order to create a better experience within whatever platform they’re on.
Bob is passionate about virtual meetings, virtual collaboration and virtual learning – he has been ever since he saw the first virtual meeting platform in 1997 – but the PowerPoint platform has had a negative impact on both face-to-face business and virtual experiences.
Bob was very excited about the potential for the virtual classroom because he envisioned subject matter experts being able to extend their reach to many, many more people than they ever could in a classroom. He thought we would have a revolution on learning with virtual classrooms. Unfortunately, we’re 20 years later and it really has not taken off as much as he had hoped and expected, and a lot of that is due to the challenges with virtual facilitation.
“I really believe that, as businesses go global and as the Millennials become such a significant part of the workforce, that virtual learning, virtual meetings will become a differentiator for many companies.”
Bob has used a lot of virtual web platforms, but ThinkTank is the game changer for virtual collaboration. ThinkTank is over 25 years old and the company developed many of the guiding principles for best practices in collaboration, including the importance of anonymity.
Anonymity is a critical element of virtual collaboration and education because participants are more honest, open and eager to participate.
When participants are collaborating anonymously, they still need a virtual facilitator who is able to direct the process and optimize productivity. Bob believes virtual facilitation will be a core competency for future professionals. Facilitation requires two key skills:
- Confidence. You need the confidence to direct people who you can’t see or identify.
- Improvisation. You’re dealing with the unknown so you have to be listening to what is being said, whether that listening is what has been written or on the call, and you have to be completely focused in order to adapt to the situation.
“I think the relevance of improv is greater now, in business, than it ever has been”
Improvisational skills are viewed by many business people as something that is fun and out-of-the-box, but not necessarily totally relevant to the way they interact with each other or with clients. However, in a world with instant communication, instant responses are critical to both face-to-face interactions and virtual interactions. It requires some level of improvisation to be able to respond quickly, with helpful information.
Improvisational facilitation ties back into the experience economy because working with different participants and adapting ThinkTank to provide different types of classroom experiences allows participants to retain more information than they would from a PowerPoint-driven type of presentation.
I greatly appreciate Bob for taking the time out of his schedule to teach us about virtual learning, virtual collaboration and virtual facilitation, and how they relate to improvisation.
- The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and Jim Gilmore
- Yes, And by Second City
- Look by Jim Gilmore
Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters
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