Flatten the Hierarchy


No one owns the scene. Not in improvisation.

The scene starts – and it’s on! Creative democracy at its best.

You have ideas. Your scene partner(s) have ideas. You listen to one another. You build off of their ideas. They build off yours.

Collaboration at its best.

The scene ends. Good or bad. It was not “your” scene, or “their” scene. You all shared it. You all owned it.

It is just another beautiful thing about improvisation where hierarchy and status mean nothing when you step on the stage.

So why should it be different at work?

It shouldn’t.

It happens all of the time. The hierarchy and status of titles and positions undermine the creative potential of the team. Just because someone has a bigger office, bigger title, or bigger salary – we defer to them to make tough decisions or come up with the best ideas.


Just because the guy in the mailroom has an innovative idea – does it mean it shouldn’t be listened to?

I am not talking about doing away with titles and management (although some have) – it is recognizing the power and collective potential of the team when you trust them enough and turn them loose.

And when you do – look out! Not sure what I mean? Check out Zappos and DaVita.  Look into Ricardo Semler and Semco.

It happens in improvisation. It happens in sports. And it can happen with your work team.

We teach it. We train it. We would love to help!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s