The Art of Making Sh!t UpUsing the Principles of Improv to Become an Unstoppable Powerhouse
Work together to up your chances of business success The Art of Making Sh!t Up combines the lessons learned from a personal journey with the teachings derived from years of honing valuable skills through performing and presenting to thousands of people to demonstrate how working together has helped others found and grow several multimillion-dollar companies. By focusing on topics that serve as pain points and detailing the tools and techniques of improv, this book helps people and organizations utilize new skill sets to be more productive, more accepting, and more "all in" to create a stronger teammate and team. Remove the fear of failure Recognize when and how to trust your instincts Celebrate and embrace the ideas of others Listen effectively—to both people and your environment Thinking is hard. Listening is easy—and is most often the springboard to huge ideas. Find out how it can work for you with The Art of Making Sh!t Up.
Introduction ix Chapter 1 I Am Who I Say I Am 1 Chapter 2 Listening to Understand 9 Chapter 3 Building Off of Other People’s Ideas 17 Chapter 4 From Spark to Flame 23 Chapter 5 The Fear of Looking Stupid 33 Chapter 6 People Don’t Think about You as Much as You Think They Do 37 Chapter 7 Facing Failure: Be Wrong to Be Right 45 Chapter 8 Heightening 55 Chapter 9 Yes and, Maybe, No 61 Chapter 10 Small Decisions Add Up 77 Chapter 11 The Cult Factor 85 Chapter 12 Be Patiently Impatient 93 Chapter 13 Pain Tolerance 99 Chapter 14 Luck Is Like a Train 105 Chapter 15 Fire the Assholes 109 Chapter 16 Ushers, Vomit, and Why People Clean Bathrooms 113 Chapter 17 Diversity Is a Choice 119 Chapter 18 Are You Worth $10 an Hour? 123 Chapter 19 Nobody Knows Anything 127 Chapter 20 Who Gives a Shit? 131 Chapter 21 Everything I Know in Business I Learned from Coaching Girls Softball 135 Chapter 22 Trapped in the Bowels of the Grand Bazaar 145 Chapter 23 The Ambassador and the Bathroom 149 Chapter 24 China Talk 153 Author’s Note on “Shit” 163 Acknowledgments 165 About the Author 167 Index 169
NORM LAVIOLETTE is the Co-founder of Improv Asylum, IA innovation, Laugh Boston and Asylum Gaming and Esports (AGE). He leads Improv Asylum and IA Innovation's strategic business and artistic vision locally, nationally and globally. Norm has firsthand experience in building companies from start-up to multimillion-dollar businesses. Norm knows why culture is integral to long-term success and has built a team that exemplifies why communicating, listening and trusting are so important.
Let's be honest. We all make shit up. It's human nature. Maybe you weren't the most popular person in high school. Your college grades might be lower than you let on. It's possible your product isn't quite ready for market. It could be that your sales presentation isn't quite as polished as you say. It's OK, we all do it. If anyone tells you that they never make shit up, well, they're making shit up right then and there. Some may call it by different names—testing, innovation, hypothesis, ideation—it's really all the same thing. We first make the shit up, and then figure out how to make it fly from there. At its worst, making shit up can make us feel like frauds, imposters pretending to have all the answers. It can be a terrible feeling. But here's the good news: at its best, making shit up is the apex of creative and intellectual freedom. Creating something—free from judgment, expectations, and fear of failure— that is true freedom. Imagine if we could harness our natural ability to make shit up and use it for profit and success. How do we transform its negative implications, such as being undisciplined or unprepared, into positive traits? Firstly, we must recognize that making shit up is a skill. It may be a skill you don't appreciate at the moment, but it is a skill nonetheless. Skills can be taught. They can be practiced. Skills will improve over time. Of course, making shit up is also an art, but skill is the foundation of art. There's a good chance that by now you're tired of reading the word "shit." Let's substitute that word with two others: creation mindset. It's the same thing, it just sounds better. Developing a creation mindset can be learned by anyone. It opens up possibilities all around you. Once the skill is learned, the art will then be possible. The creative mindset lets us consider new solutions to problems, approach our goals from innovative angles, and communicate with colleagues and clients in memorable and meaningful ways. Having a creative mindset allows us to thrive in environments that foster innovation, create ways to overcome fear, to conquer self-doubt, to become an unstoppable powerhouse. Anyone can do it. The Art of Making Sh!t Up will show you how.
Discover how a creative mindset can help you live up to your potential, remove fear, and embrace innovation Norm Laviolette has honed his talents through performing and presenting to thousands of people over the years. His unique comedy-inspired corporate training programs have been wildly successful, helping organizations such as Intel, Google, Twitter, and Nokia enhance their corporate cultures, strengthen teamwork and leadership, and instill powerful communication skills. His innovative blend of improvisation techniques and effective team-building methods has inspired and motivated people around the world. The Art of Making Sh!t Up: Using the Principles of Improv to Become an Unstoppable Powerhouse shares the lessons Norm has learned from his personal experiences founding and growing several multimillion-dollar companies. This engaging, lively, and sometimes irreverent book enables anyone to discover, develop, and employ their creative mindset. Unforgettable chapters—with titles such as Ushers, Vomit, and Why People Clean Bathrooms, The Fear of Looking Stupid, Patiently Impatient, and People Don't think About You as Much As You Think They Do—take readers on a humorous, yet meaningful, journey to creative freedom, personal growth, and professional success. The Art of Making Sh!t Up enables readers to: Remove the fear of failure and ignite the creative mindset within you Learn to listen to yourself and recognize when and how to trust your instincts Embrace and celebrate the ideas of others to create an inclusive and diverse culture Listen to other people and the surrounding environment to spark great ideas Communicate simply, clearly, and leave a meaningful, memorable, and positive impression on all those around you The Art of Making Sh!t Up will help develop and use new skill sets to be more productive, more accepting, and more "all in" to create a stronger teammate and team. As Norm says, "Since we are already bull-shitting our way through a good majority of our lives, we might as well embrace that fact and learn to use it for good instead of ill."
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