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The Innovative Mindset by Elena Imaretska, John Sweeney

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Chapter 3The Mindset of Discovery: Improvisational Roots

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The definition of the mindset of discovery emerged from more than 55 years of improvising off and on stage at the Brave New Workshop. Without this kind of mindset, it's nearly impossible to create and collaborate at the rapid pace our stage requires with the added stress of a live audience. As I shared earlier, we would have failed at growing and prospering as a business if we hadn't embraced this mindset. Improvisation has been a force in my life for 23 years, and I have found it to be an amazing vehicle to practice the behaviors and mindset needed for successful innovation.

The mashup of improvisation in the corporate world has been a part of my life since 1992. I had begun to take improvisational classes as a way to take a break each week from what was beginning to feel like what some people call the grind—essentially, the burnout of the day-to-day activities of a pretty typical corporate job. I was working for a wonderful corporate real estate firm that specialized in full-service relocation and construction management. We found the best places for companies to have offices and conduct their business and then beat up landlords and construction companies on behalf of our clients, who would then become tenants or buyers. I was surrounded by lots of great people, but the competitive stress and high-profile lifestyle were ...

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