GCP 53: The Yes Works
Episode 53: Yes Works
This episode is the first half of the Grit City’s interview with The Yes Works team. Join us next week for the second half of the show.
This episode they talk to Aaron, Adam, and Rachel from The Yes Works. The Yes Works is a company that helps businesses solve problems involving: personal problems, communication problems, and customer service problems, by using improv skills and principles. They talk starts with how they became a business. Rachel is a performer that worked with the both Aaron as a director and Adam and an actor. In previous work, they’ve used improv to solve problems. Aaron has been doing leadership coaching for over a decade, in which he used improv. The business idea came after Adam and Aaron went through a traumatic ordeal which included almost drowning and having their canoe snap in half in the river. After going through something like that with no serious interpersonal tension and no freak-outs, they decided to go into business together. They brought Rachel in to bring a lot of exercises from the physical theater aspect.
The conversation continues with Adam and his involvement with Muh Grog Zoo, a group that specializes in one act plays. They do a 45 minute one act play based off a word they get from the audience. Mug Grog Zoo was featured on TedxTacoma in 2014. They also talk about what Adam has learned from practicing and sharing improv with every type of person since graduating from college, which is that anyone can use it to learn to be present with themselves and the others around them.
The discussion then turns to what a workshop involves. First, they get input from the participants on what they expect out of the workshop. They then begin getting everyone involved with exercises around covering each others' back and celebrating failure. Over the course of the workshop the team goes through continual iterations of the exercises and by doing so repeatedly, everyone in the group starts to developed new habits that shifts the culture of the workplace. Putting people just above what they are capable of with improv creates a happier workplace and also a more productive team.
The talk continues with talk about different personalities they have ran into and helping to develop empathy in their workshops. In addition, the level of people participating and how it ranges from observing to being active in the improv. They also cover how local businesses with one or two employees also have the ability to participate. They can do so by teaming with other entrepreneurs to get the benefit from what they provide.
The podcast closes out discussing how they see the benefit they could bring to police departments. With continuous stories in the media about police and their inability to improvise with those they protect, there is a great need to bring improv to the police department. Though not able to yet get a local police department on board, the police department in Portland has seen the benefits of improve and have reached out to work with The Yes Works.
Thank you Aaron, Adam, and Rachel for joining us on this episode. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
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