Yes, and: How Improvisation Reverses “no, but” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–lessons From the Second City

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Yes, and: How Improvisation Reverses “no, but” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–lessons From the Second City

About This Book:

Executives from The Second City—the world’s premier comedy theater and school of improvisation—reveal improvisational techniques that can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses.

For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry—including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.

The rules for leadership and teamwork have changed, and the skills that got professionals ahead a generation ago don’t work anymore. Now The Second City provides a new toolkit individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Based on eight principles of improvisation, Yes, And helps to develop these skills and foster them in high-potential leaders and their teams, including:

Mastering the ability to co-create in an ensemble Fostering a “yes, and” approach to work Embracing failure to accelerate high performance Leading by listening and by learning to follow Innovating by making something out of nothing
Yes, And is a must-read for professionals and organizations, helping to develop the invaluable leadership skills needed to succeed today.

About the Author:

Tom Yorton has been CEO of Second City Works, the b2b arm of The Second City, since 2002. Before joining The Second City family, Tom worked in advertising and marketing, at agencies like Ogilvy, Grey, and Hal Riney, before jumping to the client side, with stints as a marketing VP at Sears and 3Com, where he actually hired Second City Works on a couple occasions.

Kelly Leonard (President & CEO, Kelly Leonard Productions/Creative Advisor, The Second City) has worked at The Second City for nearly three decades in various creative and leadership positions. He has produced shows with such notable talent as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Keegan Michael Key and Steve Carell. He has created shows with Lyric Opera Chicago, The Kennedy Center, Hubbard Street Dance, La Jolla Playhouse and The Actors Theatre in Louisville. He has made deals and led collaborations with Norwegian Cruise Line, Yoshimoto Kogyo of Japan, The Chicago Tribune and Universal Studios. His book, Yes, And: Lessons From The Second City, was published by HarperCollins in 2015 to critical acclaim. Writing in Vanity Fair, author Michael Lewis wrote, “Yes, And is an excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City’s improv workshops.” Mr. Leonard speaks frequently on the power of improvisation to transform business and personal life, presenting at The Aspen Ideas Festival, The Stanford Graduate School of Business, The Wharton School of Business, TEDxBroadway 2016 and TEDxZumbroRiver in Rochester, MN. He hosts the podcast, “Getting to Yes, And” which can be heard at

Information pulled from Amazon product page.