Podcast #196

Kelly Leonard – The Theory of Applied Improvisation

What do Tina Fey, Facebook, Uber, Steve Carell, and Hilton all have in common? Improvisational comedy training. Starting as a dishwasher in 1988, Kelly Leonard is now the Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at The Second City. It’s no wonder that Kelly is a popular speaker on the power of improvisation to transform people’s lives. His book, “Yes, And: Lessons from The Second City” was released to critical acclaim in 2015 by Harper Collins. He has presented at The Aspen Ideas Festival, TEDx Broadway, the Chicago Ideas Festival, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and for companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and DDB Worldwide. Kelly co-created and co-directs a new initiative with the Center for Decision Research at the Booth School at the University of Chicago that looks at behavioral science through the lens of improvisation. He also hosts the podcast, “Getting to Yes, And,” for Second City and WGN radio that features interviews with thought leaders such as Adam Grant, Simon Sinek, Angela Duckworth, Gretchen Rubin, Robert Sutton and more. An expert at asking the question, “What if we did it this way,” Kelly joins Innovation Crush to talk about their evolution as a business and how improv often leads to the best innovation.