I have been intrigued about improvisation for a while but especially since Neil Mullarkey, founder of the Comedy Store Players in London, joined me on episode 76 of the Value through Vulnerability podcast (listen below):


I have worked in international sales for over 20 years and been increasingly delving deep into people and culture over the past 5 years, yet I had not realised nor appreciated how much of my role, and indeed life generally, is based in improv.

In a world that has been built over the past 100 years to be focused on assurance, guarantees and fixed outcomes, the COVID-19 situation has reminded us, starkly, how silly an idea this is.

We are innately intuitive, creative, thoughtful ‘in-the-moment’ human beings, yet we have been brought up on parental, education and work systems that seek ‘the right answer’ vs a range of creative ways to reach ‘a TBC outcome.’


Why this strikes me so hard tonight is the current, connected global human response to current (in Italy) and pending (in rest of Europe) social distancing and even isolation to help halt the spread of the virus.

Contrary to the incessant fear and worry that is pedalled by the media, our collective humanity, right now, includes:

  • A local Facebook group near my home has suggested that when kids are off school once they close this Friday 20th, that as they walk around the neighbourhood at a safe distance, homes should position rainbows in windows of homes to act as an ‘eye-spy’ game as children and families walk around
  • Tennis has been evidenced taking place between adjacent flat windows in Italy
  • Virtual karaoke is currently being proposed by a UK learning & development lead for everybody to sing along too
  • Mike Vacanti and the HumansFirst tribe have extended the weekly calls to include Tues, Weds and Thurs to provide a safe, connected space for anybody to dial into virtually

There are many, MANY more examples of human ingenuity and creativity to help us stay connected during a potential time of protracted isolation.

Where are these on the news?

Why are we not celebrating the positivity and ingenuity of humanity?

Because it does not drive clicks.  As Bob Chapman said recently on a tour of Europe, some journalists have been trained ‘what bleeds, reads.’ Those that sell fear for clicks are dicks! Yes I just made that up, but it is true 😊

How can you improvise to keep yourself and those around you in a growth mindset during the current challenges?

How can you improvise to ensure you have fun and make the most of the upcoming downtime?

How can you use the next days, weeks and months to ideate different views of the future?

We are all connected; mother nature is reminding us powerfully of this right now.

I wish you and yours well and look forward to joining you in a virtual karaoke session or on a neighbourhood eye-spy walk soon (at a distance!) 😊


Garry Turner
Garry Turner
Combining a powerful mix of international sales and culture expertise, Garry is facilitating individual and team transformations as an interpersonal catalyst. With over 20 years of sales and relationship building experience and qualified in organisational design and development, learning & development and as a chartered member of the CIPD, he focuses on bringing intentional human-centred working to all walks of life, and has the evidence to validate this necessary paradigm shift. Whether through connection-centred workshops, keynote talks, live events or through Thinking Partnerships, Garry is driven by his two non-negotiable core values of growth and connection.

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  1. Garry, such an important message at this time – maybe at any time. Improvise. I remember an expression I read somewhere that goes something like “Things not going as planned? Just yell ‘Plot twist!'” We are only prisoners if we lack imagination.