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Showing posts from December, 2012

Quick-change: improvisation key to coping with complexity

"Coping with the complexity of today’s business environment is not about predicting the future or reducing risk. It’s about building the capacity, in yourself, your people, and the organization to adapt continuously and learn speedily, in order to maximize the chances of seizing fleeting opportunities." Ivey Business Journal
     During its long Off-Broadway run, I saw The 39 Steps - in which 4 actors play multiple roles within the same scene and sometimes in the same sentence - three times. My fascination with improvisation is part of the reason, and the actors' ability to balance slapstick comedy with communication of important details about a complex spy story based on an early Alfred Hitchcock film is another. The cast displayed a seemingly infinite capacity to switch gears - and hats and identities, including accents - with split-second timing, and to use the same objects in a thousand different ways. Using a few set pieces -e.g. chairs, boxes, flashlights - a…

Peace Is A Way Of Thinking

Peace is a mindset, a way of thinking about relationships that is about collaboration rather than competition. It is something we must offer to the world rather than hope for the world to offer it to us. This can be a challenge, because people hurt, disappoint, even destroy us in various ways all the time. We can be deeply wounded by life and abandoned by everyone who should care, and it is still possible to be a person who creates peace. Some ideas:             One of the most powerful tools a therapist trained in action methods learns is role-reversal - the act of taking on another person's reality as best we can. To put this into action, we have to get up out of our own space, sit or stand someplace else in the room, and take on the physical posture and attitude of the person with whom we are reversing roles. We say their words. We say the person's own words, with the same cadences and emphasis they use. Through a combination of imagination and improvisation we explore as b…

Ascended Experience: The Legacy Of An Open Heart

There are second acts in life, if we create them. The memorial service for Christopher Stamp, a colleague in psychodrama and the healing arts, at The Old Whaling Church in Sag Harbor, NY featured a fascinating mix of the players and stories that made up his astonishing life. There was rock and roll royalty – Roger Daltry was one of the speakers, just to give an example – talking about Chris' early career as co-manager of The Who. There were therapy clients who spoke about his passion for the work of recovery and colleagues whose lives were changed by their work with Chris in the great second act he wrote for his life, as a therapist and addiction counselor. There was powerful music. Kids – beautiful kids with beautiful British accents – reading poems to honor their grandfather. Stories.     The Who’s music, which shaped my adolescence and college years and therefore shaped who I am is part of my consciousness and that happened because of Chris’ desire to do what no one else …