Book Review: Two Books on Business Improv

Comedic actor Bob Kulhan, founder and CEO of Business Inprov, explains that if people know anything at all about improv, it is the basic technique – the use of two words: Yes, and… “Yes” shows that an idea has been heard; “and” builds on that idea. Yes, and there are two books about improvisation in business that employ those words: Yes, And by two Second City executives; and the book, Getting to “Yes And” by Kulhan himself.
book cover imageKulhan, Bob and Chuck Crisafulli. Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv. Stanford Business Books, 2017.

Bob Kulhan is the instructor of Fuqua’s week-long MBA Workshop on Managerial Improvisation that begins at Fuqua on Jan. 8. He begins his book Getting to “Yes And” by demonstrating how the art of improvisation is used in business. When faced with rapidly changing circumstances, managers use their knowledge and experience to explore possibilities, synthesize information and create a quick response. While performing in the moment, these managers react rapidly yet deliberately, drawing on intellect, focus and training to make swift decisions about what actions to take.

Most of Kulhan’s book reveals what he teaches in his course, including fundamental communication skills: how to use improv to listen, influence and inspire others; how to develop a personal brand; how to improve business meetings. He also shows how to ramp up physical and mental energy; how to use improv to guide a team; and how to break down silos within a company. Near the end of his book, Kulhan thanks several Fuqua faculty members and congratulates the Fuqua School for being ahead of the curve in using improv for business.

Getting to “Yes And” is also available as an eBook.

book cover imageLeonard, Kelly and Tom Yorton. Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration… HarperBusiness, 2015.

“Business is one big act of improvisation,” according to two executives of Second City, Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton. Their book describes how improv training increases innovation, creativity and confidence, while reducing judgment. Yes, And covers some of the same topics as Kulhan’s book, but the many stories from Second City make for lighter fare and more amusing reading. Descriptions of exercises used in improv theater, such as One-Word Story, Follow the Follower and Silent Organization, are included.

Leonard and Yorton admit, “We don’t believe that any one book holds the whole truth, and there are a variety of interesting and worthwhile paths one can take when reaching for goals.” Agreed. These two books are complementary and both are recommended for readers interested in business improv.

Yes, And is also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Two Books on Business Improv”

  1. Samantha Duthler Says:

    I read this book and easily incorporated many of the book’s core concepts into my life. The author effectively introduces improvisation as an incredibly needed and (very) easily implementable approach to communicating, collaborating, brainstorming, adapting and solving problems. The examples are entertaining, memorable and thorough and the whole premise is supported by a great collection of behavioral psychology research in a fun, easy to read and simple format.

    If you want to be a better at applying improv to your life (personally and professionally), pick up a copy of “Getting To Yes And” today! You will be glad you did! It is also available in ebook and audiobook.

  2. Bob Kulhan Says:

    Hello! This is Bob Kulhan, Adjunct Prof of Improv at Fuqua & Author of GETTING TO YES AND. Christyn Klinck forwarded this promotion to me this morning.

    Thank you for the great shout out! I really appreciate it. If possible, can you please add that GETTING TO YES AND is also available as an eBook and Audiobook? (Moreover, I actually read the Audiobook. So, you are getting it straight from the source!)

    Thank you for considering. Here’s the link:



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