In today’s marketing world, there are plenty of ways to improve employees’ soft marketing skills in a corporate setting. And according to Erin Diehl, one way rises above the rest: improv. Many studies have shown that improv training can improve employees’ trust, teamwork, communication, presentation skills and creative problem-solving, along with a company’s overall corporate culture. The company Erin founded, Improve it!, conducts workshops across the country that leverage improvisational techniques.
We were lucky to have Erin lead a session for us at the April BMA Chicago Breakfast. Who wouldn’t want to start their morning with an hour filled with laughter, teamwork, communication, problem-solving skills and more?
Erin started off her session by introducing Improve it!’s simple message to the group. As Erin said, “Our mission is to provide high-energy, laughter-filled team-building workshops that incorporate improvisation.” The first improv activity, a simple “chicken dance,” woke up the group and got us ready to jump right into all the high-energy, laughter-filled team-building activities during this particular session.
Throughout the rest of the Improve it! exercises, common phrases came up repeatedly: “You cannot fail. We’re going to celebrate you and support you. Guide you out of your comfort zones.” Improve it!’s mission is not only to improve a company’s overall corporate culture, but also to focus on individual employees. Erin instilled that message into each attendee’s mindset, whether by explaining the importance of using the right tone of voice, making sure everyone’s nonverbal cues were being respected, or even changing the way attendees listened to one another’s conversations. When someone focuses on how they speak and act, the whole team will benefit.
As Erin’s workshop came to a close, the room was full of people smiling, laughing, and showing their true selves. The uncomfortable vibe from the beginning of the hour had disappeared. Everyone had taken part in multiple improv exercises that taught them how to listen, communicate, and speak to one another in a corporate setting. From doing the “chicken dance” to shouting a resounding “YES!” at the end of Erin’s session, improv had improved everyone’s morning, Erin’s way.
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls; others build windmills. This Chinese proverb remains timeless, because so does change. And the question is always… so what are you going to do about it? Glenn Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer of GE Healthcare, answers that question every day by building value for both customer and employees.
Countless CMOs around the world seek to turn insurmountable challenge into competitive opportunity through “marketing transformation.” The best way to start, according to Glenn: listen and learn. When he joined GE he made sure to understand the business, its customers and the current state of Marketing’s ability to lead customer engagement and advocacy. Just when he thought he had his priorities defined, General Electric announced its intent to spin off the Healthcare business. As Glenn put it, there’s an “arms race” to capture the growth in today’s dynamic healthcare technology market, and GE is under pressure to position the business to lead the way. The challenge – and opportunity – became greater.
Here are 5 key lessons from Glenn’s leadership in the face of intense change:
While the intensity of change will remain high for GE Healthcare into 2019, Glenn and his team are well equipped to harness it to generate more value. The underlying key to their success is that they are channeling change as the fuel for the transformation they seek – and not treating it as a headwind. As we all kick off 2019 with an eye towards transformative success both professionally and personally, this is a powerful perspective we can apply.
By Suzanne Martin, former BMA Chicago President
As we enter 2018, new digital marketing trends are making their way onto the scene. On December 13, 2017, Digital Megaphone was there to help highlight and identify the trends everyone should…