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Go With It

Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change

By  Karen Hough

The moment you learn to improvise is the moment anything becomes possible.

Count the number of times you’ve said “no” to an idea. Whether you inadvertently put out a spark of brilliance or nixed a nonstarter, your response took away someone else’s opportunity to feel heard. And that’s an innovation killer.

No one knows this truth better than improv legend Karen Hough. Go With It: Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change is the good news that Hough has discovered on the frontlines of innovation. Working with business innovators for decades, Hough has found that they know how to deal with dichotomy. They can prepare, play, and think upside down. And corporate teams caught up in old patterns of thought and action? They can learn to innovate, too. Improv troupes succeed on stage because they apply the “Yes, and” principle. Whatever the first person says, the next person affirms and adds to it. But this practice isn’t limited to brilliance onstage. Pharmaceutical scientists who accelerate their fuzzy front-end work on new drugs know how to improvise. Technologists who successfully bring their breakthroughs to market are masters of going with it. Executives who get their teams working and innovating together use improv techniques. Their stories fill this book. And they emphasize that it’s the process of listening, agreeing, and discussing an idea that’s monumentally important.

Hough shows you that anyone can learn to be more creative and innovative. It just takes flexibility, humor, and focus—that’s improv.

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Karen Hough

Karen Hough is the founder and CEO of ImprovEdge, which helps companies transform behavior through interactive training. With a presence in five cities, ImprovEdge’s client list includes ESPN, Coach, Nationwide Insurance, Legg Mason, Cardinal Health, Novo Nordisk, and Turner Broadcasting. Karen is also a number 1 Amazon bestselling author, contributor to the Huffington Post, and recipient of the Stevie Silver International Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year 2012, as well as the Athena PowerLink Award for Outstanding Woman-Owned Business. Her second, award-winning book, Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever: Break the Rules, Make Mistakes and Win Them Over, was published in 2014 by Berrett-Koehler.

Karen’s first life was as a professional improviser and actor. She trained with Chicago’s legendary Second City, performed in more than 100 theatrical productions, and was featured on radio, TV, and film. She lived a second life as a successful executive in network engineering. Finally, she became an entrepreneur. Karen is a Certified Speaking Professional and has presented to audiences of thousands both in the United States and internationally. She is a graduate of Yale University and La Sorbonne, Paris IV.


When the unexpected occurs, the best businesspeople know how to improvise. Go With It gives you a template for success!
Anne Arvia, President and CEO, USAA
Media is a constantly changing environment, driven by its customers. We have to be agile and smart at the same time. We have to improvise, and Go With It is chock-full of ideas and insight.
Terence Morley, Director, Talent Development, NBCUniversal
Change agility is necessary to driving creativity and innovation in any industry. This book allows you to unlock innovation by leveraging the power and technique of improv!
Liz Moran, Senior Director, Talent and Development, AstraZeneca
Evolution and growth is always on the mind of a leader, and this book provides practical advice on how to adjust and improve in the midst of change.

Kurt Tunnell, Managing Partner, Bricker & Eckler

Throughout my career, I’ve managed the unexpected. Go With It gives anyone great ideas to improvise and be effective.
Dan Creekmur, President, Columbia Gas of Ohio, a NiSource Company
The speed of innovation is reliant on the people who drive change. This book allows any team to up their game, collaborate radically, and improvise. That means faster to market with better outcomes!
Ben Verwer, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BD Diagnostics
Real life is all improv! Go With It outlines usable skills that allow professionals to engage in behaviors that increase success, and get us all comfortable with discomfort.
LaChandra Baker, President, Columbus Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators
This practical little book offers fresh and powerful insights into how anyone can learn to make themselves more creative and to help others by leading them to much more creative and superior outcomes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
Alan Robinson, Co-Author, Ideas Are Free and Corporate Creativity

Book Details

ISBN: 9781562865719

Pages: 120

Publisher: Association for Talent Development

Pub Date: October 2017

Formats: Paperback, PDF

Product Code: 111703

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