I was recently interviewed on this podcast for business leaders and we landed on the topic of play. Steve Condos was the first person I heard relate improvisation to a game. Improvisation is the idea of making choices on the fly. Musicians and dancers often do this during public performances. You’ve got to know your stuff if you’re going to make choices on the fly in front of people. Then again, sports players do this often as well, and so do good leaders.
Very rarely do we have everything laid before us. Quite often we are making choices on the fly about situations using the best information we have, but nothing more. When musicians, dancers, sports players, and leaders improvise, there is always a framework. Musicians have the structure of the song, dancers have the form and vocabulary of the body, sports players have the rules of the game, and leaders their values.
Every game has rules, and the closer your game is to life, the more the rules become based on how we see life – what our view of the world is – and what values flow from it.