Recently we performed our Mystery Theater production, “Who Killed the Family Business?” We are a group of amateurs, definitely not professional talent but simply business people having fun doing what they don’t usually do. In fact, we often play characters that are much different from who we are.
The magic happens when we own our characters, understand the conflicts with other characters, and have fun playing up the drama. I guess part of the fun is accentuating the dysfunction we see every day in the workplace.
As cast members, when we know our roles so well that we can ad lib, that is when we create humor far beyond the initial script. We twist a line, add a quip or improvise a move as we play off others in the scene.
That is also the way disruption happens. We collaborate to multiply (Think synergy). As I think about that, I’m, struck by how different that is in our places of work.
Option 1: Divide
To succeed, the old school teaches, you have to be strong, eliminate competition and claim your ground. Build your authority and demand obedience because the riches come to the powerful, not the weak. In acting terms, we don’t want anyone to upstage us.
Unfortunately, the Divide model does not allow anyone other than the leader to improvise because the system is built upon obedience and control.
If our cast was built on the Divide Model, we would stick to the script and play it as written. That works only if the script is brilliant and better than it could be with any collaboration.
Option 2: Multiply
But that isn’t how the performance receives rave reviews every year. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. We purposely foster a connection first between the actors and then allowing it to overflow to the audience. We find that when we have fun, so does the audience.
Last year was a perfect example. In a scene with another actor that discussed replacing workers with robots, he surprised me with a toy robot that lit up, moved and played lively music. It was hilarious. We definitely didn’t rehearse it but it brought down the house because of the spontaneity and authenticity. The audience loves knowing that we didn’t know it was coming. In the process, they are in the center of the action.
Isn’t that what we want with our team?
We want them engaged because we want to unleash the ultimate performance, production, and profits. Dividing doesn’t do that but multiplying does.
As a leader, are you spending more time dividing or multiplying?
Become the Disruptive Leader and Break Through
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to breakthrough and become disruptive leaders, doing the impossible by changing the paradigm of their thinking and telling powerful stories. If that is your desire, contact me today.
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