The Team  
MIKE GRIMSHAW

Areas of Expertise
Start-up founding & mentoring, Financial strategies for small business, Branding, PR, Marketing & Sales, Engaged Learning techniques, Technology Implementation, and creative classroom tools. Angel Investor

Professional Background
Mike Grimshaw has over 35 years’ Founder, Principal, senior level sales, management and start-up experience in the highly competitive technology industry with industry leaders IBM, Cisco, Andrew, Nortel, and Unisys. He has successfully launched/sold new strategic products and won numerous awards for his contributions. Mike as an entrepreneur founded 15+ companies and was the founder and President of Pace Data and President of Israeli based RAD Network Devices. Mike has proven success in the challenge of bringing innovative start-up companies - Equinox Networks, Cascade, Shasta Networks and Ellacoya to funding, acquisition or IPO.


NATE LEE

Areas of Expertise
Leadership and management training, Business improvisation, Creative problem solving, Communication, Brainstorming, Customer engagement, Marketing strategy, Branding, Writing, Copy editing

Professional Background
A graduate of Second City's improv school and lead in Second City's Children's Theatre, Nate has employed improv skills in a variety of careers and management positions. As a writer and ultimately a creative director of a global ad agency, Nate has written and produced national campaigns for P&G, McDonald's, Mazda, Taco Bell and Mattel. He has been a partner in a small LA ad agency; senior editor of a weekly newspaper in Chicago; and a performer at Disneyland. Nate has also written several books of skits and one-act plays for pre-teens to perform, as well as the lyrics for a musical about the 1920s.

 

“In improv, there are no mistakes, only opportunities.”
Tina Fey, Actress/Entrepreneur

“I want my managers to listen and respond to their employees’ perceptions, not ignore them”
Dick Costolo, X-CEO Twitter

“ Improv business training was transformative and it was the most impactful training session in their entire careers”
Lisa Kavanaugh
Ask.Com executive
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“How good people’s decisions are under the fast-moving, high-stress conditions of rapid cognition is a function of training … and creating the conditions for successful spontaneity.” Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

"At first glance, zany improv and the straight-laced corporate world might seem to be unlikely bedfellows. But the cross-pollination between comedy and business has led to fruitful managerial skills development for executives"
Forbes article, "Why Improv Training is Great Business Training," June 2014


Q&A

WHY "SERIOUS"?
People suppose that improv is for comedy -- and it is, of course. Improv, though, also teaches skills that are valuable in many areas, especially business. Improv is ideal for leadership training, management training, even avoiding workplace harassment.

WHAT SKILLS?
We craft improv exercises, roleplay and games to coach you on skills such as teamwork, decision making, communication -- any skill your organization needs to improve. See the word cloud on our home page for just some of the most important skills that every organization should have in order to function.

WHAT MAKES YOU GUYS DIFFERENT?
Certainly, there are many great training programs out there. We pride ourselves on employing years of management experience in our leadership coaching. Wherever you are and whatever problems you are wrestling with, chances are we've been there.

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IMPROV?
The improv exercises we use in our training place participants into an environment that mimics the ideal workplace environment: communicative, supportive, positive. This environment allows those participants to be confident, flexible, adaptable, focused, and team oriented.

WHY GAMES?
Games, exercises and role-play scenarios let participants relax and have fun and become less self-conscious. This way they learn.

HOW DO I KNOW IT FITS MY NEEDS?
We listen to you and, if you want, to your staff. We study your organization. We craft the workshops exactly to your needs, whether it is just manager training, a specific we department, or your whole staff. Before we ever begin, we show you what skills our coaching will enhance and exactly how.

HOW CAN IMPROV HELP US AVOID WORKPLACE HARASSMENT?

Several ways. First, through roleplay and games, your staff can learn the kinds of behavior that are disrespectful, inappropriate or even illegal. Second, improv fosters respect and a supportive workplace environment. Also, we have used improv to teach the proper responses to all kinds of harassment. .



Entrepreneur article,
Improv and Comedy Can Infuse Companies With an Inventive Spirit,” July 2014

Slate article, “How Improv Comedy Skills Became a Must-Have for Entrepreneurs,” March 2014

Forbes article,Why Improv Training is Great Business Training,” June 2014

Fast Company article, “It’s Not Quite Funny Or Die, But Improv Works To Fuel Powerful Innovation,” April 2012