Dr Amy Climer

Episode 62: How to Use Improv to Build Creative Teams, An Interview with Chris Esparza

There is no script for life and there is no exact script that will help you be more creative. In this episode, Amy interviews Chris Esparza about the power of Improv and how to work without a script. The skills and principles of Improv, borrowed from the world of theater, can help you deal with the ambiguity of leading creative teams.

What You’ll Learn

  • What Improv is and how it can help your teams be more creative
  • The three principles of Improv and how to use them with your team
  • The importance of preparation versus planning
  • How Chris was able to take five weeks off from his full-time job to dive deep into Improv in Chicago

About Chris Esparza

Chris is a listener-in-progress, leadership learner-educator, applied improvisor, and accidental runner. He currently serves as the Associate Director at the University of Oregon’s Holden Center for Leadership & Community Engagement. He shares both administrative and programmatic responsibilities across the center, including coordination of the LeaderShape Institute, Catalyst, and our Strengths-Based Leadership programming. Recently, he has been active in infusing principals of improvisation into the center’s curricular objectives, facilitating workshops and trainings across campus on adaptability, ambiguity, change, creativity, group development, and power and status.

Chris grounds his work in experience with leadership development, group facilitation, diversity and inclusion, and applied psychology. Chris attended Stanford University for his bachelor’s degree (Psychology) and UC Santa Barbara for his master’s and doctoral work (Counseling Psychology). Outside of work you might find Chris running on the riverside paths in Eugene, OR, eating lots of Mexican food, or participating in the world’s largest treasure hunt (geocaching).



The Weekly Challenge

Your weekly challenge is to apply the rules of improv in your work and life: Let go. Notice more. Use everything. Apply an improvisor’s mindset and see what emerges. Share your experiences in the comments below.



Rave Reviews

  • Amy Inspires Creativity Growth in Everyone
    January 5, 2022 by cjpowers7 from United States

    Amy Climer’s show helps all of us grow our creative muscles. She is authentic and cares about her listeners. Amy empowers us with tools that work in the office, training sessions, and our communities. The best part is her ability to make what feels out of reach, something that can be accomplished with simple steps forward.

  • A great way to get inspired!!
    March 8, 2021 by binglish from United States

    Love listening to Amy’s podcast! Her guests are awesome and conversations are full of inspiring information.

  • A must for people who want to think better
    May 26, 2019 by Dhensch from United States

    Amy Climer hit a home run with this podcast and continues to get hits with every episode. I was hooked with the first one and binge-listened to the four solo episodes about the Creative Problem Solving process. Her knowledge of the subject of creativity and innovation is incredibly deep. And, she makes it easy for others to learn and apply. I have listened to other "expert" podcasts and Amy's is different in that she holds nothing back. Episode after episode offer practical insights, tips and tools. She has a generosity of spirit that is contagious.

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