I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about improvisation as I’ve been writing my new book, Ditch the Pitch. As part of this process, I recently interviewed Douglas R.Ewart, a creative musician, who is also a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
His ensemble, Douglas Ewart and the Inventions, plays completely improvised concerts, with no prior conversation among the players about what they are going to play. When I interviewed Douglas, the first thing he said was, “improvisation is a daily activity. Crossing the street requires improvisation. Even when you cross with the light, you have to be alert, and you have to judge if the person driving a car is being mindful of you. If not, you have to adjust. You improvise.”
Douglas Ewart’s point: Your life, even your business life, is filled each day with situations that may not seem novel, but are. You will not be able to deal with those situations unless you are able to see each situation as the unique, one-of-a-kind situation that it is, and act in a unique, one-of-a-kind way.
Ditch the Pitch. Every time you interact with a customer, even if you had interacted with this customer 100 times before, and even if you have talked about this subject 1000 times before, is a chance to improvise a new, fresh, spontaneous, one-of-a-kind experience for you and your customer. Don’t miss the opportunity!