Monday, October 1, 2012

The Learning Pro at AIN 2012 Pt 2

The Wonderful Drew Merit's graphic capture of Friday morning's AINx talks

Some more thoughts about my incredible time at the AIN 2012 conference.

For my thoughts on the opening day see my earlier post here

For a complete list of all the tweets posted with the #AIN12 tag take a look at this post here.

Friday started with all 211 of us gathering in plenary for some keynotes, some AINx talks and some community building.

As we gathered there was some music playing and some very large bubbles floating around the front few rows.

The first Keynote was from a group called One World Music they created music collaboratively and spontaneously. They explained how music weaves themes and gave a volunteer team a group a chance to create something together.  And then the great AIN12 egg shaker orchestra creates something ourselves.

The lesson I took from the keynote.  When you feel the impulse to bail, stay. Keep going!

Then it was on to the morning session of AINx talks.

Sue Walden, who has been applying the principles of improv since before anyone had even thought of the name Applied Improvisation, had a lot to say about the power of Yes-And. She reminded us that the Yes in Yes-And is more about acknowledgement and acceptance rather than agreement. She also pointed out that one of the great skills that is much in demand is problem solving. The risk that organizations might face in hiring lots of great problems solvers is that people who are great at problem solving are also great at finding the problems to solve. When companies are looking to innovate there is need for problems solvers to put aside their problem finding skills for a while at least and the Yes-And toolset and mindset is what can help them do that.

There were a bunch of great AINx talks and soon they will be up on a You Tube channel and I'll let my loyal reader(s?) know where they can see them.

But the day was not all about plenaries and AINx talks. We had a couple of breakout sessions and in one that I attended, Beth StClair shared a project she had led about using Applied Improvisation to help customer service personnel connect with the customers they speak with on the phone. she shared that there is a movement out there to go beyond Customer Satisfaction scores and instead look at Customer Engagement scores. there is research out there that shows direct correlation between improved Customer Engagement scores and Return on Capital rates. A comment I heard that I particularly likes is that sometimes CS reps are so intent of looking to identify and solve the customers problem that they don't get the chance to help the customer with their issues. The active listening skills that improvisers have to master allow us to pick up on what is not said and find the sub-text. Getting that sub-text and making sure that the customer sees that you got it, can help push a satisfied customer into an engaged one. And that's good for the bottom line.

More learning from AIN12 to come

Happy Learning

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