Kelly Leonard

Executive Director of Learning and Applied Improvisation, Second City Works

Kelly Leonard is the executive director of learning and applied improvisation at Second City Works. His book, “Yes, And,” was published to critical acclaim by HarperCollins. Kelly has spoken at Aspen Ideas Festival, Microsoft, Twitter, TEDxBroadway and has guest lectured at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He hosts the podcast “Getting to Yes, And” for WGN radio. For over 20 years, he oversaw Second City’s live theatrical divisions working with such talent as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Keegan Michael Key, and others. He and his wife, Anne Libera, were awarded the Creative Voice Award in 2019 by Arts Alliance Illinois.

11:00 - 11:45 AM ET

Tuesday Nov. 17

Developing Leadership at Every Level: An Improvisational Approach

The World Economic Forum has identified creativity, collaboration, and adaptability as key skills for the future of work. Increasingly, we are asking for leaders to execute at every level of our organizations, whether it’s in communication with our customers, giving feedback to develop their teams, or co-creating systems across an entire business. But how do we best build these skills?

In this session, you will examine how improvisation uniquely provides opportunities to playfully practice leadership skills that speak to individuals, teams and organizations. You will explore the behavioral science that improvisation builds upon. By attending this session you will discover how improvisation helps promote behaviors that are highly collaborative, inclusive, and resilient.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The rich history of improvisation as a practical tool for leadership
  • The underlying behavioral science that supports an improvisational approach
  • The leadership stories of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Keegan-Michael Key
  • Practices you can implement right away at home and at work