The essence of interactive improvisational theatre is storytelling and using improvisation to enact those stories. When you see a story acted out it affects you at a different level than when it is simply heard. You begin to relate to it more completely, not merely on a conceptual level, but also on a physical and emotional level. Enactment can help you see a business challenge, or another person's experience from a new perspective. It is easier to connect your own story to the story being told/played, allowing you to decide what needs to be done to change it. You can effortlessly make the link to your own business challenges, behaviors and relationships.
The power of enacted story is that you can see a dynamic being played out externally. What was once only inside of you now exists outside of you. You can now see it clearly, play with it, change it, and decide what you want to do with it. What kind of relationship do you want to have with it? How do you want to use it to leverage your own performance or support a strategic goal?
Enacting stories gets the truth into the room quickly and in a way that people can accept it, moving them past any resistance or resentment, inspiring them to get involved. The process of sharing stories together, and enacting them or seeing them enacted, deepens understanding and collaboration and builds stronger relationships and teams.
It is often less disturbing to hear the truth from someone outside the organization. Using dramatic enactment or IIT delivered by external partners, the truth can be an easier pill to swallow because it removes the “charge” (the intensity, the energy, the judgments) between the teller and the listener. If you want to know the truth about how certain behaviors are being perceived and affecting business relationships on a daily basis, you are likely to get a more truthful response from an external party who has no attachment to and gains no benefit from a specific outcome or response. They can hold the best intentions for all parties involved.
IIT can also be used to enact a vision of the future. Once you have an image of what you want a specific behavior or relationship to look like, you will have an easier time doing it. If you can see it in your mind’s eye, it is easier to hold onto that vision when you are challenged in ways that at other times, in other situations, you would be more likely to revert to old habits of relating, thinking, judging, acting, leading.