Operational ResilienceImprov-ise Your Resilience: 5 Dynamic Games for Response Readiness

Improvisation isn’t just for the theater – it’s a powerful organizational tool, especially for assessing and building a team’s operational resilience. The spontaneity and creativity inherent in improv games can reveal much about how a team responds to unexpected challenges.

Let’s explore 5 improv-based games that can serve as pre-assessments for your team’s resilience.


1. “Yes, And” Scenario Building

Overview: The classic improv principle of “Yes, And” is perfect for fostering adaptability and quick thinking.

Game Details:

  • Team members build a story together, each adding a sentence that begins with “Yes, And.”
  • Introduce unexpected twists or challenges into the narrative that the team must incorporate seamlessly.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Enhanced ability to adapt quickly and build upon each other’s ideas.


2. Role-Switching Challenge

Overview: Understanding and adapting to different roles within a team is crucial for resilience.

Game Details:

  • Team members randomly draw roles different from their usual job.
  • They then discuss how they would handle a specific operational challenge from this new perspective.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Improved understanding of different roles and functions within the team.


3. Improvised Resource Management

Overview: Improvisation can be a great way to simulate resource allocation under pressure.

Game Details:

  • Present a scenario where resources are limited.
  • Team members must improvise solutions using only the ‘resources’ available in the room.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Creative problem-solving and resourcefulness in constrained environments.


4. “Freeze and React” Communication Drill

Overview: Effective communication and adaptability are key in crisis situations.

Game Details:

  • Start a scenario related to an operational process.
  • Randomly call “Freeze,” at which point a new challenge is introduced. Team members must adapt the scene accordingly.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Enhanced ability to communicate and adapt to sudden changes.


Improv Challenge: “Market Shift Mayhem”

Overview: Focuses on adaptability and strategic thinking in response to sudden market changes, a common scenario in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Game Details:

  • Begin by setting up a mock scenario where the team is managing a project or a product line.
  • Suddenly introduce a dramatic market shift or a disruptive new technology that changes the game. For example, a new competitor enters the market, there’s a sudden change in consumer preferences, or new regulations are introduced.
  • Team members must quickly strategize and adapt their plans to this new scenario. Encourage them to brainstorm and come up with innovative solutions to address the challenge.
  • You can add layers to the exercise by introducing additional information or changes as the discussion progresses.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Improved ability to think strategically and adapt plans in response to external changes.
  • Enhanced teamwork and collaborative problem-solving skills.
  • Insight into how team members handle uncertainty and pressure, and their ability to innovate under constraints.


These improv-based games are not only fun but also serve as effective tools for assessing and building your team’s resilience. They encourage creativity, quick thinking, and adaptability – all essential qualities in today’s dynamic business environment.



Paula Fontana

VP, Global Marketing


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