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Matt Matheson

How the Playful conference links to our work on behaviour change through improvisation

As a consultant who uses improvisation to help our clients work better together, i’m always excited when an opportunity to see how other people use storytelling, play and games in their work comes along.

And none more so than Playful - a conference that brings together exactly that. I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that this is the first time I’ve made it to Playful – though I’ve heard from my colleagues for a number of years running that it’s a cracking and incredibly inspiring event.

When working with people, I get most excited when I see those moments of growth that come from trying out something new, being out of their comfort zone – and then realising that it wasn’t as bad as they thought and that they have genuinely been changed by the experience.

Often people come into my workshops quite guarded, somewhat apprehensive and unsure what will come of it. Very often people leave surprised, enlightened and with an appetite to approach problems with a more open mind. This kind of training applied over a set of months can really set teams free.

I use improv not only to train (it’s a great tool for many more reasons) but also as a diagnostic – from a single workshop I can draw out a set of observations about how a team works together and any number of hidden traits that may not have been visible before – and this is why I love improv.

Given improvisations ability to draw out the hidden behaviours in individuals and teams, i’m well chuffed that theme for Playful this year is ‘Hidden – what lies beneath’.

I hope that the conference will reveal something inspiring for me and all that attend.

If you want to meet up to talk about working with groups of people, improv, or just to say hi and have a coffee, drop me a message on

See you there :)

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