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Everything's an Offer [Paperback]

Robert Poynton (author) , Gary Hirsch (illustrator) , Gary Hirsch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 9.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 Nov 2008
'Everything s an Offer' tells the story of one business person's adventure in the world of improvisational theatre. It explains how the practises improv is based on can help you make more with what you have, using less effort, less energy and less resources (whilst creating less difficulty and stress). It illustrates, with myriad examples and stories, how anybody leading a busy and complicated life can put these ideas into action and why doing so will help them lead a more satisfying, creative and sustainable life. It extends the applications of improv far beyond team building and offers a new language for thinking about how we go about business - a language that has been used by Fortune 500 companies such as Nike, Intel and FedEx to help them communicate better, build stronger relationships (internally or with customers), propel people into action and get to new ideas and solutions.

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Everything's an Offer + Changing Conversations in Organizations: A Complexity Approach to Change (Complexity and Emergence in Organizations)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: On Your Feet (10 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615226183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615226187
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 20.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Improvisational theatre may seem a far cry from modern business but in fact it is highly relevant. By looking through that particular lens this book offers a different way to engage with and respond to the complexities and uncertainties of leading organisations into an era when creativity and change are of paramount importance. This book wears its well grounded learning lightly and is confident enough to side step the more stultifying academic conventions and focus on clear communication. And therein lies a great deal of its value. --Marshall Young, Director, Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme, University of Oxford

About the Author

For Robert Poynton 'career' has always been more of a verb than a noun. He used to work in advertising before an impulsive t-shirt purchase inadvertently turned into the international improv and business consultancy On Your Feet (a story that is told in this book). Rob has worked with everyone from accountants to zen monks, as far afield as Singapore and Cape Town and with client companies such as Orange, Philips, PricewaterhouseCoopers and The BBC. For over five years he has been teaching at Oxford Unversity s Said Business School. He lives in a solar powered house in the Sierra de Gredos in central Spain with his wife, three sons and Real Madrid season ticket. Gary Hirsch is the co-founder of OYF, an accomplished improviser, wannabe marine biologist, and voracious illustrator/doodler. Gary has been teaching and performing professional improv for seventeen years, and is the founder of Super Project Lab: a long-form improv group based in Portland Oregon. His public art commissions can be seen in Portland, Dallas, and Melbourne Australia. He is the founder of Doodle House which features his illustrations and wearable art. Gary's clients include GE, Nike, The North Face and Disney. Gary lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, two children, and two hyperactive King Charles Cavaliers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything's An Offer 30 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
Everything's an Offer

Poynton reveals himself as a master of fresh air and fun - however he is never lightweight nor frivolous and displays real humilty in the face of the systems complexity and organisational noise he uncovers. As he determinedly follows his educated nose in search of the fine truffles of improvised learning, the overall aroma of his writing is warm, earthy and pungent. Highly recommended.
James Gardener
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, practical and insightful 26 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a keen believer in applying the principles of improvisation to the world of organisations. Rob Poynton is probably the most articulate advocate of the practice I've come across.

This is a well argued and well illustrated guide that helps make clear how improv can help people deal with the complex challenges faced by organisations.

I think what Rob does is to show how to apply simple principles without straying into being simplistic. Nor does he makes things any more complicated than they have to be. He's particularly acute in looking at the pros and cons of "accepting" and "blocking" - providing me with a lot of food for thought about both these tactics influence our lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing 24 May 2011
Format:Paperback
Half autobiographical tale, half improvisation manifesto; a very readable whole. Worth it alone for the riff on what people are actually thinking in corporate meetings on p215. How hard it is to let go of control.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Accepted with thanks 24 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hard to categorise this book, which I suspect would please the improvising author. As the title suggests you can take what it offers in many ways: part philosphy of how to approach life: e.g. be open, observe and use what's around you, celebrate the unexpected, part business guide, part snippets of autobiography, part guide to improvisational techniques, part self-help guide.

Very readable with mix of improvisational theory illustrated by Gary Hirsh's fun diagrams & doodles and engaging anecdotes from personal experience that brings it to life.

As one of life's planners who can agonise about how to deal with events that never occur, I found this a welcome challenge, not to 'wing-it' but rather absorb and use the energy of '**** happens' in a positive way.

Quirky size and lovely little details (e.g. told in the microprint at the start that the book is printed in the bagel capital of the world) round off an intriguing package.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's becoming my Mantra: Everything IS an Offer 8 Feb 2009
By P. Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm really appreciating the book and the insidious way it is all becoming a part of my working attitude towards life with all its surprises. The stories bring the author's concepts into view in a most delightful and instructive way. I've read up to and through the blocking chapter and looking forward to the rest. I think it will be a great resource for a long time to come. I'm a yoga teacher and this enhances what I can offer to my students.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Buy Book - for leaders, managers, parents, teachers & anyone who interacts with other human beings 29 Jan 2009
By Karen Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To situate this review in context, I'm an executive coach and consultant in the middle of a PhD program trying to figure out how cultural change happens in organizations. Everything's an Offer has become my favourite book. It offers the best exploration so far of what happens at the intersection of improvisation, organizational life, and relationships.

Provocative and stimulating (with a delightful sense of playfulness) Rob and Gary welcome us and challenge us to reflect on the way we show up in day-to-day encounters with each other. Referencing (very accurately and respectfully I might add) great writers like Wheatley, Hillman, Jaworski, Capra, and Abrashoff -amongst others - as in "holy smokes Rob Poynton is well read and super smart" - and weaving in vivid stories of real life experiences, this book teaches, inspires, tickles and delights. I keep going back to it - and will continue to do so.

What I especially love is the delicious blend of ideas/concepts/theory with pragmatic "here's how you can actually start practicing this now" suggestions. I must say, my vacation at Christmas with my feisty and fabulous teenage kids was definitely more fun because of reading this book while the holiday unfolded - I was practicing noticing more, using everything, and letting go. It worked!

A few of my favourite excerpts:

"The plan should be a springboard, not a leash."
"Remember, everything you do is an offer."
"In relationships, giving too much priority to control, regularity, and predictability is counterproductive. You can't sustain the interest (let alone the affection) of a colleague, customer, audience, or lover through control."
Citing James Hillman, "Ideas we have and do not know we have, have us."

The book is brilliant. Buy it. Buy it for your friends and colleagues & anyone who cares about living a joyful, creative, connected and human life.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons for Business and Life 27 Dec 2008
By Scott M. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love this book. It's provided me with the motivation to be a better parent and consultant...funny how valuable I've found it to be with my 4-year-old, even though I bought it for tips on being better in my business.

As I dove into it, I was struck with what a nontraditional business read it is. It's dense material...and there's a lot of it. So, I'm using my time reading it as a chance to be present and really chew on the material. The format might not be for everyone, as it's not filled with bullet points. But if you give it the time and immerse yourself in the content, you will be greatly rewarded.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - an indispensible practice for both work and life! 16 Dec 2008
By C. Dick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I just finished 'Everything's an Offer' -- read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting -- an indication of how well written, easy to read and follow, and inspirational this book is. This book is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ on your list of books for Life -- it has valuable lessons, tools, lanugage and examples from the techniques of Improv that you can use immediately in anything you do for work or in life. This book will be the gift I 'offer' many people this year!
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like learning emotional judo for work and life 9 Nov 2013
By Ethan Decker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow. Sure, it's philosophical. But it's also oh so practical. I find myself re-reading sections, sharing with friends & colleagues, and applying it to my own life. A couple of examples:
- Everyone believes they're a good listener. Everyone. But listening is perhaps the one thing you get much much better at the worse you think you are. In fact, we should practice listening. I mean, we practice public _speaking_ all the time; why don't we in fact practice listening? What would that even look like? Whatever it looks like, it would help you notice more.
- When people become roadblocks, how can you turn their blocking and interruption of your plans into material to work with? For example, when a senior exec believes a workshop is B.S.--a day-long workshop you've just begun--how can you fold his or her skepticism and resistance into the workshop itself? Instead of uncomfortably side-stepping her disdain, you'd be better off to see her reaction as an opportunity for the whole group. That's called using everything.
Great, great applications of improv to marketing.
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