If you’re a CIO, enterprise architect, business analyst, or developer, then you already know that internal technology teams are under tremendous pressure to drive digital innovation. But driving digital innovation requires technologists to use a completely different part of their br

ains that don’t get much exercise – the right side of their brains, responsible for creativity and spontaneous insight.

So how can technology teams bulk up their right-brain muscles, and boost their creative confidence? Based on my own experience, an improv class might just do the trick! I recently completed a six-week improv class in Washington, DC that pushed me out of my comfort zone as a technology leader. I was not sure why I took the class or if I would enjoy it, but surprisingly the classes were all enjoyable, although the first two or three were uncomfortable as I stretched some of my creative muscles for the first time in years.

The exercises we completed in each class focused on working our “creative muscles”. Each class helped me get out of my normal day-to-day mode of logic thinking and allowed me to think more in the moment and be spontaneous with other students in the class. Here are my five key takeaways for how to use improv classes to boost your creative confidence:

1. We all have creative muscles that need constant stimulation to tackle new types of problem and come up with new solutions.
2. Listening and empathy is a big part of improv, the classes helped us hone these skills, and they are easily transferable to other aspects of our jobs
3. Don’t fear failure, its not failing but an opportunity to learn and come back armed with additional knowledge on how you can do differently
4. Support for each other during sketches allows free thinking knowing we are all focused on common objective
5. Using the “Yes And” exercise to help us stay in the moment, expand and dig deeper into roles.

There were many other creative confidence takeaways from this class, and I intend to continue my improv journey in future classes. My goals is to apply the lessons I learned to help clients craft new and innovative solutions and also apply the lessons to my personal life.

If you lead a technology team, or are a technology practitioner, and want to improve your digital innovation skills I recommend attending one of our upcoming Design Thinking Crash Course workshops. This workshop is targeted to technology leaders and technology practitioners that want to increase team creativity.