Plan some moments and leave room for improvisation

Have you ever spent ages creating a well-researched plan to find that in delivery, it changes completely?

This is the story of my life.  And recently, I have come to value it.

Having worked in theatre all my life, I can tell you that there is nothing more lifeless than an over-rehearsed show.  Too much planning can give predictable, but boring results.  It isn’t inclusive.  It rules out the effect that the audience have on the performers.  They are like the final member of the acting company.  

Sacred Clown Didier Danthois always works by fixing a few things, and leaving room for improvisation.  His work is truly magical.  When you watch him perform, you are watching something organic, and exciting and made with love.  he includes everything in the room in his awareness, including the audience. he is open to new possibilities and changes.  As a result, his performance is inspiring and overflowing with creativity.  Even in a rehearsed performance, Didier advises fixing a few moments and then allowing for improvisation the rest of the time.

He said in a recent workshop that in a musical composition, the notes are unimportant.  They simply define the fixed structure.  The real magic is the space between the notes. 

Isn’t that like life, though?  You can fix a few things, but no matter how hard you try, the plan is never followed to a tee.  Disruptions and changes will happen. You will stray from the path.  You will never be able to predict everything.

This can feel strange at first, especially in business.  In business you seek to predict some very important things: income, profit, quality and target market. However, if you get so lulled into the ‘safety’ of predictability, you will soon find that you cannot cope with change.  If your only income is sat navs, what will you do when Google Maps adds voice navigation, for free? 

Problems occur when you don’t allow yourself room for change.  When you are inflexible, you create separation.  You say ‘Only my way is right, and I can’t allow it to be influenced’.  By doing this, you can rule out all kinds of creative possibilities.

On the other hand, if you can leave space for the new, you can find yourself taken on the road less travelled.

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