I’m revisiting some of my thesis writing around improvisation and innovation. There’s a great article by Deborah J. Kapp called “Improvisation and the Practice of Ministry”. It’s from the Journal of Religious Leadership 9, no. 1 (2010): p35-57 and available here. I recommend reading the article.
I’ve lifted a bunch of quotes from it (tweaked a couple to make them standalone sentences) and going to make a set of cards of posters. I look forward to using them in discussions with church leaders.
The unpredictability of ministry makes it partly improvisational.
The capacity to improvise is an essential component of effective leadership.
Improvisation is inherently emergent and collaborative.
The process of improvisation is more important than the product.
One has to risk sounding or looking stupid in order to improvise and discover something new.
One’s willingness to risk fosters improvisation and creativity.
To nurture improvisation, groups and organisations must foster the aesthetics of imperfection.
Improvisation is a collaborative process of social construction.
Improvisation in organisations is often instrumental rather than aesthetic in purpose.
Improvisation occurs in the intersection of structure and uncertainty.
Improvisation in organisations is built on strong institutional memory and repretoires of action which operate in the context of organisational instability.
Collaborative improvisation requires a base of shared experience and a mutual understanding of the rules.
Ministers and other religious leaders do not necessarily have wide zones in which to manouevre when they improvise.
Organizations that support improvisation and other forms of innovation are ones that nurture reflective practitioners, tolerate mistakes and welcome creativity, communicate effectively, and support collaborative teams.
Reflective practice is often experimental. The cycle of framing, experimentation, learning, and reframing is a continuous one for reflective practicioners.
Effective improvisation requires the capacity to listen and incorporate the insights and work of others.
Improvisation is less an individual gift than it is a collaborative exercise.
OK, so I just made a card set of these.