Adapt or Die!


“Never underestimate the power of improvisation to turn an unpopular
change into a winning strategy.”

~ Forbes

In the movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt’s character ‘Billy Beane’, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team is having a frank discussion with one of his scouts about the future of scouting for the team. Here is the scene:

In business as in life we find things are constantly changing. We can either adapt or die. Billy Beane’s scout didn’t want to adapt to the new scouting philosophy. Billy was saying this is what we are doing and we’re not turning back.

In business, Anticipating change is important so an effective plan can be put into place, knowing that there will always be changes. For change to go smoothly requires an open mind.
Billy Beane saw his team couldn’t compete with the teams that had more money to spend on players. So he had to devise a different plan for finding players. Billy had to change the way he saw the game; he had to implement and manage the change.

Billy Beane modeled some key elements of improvisation we can apply to business. He showed flexibility in his way of doing things. He was open to accepting and embracing change.

Learning improvisational communication allows for “outside the box” thinking. Billy had to think in whole different way rebuilding and managing his team. The scouts who were unwilling to accept the change were let go or quit.

When we allow ourselves to become more flexible and let go of our preconceived ideas, we’ll see the new opportunities that open up. Billy’s team learned to let go of their approach to the game and start using their own strengths to play it better which helped them the break the Major League record for most consecutive wins during a season.

Billy Beane encountered failures with making changes, but he knew they were sure to fail if he didn’t do anything to change the team. Making big changes moves people out of their comfort zones and supports them in taking risks, embracing mistakes and exploring their own creativity.

So how do you learn to embrace change? We’ve found learning improvisational exercises provides tools and techniques that people can practice and implement on accepting and embracing change. Experiential and improv games cause participants to get out of their comfort zone and take risks. They learn to how to experience failure and bounce back quickly. We learn that how to accept new ideas and build on them to see what new opportunities might open up. Creativity is enhanced. Then we start to change, our attitudes and see our behavioral choices expand so the process of confidently dealing with change begins.


We get together weekly to practice these sorts of flexibility exercises.  If you or your people could stand to become better at adapting to change, then we can help.  Contact us at 512-507-5464 to get a catalog of our courses, workshops, trainings, mentoring and coaching.  Author, Terrill Fischer has 20+ years facilitating improvisational change skills and teaching improvisation both for pleasure and to add flexibility to the work place.  If  you have questions about how your team can better embrace change, give us a ring.