AdLib Philosophy: Lack of Implicit Hierarchy

November 27, 2018

Diving into our philosophy once again, today we look at what it means when we say "lack of implicit hierarchy". 


We don't mean no one is in charge or chaos is abound. Organizations need leaders and people need boundaries and expectations to feel safe to create and connect. 


We have those things, from the pipeline of communication to who oversees operational tasks that make the theater run. What we are referring to is no one performer on a team or student in a class is an authority on improv or is better than any other performer or student. 


Hierarchy works for decision making and tasks but it can squash creative impulses. Creativity and teamwork are the heart of improv teams and classes. Students and performers need permission to explore, build together, and yes, even fail. It's through this, the person transforms, the team transforms, the classroom transforms. 


Putting a hierarchy in place hinders what we are striving to do at AdLib. Meet, connect, laugh, and play. 


No one person is more important than another on an improv team. While some players may have strengths in some areas such as edits, physicality, or transitions, it doesn't make the player more necessary or important. The team is one unit. It's set up that everyone follows the follower. Together the team fails, together the team rises. 


This philosophy allows us to grow our teams into well-oiled, polished units ready to engage and delight audiences. 


In the classroom, the teacher is of course the person who manages the structure and facilitates the learning experience. Beyond that though, we eliminate hierarchy. There are no grades in an improv classroom and we don't compare one student to another.


We examine and help the individual student. We assess their growth based on where they started from to where they are now. We want to ensure they continue to have the space to explore, fail, learn, and grow. Eliminating hierarchy helps the student, the classroom, and the experience of improv. 


There you have it, AdLib philosophy on why we eliminate implicit hierarchy on teams and in the classroom. 


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