Do Improvise – Less push. More pause. Better results. A new approach to work (and life) Open book spread with text Open book with black and white line drawings on a blue background Open book spread with text Open book with text and a venn diagram reading NOTICE MORE, LET GO, USE EVERYTHING Open book spread with text Open book with line drawings of people giving each other presents on a green background

Do Improvise – Less push. More pause. Better results. A new approach to work (and life) Robert Poynton

Every day we deal with the unplanned and the unexpected, from a broken toaster to losing (or gaining) a major client. Our natural ability to improvise gets us through. But we feel as if we’re winging it, rather than acting with courage and conviction.

Robert Poynton teaches an acclaimed method to some of the world’s biggest brands and companies, including Nike, Chanel and PwC. In this new edition, he shows us how these improvisational skills can be applied to the everyday business of work and life – helping us to navigate the daily obstacles and reminding us how the unplanned and the unexpected can be a source of wonder and delight.

Do Improvise will help you to:

  • Become more productive without trying harder
  • Overcome creative blocks and generate new ideas
  • Respond fluidly to circumstances beyond your control
  • Realise that you don't have to know everything

Not sure what to do next? Improvise.

This paperback purchase includes a free ebook download. 

For the French edition of Do Improvise, please click here.

For the Spanish edition of Do Improvise, please click here.

For the Arabic edition of Do Improvise, please click here.


  • New edition of a book that has become more relevant since first publication in 2013
  • How a simple 6-word method drawn from improvisation will help to reduce stress, improve productivity and more
  • Now features interviews with facilitators, an artist, an educator and a writer - all of whom use these ideas regularly, at home and work
  • Includes game ideas to help your team put the theory into practice
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'A handbook for spontaneous and creative living, from a brilliant practitioner who lives by his own words.'
Adam Morgan, founding partner, eatbigfish
'Robert’s book is insanely relevant as we seek to make sense of our lives and our work practices... I love the book.'
Chris Pirie, Founder, The Learning Futures Group
'A delightful book by the reliably brilliant Rob Poynton.'
John-Paul Flintoff, author of How to Change Your Life

About the author

Robert Poynton is an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His work there is practical not academic – he designs and runs executive education programmes, helping senior leaders understand and work with complex change via a playful approach drawn from the methodology of improvisational theatre. His own clients include the BBC, Chanel, Merck and Unilever. He is also the author of Do Pause: You are not a To Do list (Do Books, 2019). And the founder of Yellow, an online learning experience that is designed in response to the participants rather than a pre-determined curriculum. He has been a contributor to The Skoll World Forum and Singularity University Global Summit. He has led courses on leadership, change and complexity at the IE Business School in Madrid, Ashridge Business School and Schumacher College. He is married with three grown up sons and divides his time between Oxford and an off-grid house just outside the small town of Arenas de San Pedro in rural Spain.

Robert’s Do Lecture: Beyond Control. A complex world demands the ability to improvise

Do you have a mind like water? Water is flexible. When it meets an obstacle, it goes around it. Improv teaches us to be flexible. To think of everything as a gift, as an opportunity.

Product Details

Pub date: May 2013, new edn 2022
Dimensions: 120x178mm
ISBN: 978-1-914168-13-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-914168-14-7


All editions contain 8 'improvised' artworks by Nick Parker.

Paper & print details

Paperback editions are printed by OZGraf Print on Munken, an FSC-certified paper.

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