Tyranny of the Explicit


Following up on yesterday’s post, a second of our tyranny coatpegs it the Tyranny of the Explicit. Viv talks about it here and it’s something I’ve referred to a few times before.

Bureaucracies tend to be better at adding rules and procedures than taking them away. Adding rules tends to reduce excpeptions which can eliminate error but also reduces innovation and starts to undermine motivation.

In improv, it’s quite common when introducing a game to get lots of questions to elaborate the rules. It’s usually better to push past them and just start; people tend to figure it out as they go along and that process is itself quite fascinating. Viv points out that it’s often better to commit than to stall with questions. As with any activity, there’s an imprecise art to giving instructions and giving too many in an effort to avoid mistakes can be a mistake. (Chris Corrigan explore this eloquently here.)

(Picture by our friend Milan Colovic)


2 thoughts on “Tyranny of the Explicit

  1. Pingback: Johnny Moore’s tyranny of the explicit | Bill Bennett

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