Meet a Change Maker: Doug Hutton

Meet Doug Hutton, Director in Solutions Development with The Second City Works, the B2B side of The Second City, the world’s leading comedy theatre and school of improvisation. The Second City Works collaborate with clients to create improv-based learning, digital content, and entertainment.

“… at it’s heart, business is fundamentally an act of improv.” 
– Doug Hutton

In this interview Doug answers three questions: What is the essence of the “Yes, And” philosophy and how does it connect to leadership?  How does The Second City Works help people in organizations build “Yes, And” skills?  What would happen in our world if we could get the inprov mindset to young people when they are growing up?


Learn more about the “Yes, And” philosophy in The Second City’s new book, Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City

To order “Yes, And” go to:



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Story of the Week from Addis Ababa: ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR – STARTING 2008

EthiopianNewYearOur first 7-minute meeting of the Ethiopian New Year started with a surprise! Rahel Assefa and Birikti Haile prepared a coffee ceremony to welcome the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) staff back to the office after the holiday break. After spending a few minutes hugging and blessing each other for the New Year, we started our 7- minute meeting, sharing the best parts of the past weekend.

There where great stories to tell, about good food, happy times and visits to places we usually can’t go… If you communicate with a member of CCL-Ethiopia in the next days – ask them what they have done!

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Leadership Lessons Learned – Big Idea #18: Networks

idea18The eighteenth of our 20 Leadership Lessons Learned in East Africa: network analysis is a simple and powerful tool that can help you understand the connections in your network that act as a channel (or a barrier) to your own leadership development. The innovation in this approach lies in highlighting how your entire community is connected. But it’s not just about understanding your network—it’s understanding how that network influences your ability to thrive as a parent, community member, and entrepreneur.

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A Learning Experience For All

ConflictToolkitTrainingBitsiatemariam  Araya (Amy), Hareg Semachew, Rahel Asefa  and Rakeb Wondemagegne, our youngest Leadership Beyond Boundaries (LBB) facilitators in Ethiopia, went out to test our new Saving Group / Peer Learning Toolkit with content about conflict at Hanna’s Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This session was a part of the E4Y–Engaged, Educated and Empowered Ethiopian Youth Program through Worldvisoin-Ethiopia.

The session was built around reflecting on a set of questions, to each question the participating girls would raise 1 of 2 cards, indicating their response toward the question. This way everyone had a little time to come up with an answer and everyone was able to provide their answer to the whole group. Based on the overall response the facilitators would continue with the debriefing.

It was an interesting learning experience for both the facilitators and the participating girls. The session helped the young women to understand how conflict rises and how to manage it themselves with the people around them.

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Story of the Week from Addis Ababa: Summer Camps Everywhere

summer camp‘Summer Camp’ is the buzz word of this week. When is it? Where? How many?

Last week’s Training-of-Trainers program was also about getting familiar with how to educate kids about topics like leadership, inclusive education, youth employment, education and social protection.  the Leadership Beyond Boundaries Addis Ababa office turned 30 World Vision experts into junior facilitators that are able to deliver those topics in child appropriate form across several areas in Ethiopia. A program we call ‘Summer Camp’.

Each camp is 4 days long and will target kids between the age of 14-17. Knowledge is facilitated through several mini lectures and many activities like debates, theatre plays and adaptations of known Center for Creative Leadership modules like 4MAT and ‘Head, Heart, Feet’.

In the upcoming weeks we will support the World Vision facilitators to guide around 35 kids per camp through the program, in about 35 camps, in northern and southern areas of Ethiopia.

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Leadership Lessons Learned – Big Idea #17: Family

idea17The seventeenth of our 20 Leadership Lessons Learned in East Africa: leadership starts with the family. When family leaders are strengthened and developed, children get better access to regular health checkups, early childhood education, and proper nutrition. Family leaders can act as mentors for youth, share skills with other parents, and organize others to work effectively toward common goals. They are key to developing stronger communities.

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On the Ground in Madagascar

DSC_9856_1Dear friends and colleagues,

It is time for me to give you some information about my first 4 days in Madagascar. I am sorry if I did not send any news so far but I arrived late on Sunday and worked all day long every day until now and it will be so for the entire month of July.

I arrived on Sunday night at 23:15 local time but only left the airport at 1:30 in the morning of Monday. Air Madagascar, the local airline company is on strike and my luggage took at least 1 hour to arrive to me to which you needed to add the time for my entrance visa on the territory.

Monday morning at 10:30 I met my partners and colleagues here in Antananarivo and immediately started to work on the first intervention we will have soon, a LEAD training together with the presentation of the project for the official launch in front of the local politicians and ambassadors of UN, EU, UK and representatives of the US Embassy.

The city of Tana is not really nice and the poverty strikes you hardly at every corner of the street. I am used to it due to the many travels I did in the past and got, unfortunately as it should never be so, more or less familiar with it. It can really affect you when little kids are following you in the street to get something to live, have no parents, are dirty as they don’t have access to water or sanitation and have their clothes in pieces and no shoes. So many things you would like to change and my mind of Revolutionary got seriously challenged in “what are you going to do here?” when I face it.

Now, we are in an hotel of the city and facilitate discussion groups to find ways in which our intervention should take place and which orientation we should give to it.

DSC_9871_1We launched the training officially this morning in front thus of the EU Ambassador, the UK Ambassador, representatives of the US Embassy and UN Ambassador in Madagascar. We also had the Director of the Human Rights Organization for Madagascar (also linked to the UN) and it went very well! They were impressed with our presentation and asked for more information!

I am doing well and start to feel the difference when you work 100% on something that talks fully to your heart. The commitment and dedication is total.

Will keep you updated.

Warm regards

Hughes Van Stichel
Center for Creative Leadership

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