The Improv Is No Joke Podcast

Welcome to the Improv Is No Joke podcast hosted by Peter Margaritis, AKA The Accidental Accountant and author of the book 'Improv Is No Joke, Using Improvization to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life'. This podcast series is also available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

Ep. 91 – Jim Canterucci: Finding Your Purpose Story & Automating Organizational Change Management

Jim Canterucci is a catalyst for growth leadership change. He is the Founder of Transition Management Advisors and Constituent Hub, the author of Personal Brilliance: Mastering the Everyday Habits That Create a Lifetime of Success, and creator of a comprehensive system for for leading change called Change Management Project – The Next Step.


For years, Jim and his team at Transition Management Advisors have been helping their clients develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.


More recently, Jim has focused on automating the process of leading large organizational change. Using Constituent Hub, an enterprise SaaS platform, “organizations can facilitate sound change leadership principles, view and influence change leadership across the enterprise, make evidence-based change decisions, and realize the ROI of change.”


So how does Constituent Hub facilitate organizational change?


Most organizations have change initiatives going on all the time, both big and small, and they’re usually tracking those initiatives through spreadsheets or sharepoint. Constituent Hub pulls all of that information together, in a cohesive way, so that change leaders can focus on getting the job done.


For the first time, Constituent Hub will give leaders the ability to look at all of the ongoing change initiatives and how many changes each individual in the organization is involved with.


Analyzing the users (or constituents), identifying who’s resistant to change, helping them prepare, and measuring whether they’re ready for change are, historically, very difficult to do – to the extent that we’ve actually institutionalized not doing them. By lowering the barrier to entry through automation, implementing change becomes much more viable and strategic.


“You’ve heard the term ‘stakeholder’ for project management? I changed the word to constituent because it implies they actually care about the people, are taking care of them, and own their results!”


In addition to working with clients directly, Jim is a former president of NSA Ohio and an incredible speaker.


Jim even developed The Purpose Formula, which helps speakers develop a Purpose Statement and then get buy-in from their audiences. Jim is generous enough to offer this Purpose Formula handout, which offers an overview of the concept and guides you in creating the right formula for your business.



The formula is simple, but it allows you to position your purpose in such a way that you can create a sustainable business. This involves “unveiling that purpose, explaining that purpose, and then finding the customer’s connection linked to that formula so that it’s there’s too.”


“Everything that we do should be inspirational.”


You should also check out Jim’s script for his presentation, Why? The Purpose Story. In this document, Jim provides a detailed, moment-by-moment breakdown of his speech, including stage directions and energy flow. It offers incredible insight into an effective, purposeful story.





Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters

Ep. 90 – Laura Stoll: Using Improv to Develop Internal Talent & Manage Change

Laura Stoll is the Talent Development Consultant at Ernst & Young, and she has a fascinating perspective on how you can develop top talent within your organization that is influenced by her background in improv.

Laura studied at Second City, iO, and ComedySportz Chicago. She even has the distinction of being the only student ever thrown out of previous guest (and current husband) Jay Sukow’s classroom!

At EY, Laura strategizes, designs, and consults on large-scale programs designed to improve the value of the internal talent organization, which includes over 8,000 people. Their big focus right now is on the Career Journey.

In every organization, people tend to resist change, especially the kind of large-scale change that Laura aims to create. So change management becomes critical, and that’s where the fundamentals of improv can really come into play.

Improv isn’t about making things up––it’s about planning like mad, and then being prepared to throw your script away to meet the needs of the person you are talking to or working with. Learning improvisational skills inspires a more adaptable mindset, and you can’t approach change without that.

Possibly the most exciting thing about Laura’s work at EY is that other people see the value of these skills, and the top leaders in the organization are getting excited about improv. There’s simply no way to effectively inspire a change in culture without buy-in from the top, so this is a huge step for a huge organization.

And taking that step isn’t optional any more, for any organization. Global markets and whole industries are shifting rapidly – the organizations and individuals who resist change will be left behind.

“If you’re not actively moving to shift your skill set so that you can be more in the moment, react, and respond – and ultimately be a trusted business advisor – you’re going to be left behind because that’s just the way things are evolving.”

If you want to take your first step today, just practice awareness: When you feel yourself putting up a wall, saying no, or reacting negatively, pause and ask yourself, “How could it work?” It’s basic, but that little tweak will start you on the path to change.



Ep. 89 – Jon Petz: Laugh Louder, Perform Better, & Achieve More

Jon Petz is born to be on stage – so much so that he left his highly successful career as a corporate vice president to fulfill his purpose and passion by helping others laugh louder, perform better, and achieve more. We discuss how he evolved from a corporate executive to a business magician to an opening keynoter and MC, and how you can better engage your audience in any situation (plus, we laugh a lot along the way).


As a speaker and MC, Jon engages and energizes his audience using his amazing art of performance, inspiring stories, and the unique “It’s Showtime” performance philosophy to bring home the belief and genuine desire to create greater impact in what we do and with the people we do it for.



According to Jon, it’s at this point we begin to demonstrate and achieve the sense of significance and making a difference.


Jon doesn’t just talk about the importance of significance – he walks the walk. Moved by a moment in his own life, Jon and his wife created the Miracles & Magic Program with one simple goal: to provide children with a life threatening illness and their families a chance to feel “normal” again, experiencing the comedy and wonderment of magic and laughter.


Jon also wrote a book on the subject, Significance… In Simple Moments, the proceeds of which are donated to charities like Miracles & Magic that help children in life-threatening situations.





Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters

Ep. 88 – Jody Padar | The Roadmap to the New Firm

Jody Padar, AKA The Radical CPA, is a leader driven by a passion to foster real change in the accounting profession. She represent the next generation of accounting professionals, leading the vanguard for both digital CPAs and future-ready firms.


Jody returns to the show to discuss her new book, From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide, which is a practice-proven roadmap to a new business model for CPA firms. If you’re looking to change and you’re not sure how to begin, this lays out the steps of creating change through practical strategies, tools, tips, insights, guest experts, and case studies.


So what does the New Firm look like?


  • Technology is part of the core of the firm, and is used to facilitate closer client relationships.
  • The business model transforms: instead of doing every kind of work for every kind of customer, they’ve niched down.
  • They productize everything offered, so they don’t track or bill by time and, instead, offer everything they do at a fixed or value price.


There’s no question: technology is having a significant impact on CPA firms. So how are our firms going to evolve and transform their business model to react to them, and to innovate with them?


“We can’t change fast enough. We really have to transform our accounting firms so that we can be relevant. Change doesn’t work anymore. We really need transformation.”


And this transformation isn’t just at the firm or technology level – it’s a total mindset shift that everyone needs to buy into. Everyone in The New Firm needs to be adaptable, forward-thinking, and more than just an accountant.


The computers are going to do most of the accounting work, so we need to be better consultants and trusted business advisors.


We need to be Radical CPAs.





Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters

Ep. 87 – Marilyn Sherman: How to Overcome Obstacles That Keep You from Achieving Your Goals

Marilyn Sherman is a speaker and author who has spent years motivating and inspiring audiences to get out of their comfort zone and get a front-row seat in life, and this is the perfect time of the year to check in with her because she has tips and techniques anyone can use to stay focused on their goals (and New Year’s resolutions).


It’s the end of January, so some of you may have broken your resolutions already – and that’s okay! Listen to the entire episode, apply Marilyn’s tips, and then you’ll be able to resurrect those resolutions for the remainder of the year.


If you want to do a little extra homework and really blow your goals away, you should check out Marilyn’s new book: Is There a Hole in Your Bucket List? How to Overcome Obstacles That Keep You from Achieving Your Goals. (Plus, if you order it through her website and mention the podcast, you will get a free book on wine from Marilyn’s husband!)


Marilyn wrote this book because even successful people tend to sabotage their own success, in some area of their life. However, we can patch up those holes in our bucket list (or our resolutions) with Marilyn’s tips and techniques.


(Some of) Marilyn’s Tips & Techniques for Achieving Your Goals:


  • Marilyn suggests creating a bucket list, if you don’t have one already, because it represents your hope for the future; it’s a glorified list of goals. Then, if there is one recurring thing that you can’t cross off of your list, you have identified a hole to fill.


  • Be more vulnerable. When you admit that you are struggling (possibly with shame or fear), you will find that you are not alone. “When you expose light to whatever it is that has been holding you back, that’s taking your power back – and that’s the first step to patching up these holes that are preventing you from success.”


  • Everyone needs an “Anger Buddy” and an “Anger Sack.” Everyone has a bad day sometimes, but unfortunately we can end up blowing up or snapping at someone who doesn’t deserve it due to the accumulation of many smaller things over time (which is unproductive). You can avoid this ever happening again if you envision an anger sack that fills up when negative things happen. When you feel that it is full, have a chat with your anger buddy, often a significant other, who you have trained to let you vent; you don’t need to add solutions to an overflowing anger sack.





Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters