Four Day Weekend ts

Announcing TCU’s newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Four Day Weekend Improv

Four Day Weekend’s “Yes, and” philosophy will help students identify opportunities, inspire creativity, create positive outcomes, build on ideas and nurture innovation, all important lessons for any business. 

January 14,  2016

By Elaine Cole

What do improv and business have in common? Collaboration, creativity and innovation.

When Four Day Weekend founders David Ahearn, David Wilk and Frank Ford are on stage, they accept every idea they receive from one another and the audience, no matter how zany. They use improv’s “Yes, and” approach to accept and build on each new suggestion. The result? Thunderous applause.

As the TCU Neeley School of Business’ newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Four Day Weekend is bringing that lesson to TCU business students, as they have to business professionals across the country.

“Over nearly two decades of performing shows created from audience suggestions and participation, we understand the importance of listening, building on the pertinent information of partners and being open to the ideas of others, skills we will teach through the TCU Neeley School’s entrepreneurship program in an innovative, interactive and humorous format that resonates with students and professionals,” Ahearn said.

The nationally recognized improvisational troupe and training organization will host student workshops and create a video education series to demonstrate and teach the power of “Yes, and” as the key to forming new ideas and innovations.

“Imagine how creative and productive you can be if you know that every idea you bring to the table won’t be brought down but will be built upon with ‘Yes, and,’” Brad Hancock, director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center and Davis Family Entrepreneur-in-Residence at TCU, said. “This is where improvisation, education and entrepreneurial thinking go hand in hand. It is a philosophy of innovation and creativity. “‘Yes’ creates while ‘no’ stops progress. That’s an important lesson for any business and especially important for business students to practice as they advance in their careers.”

The “Yes, and” philosophy is the reason Four Day Weekend is successful enterprise and national sensation.

Ahearn, Wilk and Ford started with $700 and a Fort Worth show that was supposed to last six weeks. When they were asked to stay, they said: “Yes, and we would like a bigger piece of the gate.” They got a bigger venue and added shows. Then the CEO of a major corporation saw the show and asked if they would consider doing corporate workshops. They said: “Yes, and we’d like to start with yours.”

Now Four Day Weekend is known across the country for teaching the “yes, and…” code of improvisation to business professionals.

Four Day Weekend received the Key to the City as “Fort Worth’s Greatest Ambassadors,” was named Small Business of the Year by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, worked with former President George W. Bush on several occasions, and delivered their "yes, and" keynote address to the United States Congress where the group met President Obama. Ahearn, Wilk and Ford recently wrote a book, Happy Accidents, for entrepreneurs, executives and artists to apply the philosophy of improvisation to create harmony in the workplace and life.

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence designation expands and solidifies Four Day Weekend’s partnership with the TCU Neeley School, where the troupe has already hosted workshops for student organizations and headlined the Bolin Innovation Forum at TCU in 2014. Four Day Weekend will headline the Bolin Innovation Forum again in April 2016.

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