Improvisation

Anthony Coleman II

Anthony Coleman II

“Jazz bands actually are organizations designed for innovation, and the design elements from jazz can be applied to other organizations seeking to innovate.  Further, in order for jazz bands to be successful, they require a commitment to a mind-set, a culture, practices and structures, and a leadership framework that is strikingly similar to what it takes to foster innovation in organizations.”  (From the Preface of Yes To The Mess, Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank J. Barrett)

There are choices and activities that jazz improvisers make which prepare them to be spontaneous but also balanced between constraints and experimentation in their public performances.  Take time this week to listen or watch a jazz band.  Here is one example:  

What do you hear?  What moment, if any,  creates a place of understanding within you as you listen?  Try stopping the playback at some point and considering what predictions you could make about the direction the music might take next.

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