Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Why Business Is like ... Jazz

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Why Business Is like ... Jazz

Article excerpt

In business, the absence of tightly controlled procedures, detailed road maps and extensive scenario planning could be construed as the absence of conscientious management. But if we uncover the secrets of the best jazz artists - adept at teamwork and innovation - we might think otherwise.

Each musician in a jazz ensemble seems to follow an independent path.

Apparently dissonant sounds come together as if by magic to create a coherent whole. A superficial analysis suggests that the environment most conducive to creative genius is a state of anarchy - sit back and wait for the surprise.

Of course, it's not magic and the effect depends on having high-calibre performers. Improvisation in jazz works by a careful balance of rules and freedom. Exponents adhere to flexible rules of engagement: a pre-specified number of bars, an understanding of harmonic progressions, agreed intervals at which soloists can enter and exit and an agreed rotation. …

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