News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

If Miles Davis Taught Your Office to Improvise

Posted by Marisa Muller
0 Comments

The old saying goes, “The only thing constant in life is change.” And with the current pace of change in the workplace, there is a demand for businesses to be ready for anything and everything. In order for business leaders to thrive in today’s market, they must be receptive, responsive, and adaptive. But how can business leaders prepare themselves for the unexpected?

 

Frank J. Barrett, Professor of Management and Global Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, suggests that business leaders take a cue from jazz musicians and practice improvisation.

 

In his article featured in Fast Company, the skills jazz musicians develop while improvising can also be helpful working in the office. Through improvisation, one nurtures spontaneity, cultivates creativity, encourages experimentation, and facilitates dynamic synchronization- all traits that are becoming increasingly necessary to succeed in business. By harnessing these qualities, businesses will be better equipped to tackle challenges that come their way.

 

Barrett proposes the following practices to help business leaders replicate the environment of a jazz band jam session:

 

Treat each task as an experiment

 

Every time a jazz musician improvises with a band, he or she tries different combinations of notes and rhythms over the chord changes of a song. As the musician performs, he or she is aware of his or her actions, listens to what works musically, and is receptive to others’ responses. Each spontaneous composition, therefore, becomes a learning process.

By adopting this experimental approach for the office, Barrett believes you will obtain a mind-set focused on discovery. Because you are constantly proposing new ideas and testing new hypotheses, you are more receptive to different ways of thinking and encourage breaking the routine. By consistently approaching projects through this process of trial and error, you become more aware of yourself and your own experiences, and you consequently learn more.

 

Resist the Glamour of No and Go with the Flow

 

Wishing the situation was different is one of the greatest hindrances to creativity and improvisation. Instead, do what jazz greats do- assume that you can make the situation work somehow. With this affirmative mind-set, you are more likely to accomplish the task at hand and find a positive pathway.

 

Encourage Serious Play

 

Musicians play on stage and you should play in the office, too. Although work and play seem diametrically opposed, the addition of legitimate play into the workplace can be a fruitful and meaningful activity. There is a sense of surrender in play, a willingness to suspend control and give yourself over to the flow of the ongoing events. Playing and practicing in situations where it is acceptable to try new things and fail provokes and open thought process and reinforces the experimentation process.

 

 Everyone gets a chance to solo

 

Successful work teams are often characterized by distributed, multiple leadership in which people take turns heading up various projects as their expertise is needed. The same thing happens in jazz bands, where everyone gets their turn to solo. That way, all participants get their chance to shine.

 

 

With these tips in mind, it’s time to warm up those chops and have your own office jam session, you cool cat!

 

*Photo courtesy of Stefan Leijon.

Related
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)
Sep 20, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor West Bend Mutual Insurance at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “The arts can have a profound impact on people of all...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)
Sep 17, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fifth Third Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.   “Fifth Third Bank is committed to building thriving and vibrant...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)
Sep 13, 2018 0 Comments
“As a company committed to improving lives, Phillips 66 is proud to support the arts. Our communities are enriched by the arts, precisely because art touches and changes lives in ways that are positive and profound. It’s one...
Go to full post
Quaver Music Supports Arts Education
Sep 11, 2018 0 Comments
September 9-15 is National Arts in Education Week!   Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)
Sep 10, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor The Standard at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “Fostering an appreciation for the arts helps build a foundation for...
Go to full post
BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)
Sep 06, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor VF Corporation at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “VF has a proud history of supporting the arts in the communities...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Fosun International Shanghai CN (New York Office)
Sep 03, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fosun at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “Fosun has been a champion of the arts for many years, both domestically in...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT)
Aug 30, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Zions Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “There are many similarities between the arts and business.  Both push...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)
Aug 27, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Tierney at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “Art is at the heart of everything we do and it inspires our creativity...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)
Aug 23, 2018 0 Comments
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99;...
Go to full post
On the "Streets of Bakersfield," Buses are Works of Art
Aug 16, 2018 0 Comments
Golden Empire Transit (GET), based in Bakersfield, CA, has been serving city for over forty years. As the mass transit operator in town, they play an integral role in the city’s infrastructure and economy, and have used this...
Go to full post
Oath Foundation and Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Aug 08, 2018 0 Comments
Oath Foundation, funded by Oath, is partnering with Tribeca Film Institute to support documentaries focused on social issues. In collaboration with the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, they provide documentaries in post-production...
Go to full post
PNC Keeping Arts Alive in its Communities
Aug 03, 2018 0 Comments
BCA 10 Honoree PNC continues to use the arts to bring its communities together. Through PNC Arts Alive, the company’s foundation is supporting access to arts experiences through affordable pricing, mobile studios, sensory friendly...
Go to full post
Seattle Boasts Shepard Fairey Mural at 9th and Thomas
Jul 30, 2018 0 Comments
When Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction, was in the process of developing his first building, of the many the company has built, he wanted the arts to play an integral role. In an interview with The Seattle Times, he said...
Go to full post

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.