Jazz is a form of music that is characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm. It strives off the ability of musicians to constantly create and add new elements that consistently revolutionize the sound. Business in the 21st century, in a way, does the same thing. It strives off the ability of its employees to consistently create, and innovate the business. In fact, one can use Jazz as model for sustaining a successful business.
Jazz music, like most forms of music, is based off the fundamentals and structure of classical music. Musicians are continuously adding and creating new elements that others can build off of. Business today is very similar. In most cases, corporations base their structure and business practices off of the classic hierarchy organizational charts from the early days of capitalism. But as industries evolved, and technology changed, businesses were forced to adopt and innovate, similarly to how Jazz evolved from classical music.
Jazz is a skill that is created from a musician’s investment to practice consistently over a number of years. A musician is always looking to create, and build off of previous failures and successes. A jazz musician looks for that perfect harmony between the operational excellence found in classical music, and that spark that is heard in jazz. In business, leaders are looking for the same thing. They are looking for that perfect harmony between operational excellence found in classic capitalism business practices, and that spark that comes from innovation. That spark, or sweet spot, is a skill that is developed and cultivated from years of practice and investment, and can found in companies that have that experience such as Google, Apple, and Amazon just to name a few.
Those companies are considered experts in innovation, and it is because of their years of experience and investment in departments like R&D that they are considered leaders in the corporate world. These companies have found that sweet spot between operational excellence and innovation in order to achieve all they have. But like the members of a Jazz group, it is the contiguity of the employees that make the difference.
The breadth and depth of skills and capabilities that different employees bring to the table allow for companies like the ones mentioned above to innovate and be creative. A diverse team of employees creates more opportunities for a company to be a more adaptive enterprise. As employees begin to gel together, they positively impact the way a business functions. For instance, as team members evolve through practice, their preparation becomes sharper. Their diverse skill sets and capabilities allow them to be able to make decisions more quickly, and comfortably with each other.
But in order for a company to take advantage of these diverse assets, great leadership is needed. Just how a great Jazz director brings a clear, inclusive vision to the table, a great business leader is...