What Can an Agency Learn from Miles Davis?

I have a new book on my nightstand. Yes to the Mess – SurprisingLeadership Lessons from Jazz” by Frank J. Barrett.
Mr. Barrett is a professor of management and global policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He’s also the former pianist of the Tommy Dorsey Band. He makes the convincing case that the experimentation, individual creativity and spur-of-the-moment improvisation found in jazz are also vital to any successful business organization.
One part I love about Barrett’s thesis – he explains that, unlike classical musicians with prescribed parts, jazz musicians take their cues from each other. Working together, they create something new on the spot. That’s inspiring, whether you’re a fan of jazz or not. Barrett’s comparison of jazz to a successful business organization couldn’t be truer. At TPN, we truly believe that working together and letting people do what they do best create better results for our clients.
And, from Jazz, we also learn that some of the best pieces of work are a result of free form, straying from the lines. What agency couldn’t use a little more spontaneity and creativity? By bravely embracing new ideas and ways to achieve them (what Barrett calls “the mess”), leaders empower their people to find awesome and innovative harmonies.  

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