There’s a global awakening that leadership needs a new face. This manifesto proposes that the paradigm must move from that of ‘maestro’ to ‘jazz leader’.
Emerging challenges demand new skills and a different way of leading and following. Jazz provides us with a proven model of leadership that takes us away from the outmoded ‘command and control’ style, to one characterised by shared responsibility, trust, and improvisation. In jazz we find lessons that can be applied to any group or organisation. Some skills relate to all artistic disciplines, such as self-motivation, lifelong learning, personal vision, and creativity; others are specific to jazz, and cluster around the act of improvisation. The manifesto identifies these skills, shows their relevance to today’s world, and suggests how organisations can create ‘jazz’ environments – cultures based on trust and interplay, where process rather than outcome is rewarded, and where diversity and individual expression is encouraged within a shared ‘groove’ of listening, learning and innovation.
About Penelope Tobin: | Based on research undertaken for my recent book, The Jazz of Business: Leadership in a New Groove (Dodgem 2012), the manifesto is also informed by my long experience as a professional jazz musician, and underpinned by longitudinal study of soft skills development. I founded Barrier Breakers (2000) as a social enterprise undertaking education and research projects in the UK – ‘inspiring human development’. Barrier Breakers Methodology for Soft Skills Development (BBM) was born from this work, and from my experience as a jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. The years spent creating, performing, recording, and touring, along with my time in the UK and USA as an educator, are the backdrop to BBM, and ‘the artist’s way of working’ has been a central theme in its evolution. My work’s informed by academic study – BA (Hons) Performing Arts; MA Leading and Managing Organisational Change – and is now widely used in diverse training, development and consultancy settings.
Web site: http://www.barrierbreakers.co.uk