Spontaneous creativity is the beating heart of jazz music. Fans of jazz delight even more in the live performance than they do the studio recording. Why? Because no two jazz performances are alike. Jazz musicians are constantly improvising, building new ideas into what they play, finding inspiration in the moment.
How do great jazz musicians create something coherent and fresh each and every time they step onstage? In a recent TedTalk, Jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris illustrates how attentive listening by individual players can spark creativity in an ensemble.
Business can learn a great deal from the spontaneous improvisation of jazz. All too often, we pay lip service to listening. In fact, many apparently skilled managers have made a fine art of the seemingly sincere, but ultimately empty acknowledgment of others’ ideas. Harris and his group drive home that actually acting on the new and different idea can lead to something remarkable.
I’d recommend showing Harris’ TEDTalk to your team at the beginning of a brainstorm. It’s a great message that will surely put an end to the “yes but” mentality that can stifle creativity.
What does the picture to the right convey? Of course, it immediately shouts out video production. For years, we’ve seen cameras like this toted by professional news videographers. You see them at every news conference and at major events.
But that image of video production is becoming as outmoded as the image of the rotary telephone.
Keith approached us in the springtime about creating a video for Rogers Annual General Meeting. The product of this was assignment: Next is Now.
Clearly, people found it told a story they could relate to. It was passed around on Twitter, generated blog coverage and, looking at the YouTube stats, held viewers attention right through to the end.
And while it worked well online, I got an even bigger kick out of the fact that Kevin Newman, the Chair of the University of Waterloo’s Canada 3 conference, showed the video during his opening for the conference. Having someone like that use your material for a purpose beyond which it was created suggests that you truly hit on something genuine and worthwhile.
Thanks again to Rogers for giving us the chance to stretch and do some of our best work 2010. That’s a chance that I truly appreciate.
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ProPR is authored by Joseph Thornley, CEO of Thornley Fallis and 76design. Thornley Fallis helps companies and organizations build relationships with customers, clients and stakeholders by integrating social media with public relations, creative design and word of mouth communications.