Summary of The Jazz Process

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Jazz Process book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Innovative


Adrian Cho leads a jazz orchestra in Canada when he isn’t developing IBM software. Now he wants to tell you how Miles Davis can change your business life. Cho touts jazz units such as Davis’ immortal, innovative bands as models for high-performance teamwork. He derives 14 best practices from observing that standout performers in good jazz groups work together in an environment of alert listening and mutual respect to make great music off the cuff. He doesn’t limit his examples to jazz, finding combo cognates in basketball, auto racing and the military. The upshot is a concept of leadership and teamwork that’s well suited for the Google-age workplace. Alas, the text is dense and the graphics aren’t very helpful. Trying to parse the earnest but process-heavy prose may make you play the blues. Still, getAbstract recommends this innovative book to human resources professionals, executives and managers needing new harmonies, and employees who know they could make a better contribution if only someone would let them play a solo.

About the Author

Adrian Cho is a software development manager for IBM and a jazz bassist who directs the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra of Canada. A former management consultant, he covers teamwork at



The Joy of Collaboration

Humans have always collaborated, but simply adding more people to a work effort doesn’t necessarily mean higher productivity. The real goal is to create synergy, which is more likely to happen when a group is small – a five-member basketball team, a jazz trio – and members contribute at their peak. Envision your work as a collaborative artistic performance by studying the example of jazz. These musicians fashion their product on the fly by maximizing individuality, minimizing rules and listening to each other. Their pivotal skills include innovation and improvisation, which require on-the-spot composing and reacting to unexpected changes in the music. Being able to improvise is crucial in today’s business climate, and so is having the collaborative agility demonstrated by a good jazz combo.

Software code developers follow a set of rigid rules to maximize stability, but a jazz trio follows looser rules that deliberately encourage instability. Effective team building requires clear rules and a cooperative mentality that works within appropriate guidelines. Instead of enforcing a statutory code, provide axioms that embody a way of doing things...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

The Gumbo Coalition
The Power of Virtual Distance
Live From Cupertino
The Motive
Future Minds
You May Also Like

Related Channels

Comment on this summary