Summary of Yes to the Mess

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Yes to the Mess book summary

The review below was first published in the getAbstract Journal on Oct 21, 2021.
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Free Like Jazz

Jazz musician and professor of management and global public policy Frank J. Barrett, PhD offers a valentine to jazz that guides leaders to embrace improvisation.

Frank J. Barrett, PhD, professor of management and global public policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, is an accomplished jazz musician. He makes a compelling and original case that organizations can learn from improvisational jazz in terms of embracing collaborative experimentation and discovery. Jazz bands improvise without rigid leadership by any one musician, he explains, and players maintain positive expectations, despite mistakes.

Barrett warns that control suppresses creativity and that today’s fast-paced change undermines planning. Therefore, he says, firms can gain from the example of jazz. Improvisational leaders say “yes to the mess” by encouraging collaboration and seizing opportunities.

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