Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz [NOOK Book]

Overview


What Duke Ellington and Miles Davis teach us about leadership

How do you cope when faced with complexity and constant change at work? Here?s what the world?s best leaders and teams do: they improvise. They invent novel responses and take calculated risks without a scripted plan or a safety net that guarantees specific outcomes. They negotiate with each other as they proceed, and they don?t dwell on mistakes or stifle each other?s ideas. In ...
See more details below
Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$27.00 List Price

Overview


What Duke Ellington and Miles Davis teach us about leadership

How do you cope when faced with complexity and constant change at work? Here’s what the world’s best leaders and teams do: they improvise. They invent novel responses and take calculated risks without a scripted plan or a safety net that guarantees specific outcomes. They negotiate with each other as they proceed, and they don’t dwell on mistakes or stifle each other’s ideas. In short, they say “yes to the mess” that is today’s hurried, harried, yet enormously innovative and fertile world of work.

This is exactly what great jazz musicians do. In this revelatory book, accomplished jazz pianist and management scholar Frank Barrett shows how this improvisational “jazz mind-set” and the skills that go along with it are essential for effective leadership today. With fascinating stories of the insights and innovations of jazz greats such as Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, as well as probing accounts of the wisdom gleaned from his own experience as a jazz musician, Barrett introduces a new model for leading and collaborating in organizations.

He describes how, like skilled jazz players, leaders need to master the art of unlearning, perform and experiment simultaneously, and take turns soloing and supporting each other. And with examples that range from manufacturing to the military to high-tech, he illustrates how organizations must take an inventive approach to crisis management, economic volatility, and all the rapidly evolving realities of our globally connected world.

Leaders today need to be expert improvisers. Yes to the Mess vividly shows how the principles of jazz thinking and jazz performance can help anyone who leads teams or works with them to develop these critical skills, wherever they sit in the organization.

Engaging and insightful, Yes to the Mess is a seminar on collaboration and complexity, against the soulful backdrop of jazz.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In his new book Yes To The Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz, Frank J. Barrett makes an engaging and convincing case that the leadership style that it takes to make great jazz can also make business more innovative and successful… if you are a jazz fan, you'll really enjoy getting an insider's view of how the music you love is created.” — USA Today

“This is a fascinating read.” — Smooth Jazz News

“The book is breezy and fun, and offers vivid real-life stories from Barrett’s musical career and observations about some jazz greats, all juxtaposed with anecdotes from the business world.” — Forbes

“Jazz has always been a good metaphor for the art of leadership. In Yes to the Mess, Frank Barrett knocks it out of the park.” — LeadershipNow

“Jazz has always been an art form that blends structure with learning as you go. So it is no wonder that Yes to the Mess has a playful tone— dare I say there’s a ton of fun in this business book? If you are problem solving for your organization or team and have an imaginative personality, you’ll feel like a cool cat from reading this book.” — Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)

“a short but powerful book about how to be more focused at work, how to understand chaos as opportunity, and how to be better prepared to approach it.” — 800 CEO READ

ADVANCE PRAISE for Yes to the Mess:

Karl E. Weick, Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor, Ross School of Business; coauthor, Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity
“Frank Barrett’s remarkable fusion of jazz improvisation and organizational innovation promises to reshape how we think about creative work. Innovations are improvised into existence and here, for the first time, is a backstage look at how that happens.”

Ellis Marsalis Jr., Professor Emeritus and Jazz Studies program founder, University of New Orleans —
“Barrett’s insightful book shows how business can learn from the ‘risky business’ of jazz. Yes to the Mess is a great treatise on improvisation and on the courage to persist irrespective of a predictable outcome.”

Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School; author, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy
“Jazz provides an illuminating metaphor for managing in the knowledge era. Frank Barrett writes beautifully about leadership, learning, and innovation and pulls together great stories from a range of industry settings—from jazz performance to automotive manufacturing. Yes to the Mess is a great read, which I recommend enthusiastically."

Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management —
Yes to the Mess provides a fascinating view into the world and mind-set of jazz musicians and will stimulate you to think differently about leadership and organization. Read this book.”

Douglas R. Conant, former President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company; coauthor, TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments
“This book describes a powerful and necessary paradigm shift to advance the craft of leadership in the twenty-first century. Barrett gives every aspiring leader a new model for proactively dealing with the chaos and disruption that has come to characterize the world of work in our time.”

Roger H. Brown, President, Berklee College of Music; cofounder, Bright Horizons —
“Finally! A book that applies the tools of an improvising jazz musician to great leadership. The modern world can no longer afford the orchestral model of management—lots of people playing the same part and a leader who stands apart from it all. The new world is premised on intense communication, lightning-speed decision making, risk taking, and a degree of perfected competence that allows spontaneous and brilliant composing—namely jazz. Yes to the Mess gets it right.”

Richard Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University; coauthor, Primal Leadership and Resonant Leadership
“With the velvety tones of Wes Montgomery and the wail of Miles Davis, professional jazz musician and management scholar Frank Barrett plays a set to enchant us. Pour a glass of wine, sit back, and listen to this engaging story of how to help teams and organizations innovate instead of replicate.”

Ken Peplowski, award-winning jazz clarinetist and saxophonist —
“I’ve known Frank Barrett for over thirty years, and we’ve often discussed the strange confluence of learned experience and pure intuition that exists in jazz improvisation. Frank gives us an insight into that world and how its lessons can be applied to almost any walk of life—truly fascinating!”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422183953
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 480,925
  • File size: 346 KB

Meet the Author


Frank J. Barrett is Professor of Management and Global Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and is an accomplished jazz musician. In addition to leading his own trios and quartets, Barrett has traveled extensively with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. His research interests and expertise include organizational change, social constructionism, organizational innovation, improvisation, and appreciative inquiry.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

1 All That Jazz 1

Mastering the Art of Unlearning

2 "Yes to the Mess" 21

Developing Affirmative Competence

3 Performing and Experimenting Simultaneously 41

Embracing Errors as a Source of Learning

4 Minimal Structure-Maximal Autonomy 67

Balancing Freedom and Constraints

5 Jamming and Hanging Out 93

Learning by Doing and Talking

6 Taking Turns Soloing and Supporting 119

Followership as a Noble Calling

7 Leadership as Provocative Competence 135

Nurturing Double Vision

8 Getting to "Yes to the Mess" 161

Advancing Engaged, Strategic Improvisation

Notes 185

Index 193

About the Author 201

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    I love reading a book that rewards my investment -- in time and

    I love reading a book that rewards my investment -- in time and money -- with gem after gem after gem of insight. Yes To The Mess is one of those books.  It's well written and it's substantial. I'm not a musician but I still found the book to be extremely easy to read and understand, and I found myself marking line after line. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    This is a great book to help develop strategies for innovation i

    This is a great book to help develop strategies for innovation in change within you and your organization.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)