How can leaders adopt a mindset that maximizes learning, remains responsive to short-term emergent opportunities, and simultaneously strengthens longer-term dynamic capabilities of the organization? This chapter explores the organizational decisions and practices leaders can initiate to extend, strengthen, or transform “ordinary capabilities” (Winter, 2003) into enhanced improvisational competence and dynamic capabilities. We call this leadership logic the “jazz mindset.” We draw upon seven characteristics of jazz bands as outlined by Barrett (1998) to show that strategic leaders of business organizations can enhance dynamic capabilities by strengthening practices observed in improvising jazz bands.
Bernstein, E.S. and Barrett, F.J. (2011), "Strategic Change and the Jazz Mindset: Exploring Practices that Enhance Dynamic Capabilities for Organizational Improvisation", (Rami) Shani, A.B., Woodman, R.W. and Pasmore, W.A. (Ed.) Research in Organizational Change and Development (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 55-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0897-3016(2011)0000019005
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