Article | Research in Organizational Change and Development | 2011

Strategic Change and the Jazz Mindset: Exploring Practices That Enhance Dynamic Capabilities for Organizational Improvisation

by Ethan S. Bernstein and Frank J. Barrett

Abstract

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.

Keywords: dynamic capabilities; strategic change; leadership; jazz; jazz mindset; improvisation; innovation; Change Management; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Leading Change; Leadership Style; Leadership; Management; Management Style; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Organizations; Creativity; Strategy; Auto Industry; Banking Industry; Bicycle Industry; Computer Industry; Consulting Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Education Industry; Electronics Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Financial Services Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Health Industry; Information Technology Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Music Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; Retail Industry; Semiconductor Industry; Service Industry; Technology Industry; United States; Japan; Taiwan; Europe; Asia;

Citation:

Bernstein, Ethan S., and Frank J. Barrett. "Strategic Change and the Jazz Mindset: Exploring Practices That Enhance Dynamic Capabilities for Organizational Improvisation." Research in Organizational Change and Development 19 (2011): 55–90.