The book Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity provides a a roadmap to new ideas, and helps business leaders at all levels unleash their creativity and creativity of their teams.
Jazz musicians are natural risk takers, and a big part of Jazz is improvisation and creativity.
Jazz muscians are constantly experimenting and trying new things.
But successful jazz musicians also rely on each other, feed off each other to create individually and collectively - all within the structure of the team.
From my perspective, the key quote in from the book is:
Companies that will win the the future will function more like jazz bands. They will constantly reinvent their work and seek fresh, new approaches. They will reward risk-taking and originality, the new currency for success.
Another great quote is in the same paragraph (page 13 of the book):
Your ability to improvise and your comfort with risk-taking will determine how well you succeed in this increasingly creative culture.
Even if you don't like jazz music, it's well worth your time to better understand how jazz music is created and performed.
On a personal note, my son is studying buisness and jazz at the University of Richmond. He loves to perform, but doesn't see himself pursuing it as a career. The school has a nice video of him describing his program and playing. I think the lessons he learns from jazz will be of great value in his future endeavors.
A couple of other resources on this topic are:
Jazz Impact: a jazz band that links jazz to business. They perform at a wide range of corporate functions. They have some good material on jazz and business on their site.
Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity: Harvard management guru John Kao's book on jazz and business creativity.
Business Jazz YouTube video: UK management guru David Butter describes how jazz provides a terrific metaphor for business – structure with improvisation, teaming with listening, preparation with performance.