Periphery and Centre

I’m looking forward to hosting the European Regional Meeting of the ISPSO at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin this week.  We will have 40 […]

Dare to disagree?

I keep returning to Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk on constructive and creative conflict.  Her invitation (one with which I agree) is to consider conflict a […]

The real price of perks at work

The second part of my conversation with Charlie Taylor at the Irish Times focussed on perks at work.  Are free sandwiches, gym membership etc enough […]

The performance review

I was interviewed by Charlie Taylor from the Irish Times about the dreaded performance review.  Following the news that Accenture is dropping the process there’s […]

The Creativity Post

I’m really enjoying working my way through the archives of The Creativity Post.  Dedicated to sharing information on creativity (across all platforms including arts, culture, philosophy, […]



It’s always nice to get positive feedback.  A bottle of champagne is terrific…perhaps a card or two? But what about when a student tells you […]

Improvising Business

Over on Presentation Zen there’s a fantastic piece entitled “Jazz and the art of connecting”. If ever there was (another) argument for the value of an arts education, this is it.

“Jazz is inspiring to me; it’s lessons can be applied to other aspects of life”

There are quotes from 11 great Jazz musicians that can be applied, in a heartbeat, to any area of life, even (and most particularly) business. Can you apply any of these to your business? I know I certainly can.

“The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen.” (Duke-Ellington)
“Writing is like jazz. It can be learned, but it can’t be taught.” (Paul-Desmond)
“Don’t bullshit… just play.” (Wynton-Marsalis)
“If they act too hip, you know they can’t play shit!” (Louis-Armstrong)
“Master your instrument. Master the music. And then forget all that bullshit and just play.” (Charlie-Parker)
“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.” (Dizzy-Gillespie)
“You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.” (John-Coltrane)
“When people believe in boundaries, they become part of them.” (Don Cherry)
“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.” (Charles Mingus)
“I can’t stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession. If you can, then it ain’t music…” (Billie-Holiday)
“A great teacher is one who realizes that he himself is also a student and whose goal is not to dictate the answers, but to stimulate his students creativity enough so that they go out and find the answers themselves.”

One Response

  1. Back in 2003 I posted a couple of pieces on jazz…
    Good paper at that second link.