Thinking At The Speed of Jazz...

Jazz is an exciting metaphor for high performance organizations. It’s a collective and improvisational art form. Businesses today are without a score to play by, and managers need to learn to think like the best jazz musicians.

Is your organization thinking at the speed of jazz?

Jazz@Work brings the world of live jazz performance into your workplace, to deliver a high energy, interactive, fun and thought provoking corporate training experience. Lessons from jazz can show businesses how to improvise, manage change, and drive innovation in real time.

Discover the seven tools of team creativity and innovation used by modern jazz masters who have played with such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and many others.

Teaming up the best and highest caliber musicians in the jazz world, with leading edge academics in organizational behavior, Jazz@Work offers a wide range of customized corporate programs and workshops.

Jazz is a collective art form that is based on high levels of team creativity. If any of the players is not in good form, the whole sound suffers, and everyone sounds bad, no matter how individually brilliant the other players may be. In jazz, the sound forms a gestalt, a whole, that must reflect the cohesion in the group. The jazz ensemble is a useful metaphor for understanding team creativity, leadership, new product development and strategic management.

Jazz is an exciting metaphor for high performance organizations. It's a collective and improvisational art form. Great jazz musicians not only know how to play together, they also know how to think together. In a jazz ensemble, the product emerges from the creative group process. Jazz@Work training seminars will show your managers how to think like the best jazz musicians and demonstrate the secrets to group genius and business creativity. This is the next generation of arts-based executive education and management training. In our workshops, participants will learn key jazz principles and behavioral skills for enhancing:

  • Creative Collaboration
  • Shared Leadership
  • Social Intelligence
  • Group Synergy
  • Dynamic Synchronization
  • Rapid Protoyping
  • Mastery
  • Attentive Virtuosity

Ronald Purser, Professor of Management at San Francisco State University has a strong track record of research in the area of social creativity, and also published a seminal article on the use of jazz metaphor "Miles Davis in the Classroom" in the Journal of Management Education. His two volume edited series, "Social Creativity," (Purser and Montuori, 1999) addressed the need to study creativity in groups, teams and organizations—and that creativity research had been limited by focusing only upon eminent individuals. Dr. Purser also has consulted to numerous Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, and has been the recipient of four federally funded grants. He is also an amateur electric blues and rock guitarist.
Andrew Speight, Music Faculty Lecturer, is a founding member and artistic director of the Generations Band and teaches jazz in the School of Music and Dance. Speight is a former recipient of the Thelonious Monk Saxophone competition, has been featured on albums with Branford Marsalis, and started the Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies at SFSU in 2002. His role as artistic director will be to coach and prepare members of the Generations Band to perform for the purposes of management education. As a performer in the Generations Band, Speight plays a dual role. His academic and experienced-based understanding of jazz and jazz ensemble performance also provides the credibility and legitimacy for this educational program.
Wendell Hanna, Associate Professor of Music Education, has a strong background in arts education. She is responsible for ensuring the pedagogical integrity of the Jazz@Work training programs; her role is to act as an academic boundary spanner and translator between management and music. Dr. Hanna is responsible for facilitating and leading the teaching program during live jazz performances.
Frank La Pira, Assistant Professor, recently joined SFSU after having graduated from Swinburne University in Australia. Dr. La Pira's areas of expertise are entrepreneurship, intuition and creativity.

Jazz@Work has a wide range of corporate program options and workshop offerings. Our professional staff will schedule an initial consultation to discuss your needs. Please call Dr. Ronald Purser (650) 283 5007, or Andrew Speight (650) 348 2927. Or email

Our premier program is a one day arts-based training program using the Generations Jazz Band and two academic facilitators. This program includes an evening set performance by the Generations Band after the workshop.

After an initial consultation, Jazz@Work will provide a contract for our services and estimate of expenses involved.

We will work with your events planner and staff to deliver the highest quality educational and entertainment program that fits your needs.

Our technical support staff will assist in handling the procurement and scheduling of all sound and musical equipment set-ups.

In most cases, the Jazz@Work team will arrive one day prior to the event for a rehearsal sound check.

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