Unlocking Business Success with Jazz

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Unlocking Business Success with Jazz


While most of us feature music centrally in our programs, how many of us use it as part of our troubleshooting process? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business are exploring the effectiveness of using jazz music to help solve complex business problems, using a case example from Swedish bank SEB. According to their hypothesis, generative conversations—which utilize multiple perspectives to brainstorm solutions—are not too different from musical improvisation within an ensemble. SEB’s Per Hugander follows three main jazz principles when guiding the company in generative conversations: listen more and play less, build on each other, and contribute to what is about to emerge. Neuroscience research shows that musical improvisation can activate two opposing neural networks, resulting in high creative ability. Next time you are trying to untangle a complex organizational issue, remember that your skills as musicians can serve you in finding a solution!


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