‘Kind of Blue’ Gets the Harvard Treatment

kind-of-blue2 In the continuing, 50th anniversary celebration of Kind of Blue we look to the ivy-covered walls of Harvard (Harvard Business School, to be exact) for more analysis and appreciation of the Miles Davis masterpiece.

If you’ve ever wondered how Miles Davis created such a magnum opus, the answer just might be “radical simplicity,” according to Harvard Business School professor Robert D. Austin and Carl Størmer, founding principal of JazzCode, a consulting and entertainment firm specializing in improvisational collaboration and communication in high-performance teams.

“In their case, “Miles Davis: Kind of Blue”, they reflect on the beauty of the music as well as the unusual story behind its creation. And they suggest that nonmusicians—such as managers who aim to spark and sustain innovation for competitive advantage—can learn a lot of new notes from Davis’s example.”

In a Q&A well worth checking out (Kind of Blue: Pushing Boundaries with Miles Davis), Martha Lagace, senior editor of HBS Working Knowledge, explores this concept with Austin and Størmer, who provide an interesting look at the innovation, experimentation and working style Miles Davis utilized in putting together Kind of Blue.

When the Harvard Business School meets Miles Davis, get set for some rather cool intellectualizing.


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