Transforming processes through Open Innovation

Henrik Stamm Kristensen

Frank Barrett is the author of Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz (Harvard Business Press, 2012). In the video below he summarizes some of the ideas from the book. For instance, what leaders can learn from jazz. There are some connections between his idea of disrupting routine and how open innovation helps companies when transforming processes.

He started talking about how Miles Davis changed the history of jazz. He became a leader during a recording session in 1959. At that time, some jazz musicians we now considered references were known just in jazz communities. Not by the general public.

In that session in 1959, Miles created structures and patterns that nobody had ever played before. The musicians around him began playing, in real time, in ways that were not used at that time.

According to Barret, Davis was a radical thinker and changed the history of jazz music by developing provocative components and pushing musicians around him. They also used their skills to be creative and to not get out of the game.  That is what leaders do, Barret says. They exploit the capacity to challenge themselves, disrupt routines and demand new ways to come up with innovations.

Leaders must facilitate transforming processes

As leaders facilitate innovation by breaking up and changing routines, open innovation can disrupt internal processes and change the routines inside an organization. It can help companies to incorporate many new visions from the outside and to push their members into different new lines, away from its corporate culture,  disrupting and transforming internal processes and generating new structures to facilitate innovation.


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