Two recent books use jazz as a metaphor for how groups of creative people can agree to interact in a way that brings out an abundance in harmony and vibrancy that fills the heart, moves the body, and achieves what most people claim is impossible.
Make the Impossible Possible tells Bill Strickland’s forty-year story of bringing the realization of dreams to otherwise downtrodden communities, one individual at a time. What started as a 19-year old offering pottery classes has grown into a state-of-the-art campus, recognized far and wide from speaking tours, TED talks, honorary degrees, a MacArthur “genius” award, and a Grammy-winning record label and a world-class jazz performance series. At the core, Bill sees the potential in individuals and how to build community to support them in realizing that potential, learning over time and producing results every day. In ecosynomic terms, this is the transformation of possibility into development and things discussed elsewhere in this blog.
In Yes to the Mess, jazz musician and management professor Frank J. Barrett shares lessons from jazz that bring out the best in every individual and in the group, in any given moment. These lessons show the power of embracing errors as experiments while learning in performance, balancing the freedom of maximum autonomy within minimal structures, being in the constant dialog of play and conversation, and collaborative followership, where each voice comes out stronger because of how it is supported. Ecosynomically, this is the experience of the outer circle of harmony, vibrancy, and abundance in the five primary relationships, described throughout this blog.
These two books provide rich stories, from the authors’ own experience, of how the seeing of creativity everywhere and working with manifesting possibility as it shows up in the individual, the other, and the group – the five primary relationships and three levels of perceived reality, in the ecosynomic framework. I recommend both of these books.