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The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation, and Agility by Adrian Cho

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Chapter 3. Put the Team First

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world,but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

—Babe Ruth

Putting the Team First

Working within a high-performance team requires a tradeoff between virtuosity and collaboration. In his paper Creativity and Improvisation in Jazz and Organizations: Implications for Organizational Learning, Frank Barrett (1998, 617) noted that in jazz:

It is not enough to be an individual virtuoso. [O]ne must also be able to surrender one’s virtuosity and enable others to excel.

We’ve discussed the need to staff a team with top talent. Unfortunately, many high-achieving individuals tend to focus ...

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