Is your team more like a professional jazz ensemble or an elementary school orchestra?

Are the members not only experts at their individual parts but also finely tuned to the rest of the group – listening to them, anticipating where they are going next, looking for little moments of genius?

Or are they so pre-occupied with getting all their notes out correctly (without passing out) that they can’t see/hear/feel what is happening around them?

If you would like to be in the former situation but find yourself, nonetheless, in the latter, stress not.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s far from ideal…but you can rest assured you are not alone.

Even better – you have the power to change it…

You CAN enable your teams to be more creative, to harness their collective imagination, and to create game-changing drivers of growth.

Over the years, there are some things we have learned at Brand ManageCamp, from some very smart people, as it relates to creativity and innovation.

1 – Anybody can be creative – it is a skill you can learn. It is NOT something you are either born with or not.

2 – Environment is key – if a culture does not encourage fresh thinking and new ideas, even the most creative people will find themselves stifled.

3 – Process and structure are the friends, not foes, of creativity and innovation.

“What?” you ask. How does process and structure work for you when creativity and innovation are supposed to be the domain of the free wheeling, of the out-of-the-box thinkers, of the improvisational? And why then would you have a topic at Brand ManageCamp that focuses on the improvisational nature of Jazz as a model for creativity?

Well, as Josh Linkner (best-selling author of “Disciplined Dreaming,” Venture Capitalist, successful entrepreneur, professional jazz guitarist, and creativity expert) will teach us (along with his Las Vegas-sourced jazz band), the world’s best companies (and jazz bands) have a systematic process to focus their teams’ creativity into practical outputs. He will show us specific techniques we will be able to use right away to harness the most powerful ideas and apply creativity across our businesses.

People often confuse the concept of improvisation with randomness. Anybody who has ever done improv comedy or performed jazz knows, however, that improvisation and randomness couldn’t be farther apart. By understanding the fundamentals of structure and process and by being finely tuned to their environment, their partners, and their audiences, the best at improv can make it seem like they are masters of pulling genius from randomness – but their genius actually comes from a base far more solid than most would perceive. Josh will show us how we can enable our teams to more easily reach that genius on a more consistent basis.

He will also shed some light on the three biggest blockers of creativity and the five biggest creativity killers.

And when we are all done, he and his jazz band will provide the musical accompaniment to our end-of-Day-1 cocktail reception!

I, for one, can’t wait. I hope you will join us in October.