My favorite management guru: Miles Davis

One of the most tiresome cliches you’ll ever hear is that teamwork is like a jazz group improvising. Said by people who know nothing about jazz, or improvising.

Here are some statements about Miles Davis.

He was an absolute bastard to work for. (For example, he stole Dave Holland from The Trio just at the point that they were the most important group ever in British jazz, destroying that group, and had him play the same 6 note riff for a fortnight.)

Every jazz musician dreamt of working with him.


The flocking of birds is an extraordinary self organising behaviour. We tend to forget why flocking behaviour is adaptive.

There are two stories about evolution. Both are wrong. It’s not nature red in tooth and claw, and neither is it magic fluffy bunnies being lovely together.

To quote Miles, if you could understand everything I say, you’d be me!


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