The Center for Positive Organizations Present:

Ed Sarath "Improvisation, Consciousness,

and Integral Change:

Expanding the Jazz Metaphor"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
9-10 a.m.// This lecture is free, and open to the PCCS community.

Room 321, 914 Hill St., Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Ann Arbor 48109-1234
(three-story brick building, on SE corner of Hill St. and Tappan Ave., across street from Ross Bldg.)
at corner of S. Forest Ave. and Willard St.

Recent years have seen increasing interest within the organizational studies community in jazz as a model for innovation and change.   The improvisatory core of jazz and much creativity across fields is generally the connecting thread, with practitioners in fields as diverse as business, education, medicine, law, and athletics acknowledging the role of spontaneous invention and adaptation as key to success in their disciplines.
Sarath's work extends the jazz metaphor to a further dimension, that of consciousness, thus broaching the interior dimensions of human awareness that underlie creativity. Indeed, the jazz tradition is also a robust source for this connection, with many of its major innovators—including John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Charles Lloyd, and Wayne Shorter—engaging with contemplative disciplines and philosophies in order that the transcendent or peak experience invoked in their creative excursions might be deepened and more fully integrated in their work and lives.
This talk will explore a range of applications of these ideas, including: the moment-to-moment decision-making processes of improvisation across fields;  the transcendence of conditioned patterns that impede innovation;  the value of meditation practices in creative life;  differences between superficial, horizontal change and deep, vertical change;  and the possibility of a collective stratum of consciousness that radically alters our understanding of creativity and the nature of the human being.

Sarath closes with ideas from his recent book, Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness: Jazz as Integral Template for Music, Education, and Society (SUNY/Albany, 2013), in which he proposes that not only individuals and organizations, but also the entire world family, need to function like an expert improvisation ensemble, in order to address the challenges and opportunities for growth unique to the present moment in human history.

914 Hill is on the corner of Hill and Tappan (across the street from the Ross Bldg.). Please enter the building through the Tappan Ave. entrance (around the back of the building). The Center for Positive Organizations (POS) in on the third floor. As you enter the third floor by stairs or elevator, take a right and continue to the large room at the end of the corridor on the right.

More information, including parking options, is available at and .

Walter J. Sowden
Major, United States Army
University of Michigan | Social Psychology | (845) 857-5000

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PCCS Director, Ed Sarath,
is a frequently invited speaker at many institutions worldwide.

[photo by Gregory Fox Photography]

Ed Sarath speaking