Transform your teams into a "jazz band" to generate agility!

La puissance de la spontanéité par Sylvaine Messica, illustration PEK (c) tous droits réservés

NB: I readapted and completed an article that I had written in English in 2017….

Improvisation has always existed and has been particularly revealed at times of positive rebellion as illustrated by the birth of blues and jazz, a real movement!

In the nineteenth century the blues was born in the United States in the cotton fields. The slaves sang negro-spiritual to free themselves mentally…. Later, black Americans, despite being jazz pioneers, were not allowed to play with "white" jazz orchestras. They played then in a secret, hidden and often self-taught way, like the great Ray Charles in his early days. Their jazz was enriched with the tradition of Gospel, the intuitive and rhythmic sounds of Africa, hybrid, free and open to all possibilities of spontaneity, improvisation and creativity without never excluding rigor and hard work. . This visceral music was liberating, positive, joyful and rebellious!

The jazz band is the agile and creative form of the philharmonic orchestra, without making any musical comparison, just on the composition and organization of the group. Moreover, I had the opportunity to be immersed in both worlds, to sing with jazz bands and to attend the rehearsal of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, in which I interviewed a young double bass player about spontaneity in a philharmonic!

I propose an analogy with the company, the big one for example… This one is subjected to a market, to obligations of results, to rules and to values. To succeed, its manager sets up a strategy, surrounds himself with often rational and influential firms and the company writes its "score", its new "album", it standardizes processes, in the service of its strategy, leaving little room. intuition, emotional intelligence, feeling and spontaneity. The actors in this score apply themselves to the letter without taking any risks, especially no improvisation. The model employee is methodical, rigorous, work-oriented or even a worker with a risk of burnout, mobile, flexible in management, must adapt to big changes, follow sometimes narcissistic powers, be political ... Obviously a humanist boss, intelligent, leader, even at the head of a large company, can revolutionize the organization so that it behaves like a jazz band or a start-up, the ideal model does not exist because agility is practiced in the moment and is measured over time.

Improvisation is practiced in all artistic fields: music, singing, dancing, playing, drawing and can be an artistic discipline in its own right, such as theatrical improvisation which takes many forms across the world and whose origins are multiple: verbal jousting from ancient Greece or replica jousting from the Palace of Versailles, Comedia dell Arte and more recently, the Improvisation Match (Quebec) ... I practiced it for many years, taught it and especially trained players, as well as other forms of improvisation shows. In the world of theatrical improvisation, there are also biases, strings and sometimes societal codes such as sexism, this micro-society is not exempt from bad faults. I differentiate the intervention of an actor who practices improvisation from an intervention of applied improvisation which requires expertise other than that of the stage. This is why in 2002, I decided to specialize in the pedagogy of improvisation applied to the company, because what interests me is to support the teams over the long term with strong values. that make the difference. I have always liked to sublimate talents, a challenge for learners as well as for the teacher!

I practice vocal jazz, sung improvisation, inspired by the “circle song” created by Bobby Mac Ferrin, which I now teach, and “Jazz rock” dance, a movement from France, including my teacher Jean-Claude Marignale is one of the precursors, based on spontaneous creation and taking up the distorted codes of jazz and funk, on very inspiring music à la James Brown. Hybrid by passion and pedagogue, I mix these spontaneous practices with my global knowledge of the company and my expertise, to generate movement and managerial innovation.


My goal and my vision, to reconcile the “soul” and the human aspect of the organization, a delicate and fascinating challenge! 

Street dance, street dance or hip-hop, like rap are movements, basically spontaneous, the creation of which is based on self-teaching and freedom. For the example of rap which has become very commercial, it has sometimes also become sanitized and formatted ... All these disciplines are one day confronted with the idea of tangible and flawless results when there is a producer who finances them. may then lose their power, spontaneity and creativity.

Do you know the flow ? The flow ? It's a moment of letting go so powerful that it carries you as it carries the virtuoso of jazz in improvisation, the rapper in his rhythmic-released diction, the passionate who no longer sees the notion of time and who is present in an intense way in the moment and the creation… Find in the power of spontaneity, all the synthesis of scientific experiments carried out on the flow and the references which surround this concept!


What prevents companies from “improvising” is the need for control, the fear of the unknown, which makes them move forward rationally. This mode of evolution based on finance and marketing creates a loss of creativity for companies which deprive themselves of their field of possibilities.

If the company improvised by connecting all intelligences of today the 7 intelligences ©  today, by evolving, in an iterative way, in perpetual movement with the co-responsibility of the movement of all these actors, each one would have his possible moment of glory by innovating, by cooperating, supporting the others. Everyone would welcome their moment of improvisation.

 Unleash your "jazz"! Unleash your spontaneity and that of your team * 

Which means to act collectively with a single score and multiple singularities to interpret it in values that brings you together, with emotional and rational intelligence, because they are not opposites; and give way to letting go of spontaneity, the magic of the creative unforeseen!

In 2015, I was on the stage of a Tedx, just a week after the Bataclan and Paris attacks, my Tedx talk Video The power of spontaneity, my vision for so long, how was I going to speak about this subject which on the surface may seem light, and I decided to start my conference by relating the power of the collective spontaneity of this great silent and highly symbolic gathering. Spontaneity is life and the meaning was particularly powerful. Despite an apparently chilling silence in the room, we had a highly emotional exchange, I end my conference in song with "in all this jazz", lyrics rewritten on "all that jazz" ", the hymn of the Chicago musical, moreover highly free, avant-garde and feminist, far from the standards of Broadway.

Since then, my conference has evolved a lot because now it is in high demand on the topics of agility, transformation, leadership and management. Accompanied by PEK, Philippe-Elie Kassabi (illustration of the article and all the others), who like a jazz man with the brush, draws the contents of the conference live as well as the exchanges, this symbiosis always impresses because we operate in jazz band. Then, we have a dedication of the book which is always very pleasant because the public can go further in their approach by self-coaching thanks to the book, a real added value to all our programs!

* Our tailor-made seminar "The power of spontaneity" unleashes agility, emotional intelligence and all the creative, intuitive, spontaneous, collaborative, co-construction, values, leadership, vision and strength. collective intelligence! Custom-made and animated by Sylvaine Messica and visually facilitated live by Philippe-Elie Kassabi, not to mention all the educational secrets that we keep ... Exchange to create your seminar