With over twenty-five years as a leader in software development and over ten years as a jazz musician, conductor, and bandleader, Adrian Cho has a unique perspective on leadership, collaboration, innovation and agility. He not only manages two successful parallel careers but has combined them into a third pursuit.
In software development, Adrian has extensive experience leading large-scale, global, agile projects. As part of the Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure brand in IBM’s Software Group, Adrian is helping to bring IBM’s service management products to the cloud through IBM Service Engage, a digital property that lets customers easily explore, try and buy IBM’s products. In previous roles in IBM’s Rational brand he was an evangelist for Continuous Delivery and DevOps; he led a strategic initiative across IBM software group brands to improve online engagement with developers; he managed a complex, globally distributed, agile software development project coordinating contributions from over four hundred people at twenty-five locations in ten countries; and, he managed intellectual property for IBM’s open source, Eclipse, and open commercial development, Jazz, initiatives, helping to establish new approaches to both open source and commercial software development.
A band leader and innovative artistic collaborator, he performs as a bassist and conductor, and is the founder and artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, a unique critically acclaimed symphonic jazz ensemble that brings together an impressive array of professional jazz and symphony musicians. He works frequently as a bandleader, bassist, arranger, and teacher of jazz history, presenting concerts at Canada’s National Arts Centre and teaching at Carleton University. Alex Hutchinson of the Ottawa Citizen labelled Adrian “a cool guide to hot jazz” while Doug Fischer, also of the Ottawa Citizen, referred to him as “a musical missionary.” As a presenter and teacher his educational outreach efforts and teaching have earned rave reviews. John Kelman of All About Jazz wrote that “Cho’s intentions were clearly to educate as much as entertain, and he succeeded on both fronts.”
Combining his experiences in arts and business, Adrian developed The Jazz Process, an execution-oriented framework for collaboration, innovation, and agility that can help teams in any domain improve their performance. Adrian speaks and blogs about high-performance teamwork on a regular basis. His book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation and Agility, published by Addison-Wesley in 2010, has been endorsed by a diverse collection of thought leaders. Reviewers have praised the book as “a huge payback for the time invested in reading it,” “a deep exploration of collaborative know-how,” “a concept of leadership and teamwork that’s well suited for the Google-age workplace” and “a top pick for any business collection!”