Adrian Cho leads a life of creativity at scale with three simultaneous careers.
As a photographer, Adrian travels the world photographing wildlife, nature, people, places, and culture to tell stories about the incredible and complex world we live in. View selections from his portfolio and purchase prints or digital images at adrianchophotography.com. Through his company Wildlife First Photography Adrian teaches photography in workshops that practice and promote ethical wildlife photography, wildlife conservation, and improving the health of our planet.
As a musician who has been performing for over forty years, he is best known as the Artistic Director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, a unique, critically acclaimed symphonic jazz ensemble he founded in 2006. Each season Adrian brings together an impressive array of professional jazz and symphony musicians to participate in a series of uniquely educational and entertaining performances. The orchestra’s annual season of concerts at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa is very popular and sells out very quickly each year. 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.” 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.”
As a veteran of the tech industry with over thirty years of experience working in a variety of engineering and business roles, Adrian helps companies become more effective through consulting work with his company Creativity at Scale. In the past he worked for both small and large organizations including IBM, Fujitsu, Bankers Trust, and Shopify. Over two decades of this work involved building internal tools and systems, as well as award-winning products, to support high-performance teamwork at scale. At Shopify, as the Director of Getting Shit Done, he started and led a business unit that helped the company through a critical period of hyper growth by accelerating and becoming more effective at scale through the growth of culture, hacking process, coaching people and teams, and building automation to reduce friction.
Adrian shares his experience and unique perspectives through regular teaching and writing. His book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation and Agility, published by Addison-Wesley in 2010, is an in-depth treatise on individual and collaborative creativity that 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!”
Adrian is an in-demand teacher and speaker. Since 2011 he has been teaching at Carleton University’s continuing studies program. The range of of topics he has taught include jazz history and appreciation, creativity, and nature photography. His highly informative, improvisational, informal, and impactful approach to teaching has been highly praised and has made him a favourite of many audiences. Adrian also makes guests appearances at other local learning institutions including Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa’s MBA program.