Carl Størmer

Music And Can Art Teach Us Creativity, Improvisation, And Complexity

Carl Størmer's professional life has included both business and music. He has been an entrepreneur and held senior marketing, strategy, and management roles with a variety of businesses including IBM. He has been a professional jazz musician for many years, and has recorded five CDs.

Størmer combined music and business in founding JazzCode, a consultancy that uses live musical improvisation to demonstrate collaboration, innovation, and creativity for professionals at organizations such as IBM, Kraft, Oracle, KPMG, Insead, Novartis, the London Business School, and others. In 2009, he co-authored the Harvard Business School case “Miles Davis: Kind of Blue” with Professor Robert D. Austin. Størmer holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music, as well as an MBA.

Most recently, Størmer has been advocating his late mother's art legacy and her story. When his mother, self-taught artist Sidsel Paaske, died in 1980 at age 43, Størmer inherited her work — 40 garbage bags filled with art.

At the time of her death, she had been largely forgotten, but is now widely considered one of the most important Norwegian artists of her generation. A retrospective show of her work at the National Galleries in Norway attracted one of the biggest crowds ever to visit the museum, and her work is currently being featured at galleries and museums in New York and London. For Størmer, his mother's story is about creativity, improvisation, complexity — and a method to the madness.

Photo Credit: Mick Tully