How does rock music influence business creativity

by Robert Siegel on December 9, 2010

My son recently introduced me to a band called Muse, this less than a year after turning me into a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have introduced him to a lot of music/musicians including The Who, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. I have not had any success yet getting him to enjoy Count Bassie or Duke Ellington, but my son is only 16 years old. I believe that his appreciation of jazz will come.

Why is a business blogger, concerned with creativity in business, writing about Rock music? Because rock music’s development provides an excellent example of how business and technology professionals can develop great Ideas. The Ideative Process involves Inundating yourself into the experiences and knowledge of your creative subject, combined with ongoing efforts to Deviate from your routines. Rock music developed because musicians Inundated themselves into music created throughout the world and then Deviated from the routines of that music.

According to Wikipedia, “Rock music” is Assembled and influenced from just about every other musical genre on the planet and today represents more than 200 subgenres listened to by youth and adults throughout the world. Rock’s early influences, the ‘blocks’ the genre was Assembled from, include R&B, blues, boogie woogie and jazz, traditional folk music, gospel music, and country and western. From these early influences rock has incorporated sounds from almost every part of the world and culture, and evolved due to national and international politics, cultural dynamics, personalities, and personal events.

In my youth, rock music represented rebellion against the establishment. Today, bands that were once anti-establishment, like the Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin, are main stream and many parents bond with their children listening to rock music and attending concerts. I recently watched a televised Paul McCartney concert with both my mother and my son. McCartney made his name in the 1960s with the Beatles, a band that introduced psychedelic drugs and eastern religion to many teens. But the world changed for rock music just as it has changed for business. McCartney recently played for the entire Obama family at the White House accompanied by some of today’s most popular teen idols. And by the way, the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, “One of rock’s original bad boys,” was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, showing that to remain a rebel you have to Deviate continuously or the establishment will catch up and absorb you. What was once considered creative can easily become a Routine.

You develop great Ideas the same way musicians developed rock music; through in depth exploration – Inundation – within a specific field combined with Deviating from your routines. So if you want to become a great creative thinker, listen to your favorite music and Inundate yourself into your business. Then, listen to a musical genre you are not familiar with, perhaps Viking Rock or Punta Rock, and figure out what the equivalent of Viking and Punta Rock is in your business. Then, Deviate from your routine by exploring that area of your business.

Let rock music drive business creativity.

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