In the first part of this column we explored how The Beatles harnessed their creativity and innovated. Now we will look at how The Rolling Stones innovated so we can ask: who do you relate to more as a leader, entrepreneur, or HR manager: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Let us know!
5 Innovation Strategies of The Rolling Stones
1. Set Yourself Apart
At the beginning The Rolling Stones never had a set image. They couldn’t settle on one “look” and at one point they even tried to model their style after The Beatles. Eventually, with the PR help of Andrew Loog Oldham, they devised a new look: no look at all. Their clothes and attitudes became unkempt and grungy and their style came to epitomize Rock and Roll.
By settling on a rebellious look the band’s music and lyrics transformed and became a statement against the established music scene. As a result The Rolling Stones innovated.
By defining themselves as counter-culture The Rolling Stones were propelled to make more original, defiant music.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
The Rolling Stones started as a blues cover band. They rose to fame by playing Chuck Berry songs and eventually found their own voice and style. By practicing and performing countless covers The Rolling Stones learned how to craft crowd pleasing tunes.
The Rolling Stones came into their own after mastering the classics in their genre. They innovated only after they became fluent in their craft.
3. Work Rate
The Rolling Stones are still a band making them one of Rock and Rolls long lasting acts.
Mick Jagger joked about an old dress he wore in a tour in the 1960s, “I can still just about get into the zippers.” While the band’s tenacity has made them the butt of some jokes, they have found an innovative way to control and continue their legacy.
Their ability to continue to perform over the years has kept them innovating their stage act and their music.
4. Highly Adaptable
The Rolling Stones were adaptable and not afraid of change. When one of the band organizers Brain Jones work rate slowed as a result of a drug problem he was let go.
When tastes changed The Rolling Stones gave fans what they wanted to hear and made both disco themed songs as well as psychedelic ones.
The Rolling Stones were always open to changing their look, their music, and their team. Their ability to transform kept them innovating.
5. Work Under Pressure
In 1971 The Rolling Stones owned an astounding amount of back taxes. Adding to their woe they were being sued, having trouble making sense of complicated legal contracts, and being scrutinized by the tabloids and the police alike for drug possession. Eventually their assets were frozen and they were forced to leave England for the South of France.
While in exile they made their own studio and recorded a successful album.
The Rolling Stones thrived off pressure and could innovate under the gun. The excelled when under conditions of uncertainty. If anything, it inspired them to be more bold in their music.
So, in the end do you think you relate more to introspective innovation of The Beatles or the transformational innovation of The Rolling Stones? Tell us why!
In 1971 The Beatles’ John Lennon said, “Every f***ing thing we did, Mick [Jagger] does exactly the same—he imitates us.”
For Lennon, Mick Jagger’s The Rolling Stones weren’t innovators much as they were followers.
However, both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones developed unique techniques and strategies that allowed them to produce innovative, groundbreaking work.
The question is: as an entrepreneur or leader which band do you relate to more? Which approaches to work and creativity do you embrace?
In this two part series (PART II is here!) we will explore how each band innovated. It’s up to you to decide who you emulate more. First off, The Beatles:
5 Innovation Strategies of The Beatles:
1. Borrow different styles:
Great artists steal goes the phase and The Beatles were good at just that. They were able to take elements form Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and numerous other acts and make something completely fresh. They could digest trends and translate them into their own unique sound. The Beatles were so reckless with their “borrowing” that they were successfully sued by Chuck Berry because their famous song “Come Together” not only used the same chords, but took the same lyrics as Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me.”
Innovation is often the result of putting together different ideas and influences and The Beatles excelled at doing just that.
2. Use interesting tools
The Beatles began as a conventional rock band, but they soon branched out and began to incorporate unorthodox instruments into their music. They experimented with the sitar and a string quartet.
The Beatles were persistently trying to find new sounds that made their recordings novel and rewarding.
3. Embrace technology
Paul McCartney said of the Beatles studio process: “We would say, ‘Try it. Just try it for us. If it sounds crappy, OK, we’ll lose it. But it might just sound good.’ We were always pushing ahead: louder, further, longer, more, different.”
The Beatles played in the studio and as a result they used samples and experimented with double tracking techniques in their music. They also helped pioneer the use of music videos and were one of the first bands to perform in a live television broadcast. They weren’t afraid of new technologies and used them to make better music and attract more fans.
Paul McCartney said, “As usual, for these co-written things, John [Lennon] often had just the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template.”
The Beatles were able to collaborate and give each other frames by which to work within. They were able to give each other tasks and were able to work with each other toward a common goal.
Innovation can be spurred by teamwork and by setting frames and templates to work within.
5. Prolific output
Until their split The Beatles usually made two albums a year. Their remarkable ability to create a large songbook helped hone their talents and forced them to become more innovative.
The Beatles innovated because they continually pushed themselves to create new, interesting work. They weren’t content doing the bare minimum.
Learn more about the upcoming BLG/Inc.edu workshops in the above video.
For more information about the program and to register, please visit: http://www.blgevents-incedu.com/
The Bacharach Leadership Group is excited to announce their exciting partnership with Inc.edu, a corporate university founded by Inc.com exclusively focused on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses leaders to drive growth. BLG will host two workshops, Master the Skills of Influence & Lead Your Teams For Growth, in NYC, DC, and LA in 2015.These two day workshops will help you grow your business, execute business strategy, more effectively market and sell your products and services, and get all of your employees in your business motivated. These workshops will help you get buy-in from employees, customers, business partners, and investors.
To learn more and register, please go to http://www.blgevents-incedu.
Here are the workshop outlines:
- Master the skills of influence to grow sales & customer satisfaction
- Persuade and win people over to attract investors and customers
- Overcome & anticipate resistance to change
- Map the political terrain for allies and resistors
- Decipher the agendas of others
- Pitch your ideas
- Negotiate and mobilize a motivated coalition
Lead Your Teams for Growth, February 26-27
In this 2-Day workshop, you will develop the skills necessary to sustain momentum, motivate your teams and keep the growth ball rolling. More effective leaders and teams result in greater sales and customer satisfaction.
Learn how to:
- Balance facilitative and directive leadership
- Acquire a coaching mindset to build your team’s capacity to drive growth
- Lead for engagement to drive and sustain motivation
- Master the skills of constructive dialogue for difficult situations
- Maximize the potential of your team to grow your business
- Partner for goal achievement
1. Couldn’t agree more. “It’s not enough to have a good idea.” – Walter Isaacson
2. How to be Chief Innovation Officer. Step one: Go on stealth mode.
3. Companies aren’t creative because they have quirky chairs.
4. Timeless tips to put an end to meetings that drag on and on and on…
5. Perhaps the secret ingredient to creativity is, wait for it… stupidity?
6. Introverted leaders can and should harness the power of social media.
7. A pragmatic guide to dealing with dull, boring assignments.
8. What’s your email password? I bet there’s a story behind it.
9. Practical advice for handling the inevitable workplace conflict.
10. On a lighter note: A news story leaders should fix.