Workplace Creativity: Why You Should Hire Keith Richards

By Frank Kenna

Would you want to have the Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist working for you?  You would if he could do for you what he’s done for The Stones.

I’m about half way through his new bestseller “Life,” and am really enjoying it.  One of the things that comes through is the creativity that Richards and other band members produced and the working conditions that provided the environment for it. 

The Rolling Stones created a whole new brand of blues-oriented rock ‘n roll.  Many of their songs are classics, known for their distinctive riffs, chord progressions and style.  These were all formed in the crucible of a freewheeling “workplace” without rules, and yet, with a surprising amount of study and self-imposed discipline.  In fact, they made their own rules as they went along, fostering a decades-long blaze of creativity that has generated fame and billions of dollars in income. 

Imagine if your workplace conditions could stimulate that kind of creativity… what would your products and services look like next year?  How high would your organization’s sales go? 

Now, you might have a little problem with the rampant drug use, hysteria-induced riots, sexual harassment and general illegal activity that they mostly got away with.  But there’s no denying the results.

It’s worth thinking about: how can we loosen up our own workplaces to inspire creativity that moves the needle?  How can we empower our employees to new heights of creativity?

Sharon Toelle
March 11, 2011

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