Serious Creativity

Posted by on Jun 17, 2011 in Authenticity in Business | Comments Off

My sister once told me that she didn’t like Beck until she saw him perform live. The turning point for her was when he did the worm – or at least attempted to. Apparently, he wasn’t so good at it. But that was what did it for my sister – that he was on a stage, in front of however many thousands of people at a music festival, and did a really terrible rendition of the worm in total seriousness.

Whether Beck’s apparent seriousness is part of his on-stage demeanor or not, the guy has serious silliness down to a science. I mean, check out these lyrics from one of my favorite Beck songs, Nicotine & Gravy:

I’ll do your laundry
Massage your soul
I’ll turn you over
To the highway patrol
I think we’re going crazy
Things don’t even faze me
Her left eye is lazy
Nicotine and gravy

These are actually pretty coherent for Beck lyrics. If this were a post about music, I’d argue that he’s got a modern version of scat going on, but this is really a post about authenticity.

If Beck spent any time sitting in his bedroom, hugging his guitar and worrying that people wouldn’t like his playful approach to music, it doesn’t show for a second in his work. Instead, he creates and performs and records, he does the worm, and he hires a guy to wear white jeans and a white Members Only jacket to beat on a cooking oil can and do goofy dance moves next to him, like so:



He hires guys to play table settings as instruments and he waits with all seriousness and attention to detail until it’s time to hit the call bell twice, like so:

We named our business so that the acronym would allude to a traditionally-NSFW word. I’m not shy to show my tattoo. Rob rocks the ponytail he began growing when he realized he had to separate himself from the corporate world he had lived in for so long.

Not only do these efforts to bring our authentic selves into our work make us enjoy our work even more (and, c’mon, we spend entirely too much of our lives working to not enjoy it) but our customers and prospects sense that we’re straight up and, nine times out of 10, it makes them feel more comfortable with us and more enthusiastic about working with us.

How can you bring a little Beck into your work?