Unusual Tip #06: I’ve Got Two Turntables And… An (Unusual) Idea

Turntable 1

As a recreational musician, I’ve always been passionate about music. It’s probably why I love the idea of innovation so much. The parallels are more than you probably realize.

The creation of music is primarily driven by influences…influences from prior artists, from our emotions, from our experiences.  All of these combined, and more, contribute towards a masterful composition that captures our heart and soul.

What many fail to realize is that most music is rarely original. From Slick Rick to Bob Dylan to Led Zeppelin to Taylor Swift, each sound, beat and melody has been unconsciously (and sometime consciously) sampled from a prior influence. In effect, most music is a remix from the ideas generated before us. In fact, over the past few decades, we have fused various elements of our foundational influences from folk, jazz, rock, hip hop, and others to spawn new genres of music, including downtempo, electronica, asian massive, grunge, dubstep and more.

Much like music, composing new innovations also taps the influences from others. Perhaps this is the theory behind the famous saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Some of the best known innovators – from Steve Jobs to Thomas Edison to Elon Musk – take existing ideas and sample them in unusual ways that create new market value. After all, we can only imagine innovative possibilities from which we have been exposed to the raw elements.  In other words, it’s almost impossible to imagine the unknown. Every new innovation, in some form, has been influenced by elements we have been previously exposed to.

Turntable 2

Unusual Tip: To be effective leaders of innovation, we need to find ways that expose us to these raw elements of influence that can spur creative thinking to solve our business challenges and uncover new innovative possibilities. In my experience, these raw elements come in the form of ideas gathered from divergent perspectives – perspectives that are different from our prior exposures and spark a new sense of serendipity.

Always #ThinkUnusual,

PS: This core concept is the intention of my new event series called UNUSUAL INTERSECTIONS. We have partnered withTEDxMidAtlantic to bring you a one-of-a-kind gathering of unlikely minds to inspire innovative problem solving across diverse industries.


>> Interested in attending, register for the event here. (early bird discount ends August 31st)
>> Click here to view the unusual suspect speaker lineup.
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Share this idea. Feel free to forward this post to a friend or colleague whom you think could use a dose of unusual-ness.

HIRE Gautam to speak at your next event.

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