What Rick Rubin offers strategists

What one of the world's best music producers can offer you as a strategist.

Our favourite book of 2023, is Rick Rubin's The Creative Act: A Way of Being.

Don't let the fact that the word 'creative' that's in the title, or that Rick Rubin himself works in the music industry, deceive you into thinking that this is a book just for artists, musicians, writers or hippies.

The insights and wisdom that has helped some of the world's greatest musicians achieve their astonishing success are equally applicable to everyone endeavouring to build something of value...yes, including those tasked with creating commercial value.

There are just too many quotes and lessons in the book to try to just highlight one that's useful, but there is one that is particularly appropriate when it comes to the art and science of strategy design that's worth sharing here:

“All art is a work in progress. It’s helpful to see the piece we’re working on as an experiment. One in which we can’t predict the outcome. Whatever the result, we will receive useful information that will benefit the next experiment. If you start from the position that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, and creativity is just free play with no rules, it’s easier to submerge yourself joyfully in the process of making things. We’re not playing to win, we’re playing to play. And ultimately, playing is fun. Perfectionism gets in the way of fun. A more skilful goal might be to find comfort in the process. To make and put out successive works with ease.”
― Rick Rubin

Make 2024 the year of outperformance

Jon Cherry is a strategic growth facilitator who works with organisations to build brands and ventures that deliver outperformance.

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Like art, strategy work too is premised on incomplete assumptions, conjecture and uncertainty. Far from this paralysing the process, it ought to set it free; emboldening the strategist to work with creativity, audaciousness and humility.

Once a desired vision is set, the path towards its realisation can never be clear. Continuous testing, exploring, measurement and tinkering is what gets you there.

Straight lines to the future do not exist, being comfortable to travel off-piste is what's required.

Rick Rubin’s new book | a review
Navigating the unseen world of creativity with one of music’s greatest record producers.